Kathleen joined Watsi on November 29th, 2015. Seven years ago, Kathleen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kathleen's most recent donation supported Fatma, a bright, book-loving student from Kenya, to fund club foot repair surgery.
Kathleen has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 11 countries.
Kathleen has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 11 countries.
Fatma is a bright 14-year-old from Kenya. She loves school and is in class seven, where her favorite subject is English because she likes reading. Fatma has three older siblings and three younger siblings. Her parents operate a small shop in their town to provide for their family's needs. Fatma experienced delayed mobility and was diagnosed with clubfoot on her right foot in 2017. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which can cause difficulty walking and wearing shoes. She underwent surgery at another hospital in the past, but she continues to experience mobility concerns. Fatma's parents brought her to our medical partner's care center. On May 15th, she will undergo clubfoot repair surgery that will allow her to walk without difficulty and continue her studies uninterrupted. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund this procedure. Fatma shared: "I will be happy to see my foot corrected and appreciate your assistance."
Victoria is a 22-month-old baby girl that lives in Port-au-Prince with her parents. She is a happy child that enjoys dancing and playing dress-up. Victoria was born with a condition called Patent Ductus Arteriosus, where an extra blood vessel (passageway) called the ductus arteriosus (DA) allows blood from the right side of the heart to flow to the aorta and back out into the body without going through the lungs. This leaves Victoria feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical provider, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (ACH), has diagnosed Victoria and created a treatment plan involving surgery to repair the issue. During the procedure on April 17th, doctors will use a device attached to a catheter to plug the hole so that blood can no longer leak. ACH is requesting $1500 to fund the procedure. Victoria's mother says, "Our family is very thankful to everyone who is making this possible for our daughter!"
Nelson, who is 29 years old and unmarried, lives in Kenya and works as a casual laborer on construction sites. In October 2023, Nelson fell from a tree where he was working. His right leg was injured and he was taken to a hospital in Kiambu, where an X-ray showed he had a closed ankle joint fracture. He was admitted to the hospital and put in traction. The surgeon there told Nelson that he would need a procedure that requires surgical plates for implanting in his leg to stabilize the fracture. Nelson and his family could not afford this, thus Nelson has been trying to go about his life and his work, despite the fracture and the pain it causes him. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On March 20th, Nelson will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at Nazareth Hospital. This procedure will mean that Nelson will no longer be in pain; he will heal well, and resume working. Now, African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I have almost given up since I cannot pay for treatment. I would greatly appreciate the help so that I may be well and resume my job. I also hope to have a family of my own soon.” Nelson said.
Marion is a 6-year-old student from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet county in Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three girls and currently attending preschool near her family home. Her parents are small-scale potato farmers. One day Marion's mother went to the river to fetch water. While she was gone, her children were sitting near an open fireplace at home making breakfast. Unfortunately, Marion's dress caught fire on the open flame, and as a result, she sustained severe burns on her back, abdomen and thighs. It has been difficult for her to walk, and the wounds are causing extreme discomfort. She especially needs a third surgery to treat the severity of her burns contractures. Despite Marion's parents having medical insurance, due to previous surgeries that she has had to treat the injuries, the insurance (a monthly subscription) has run its course and is no longer an option. Her parents do not have the funds to pay for Marion's surgery and need support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marion receive treatment. On January 25th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will allow her to walk with greater ease and resume her normal life at home and school. Now, she and her family are requesting $1,478 to help fund this procedure. Marion's mother says, “I am really looking forward to seeing my daughter live and walk in a normal way. I worked hard to pay for insurance coverage, but unfortunately, it cannot fund the upcoming procedure. I am disappointed, but I will not lose hope. Kindly help her.”
Rose is a 44-year-old wife and mother of two children from Haiti. She lives in a small town in central Haiti with her husband, two children, and her sister and her sister's children. Unfortunately, she has been too unwell to work for over five years, but previously sold electronics in a local market. Rose has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged as a result of rheumatic fever a number of years ago. Her heart cannot adequately pump blood through her body, leaving her tired and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Rose receive treatment. She will fly to the Dominican Republic for her surgery. On January 27th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her diseased mitral valve and implant an artificial replacement. HCA is contributing $12,000 to cover the cost of Rose's procedure, but she and her family also need help funding the costs of surgery prep. Rose and her family need help raising $1,500 to cover labs, medicine, check-ups and follow-up appointments. This money will also support passport obtainment and the social workers from HCA that will accompany Rose's family overseas. Rose shared, "I have felt very sick for a very long time, and I am very hopeful that this surgery will bring me relief and new energy!"
Paw is 52-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and son-in-law in a refugee camp. She and her husband are homemakers, while her eldest daughter and son-in-law are teachers. Her youngest daughter is a student. She has cataracts and she has blurred vision in both of her eyes. Because of her poor vision, she has difficulty walking around the refugee camp and she has had to stop weaving and selling traditional Karen clothes from her home-region of Burma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Paw. On December 29th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Paw's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "I hope that my treatment will be successful. I want to be able to see well. I want to continue weaving clothes in the future, and I want to live with my family for the rest of my life,” she said.
Swe lives with her parents and her son in a village in northern Burma. Her father is subsistence farmer, her mother owns a small weaving business where traditional Burmese blankets and sarongs are hand woven. Her son goes to school and Swe is a homemaker. In her free time, she enjoys visiting and talking to her friends in their village. In December 2021, Swe began to experience fatigue, sweatiness, vomiting and difficulty breathing. She also had a headache and a stiff neck. At first she could not travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but eventually went to Mandalay in August to seek help. At a hospital, she received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. She was told she would need surgery costing 15 million kyat (approx. $15,000 USD), but she could not afford to pay for it. She then went to Yangon with her son, in the hopes of finding another hospital that cost operate on her for less money. While in Yangon, her condition deteriorated and her son rushed her to a hospital. The doctor there confirmed her diagnosis and her need for surgery, but told her it would cost 20 million kyat (approx. $20,000 USD). When Swe told the doctor that she could not afford to pay such a large sum, the doctor referred her to an abbot, who in turn referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment. Currently, Swe cannot walk for more than 10 minutes or she feels very tired and short of breathe. She has a rapid heartbeat, dizziness and headache. She said, "I want to say thank you so much to BCMF and all the donors to help me with my treatment cost.”
When U Eain was 10 years old, he became a monk. Now, at the age of 33, he lives with five other monks in a monastery in Yangon, Burma. As a monk, U Eain doesn't have an income. Instead, every morning, two of the novice monks from his monastery collect food donated by followers in Yangon. In addition, worshipers who visit the monastery donate vegetables, fruits and curries to eat. When the monks preach in other villages, they may receive small cash donations, and when U Eain's parents visit him every year, they provide U Eain with a small amount of money. In this way, the monks are able to cover their basic needs. In February, U Eain went to a town in Mon State to preach. During his second day there, he felt very tired and struggled to breathe, and ultimately, he had to stop preaching. He went to a local clinic, where he received two injections that helped him to feel better. The next day, he returned to his monastery in Yangon. Once he was home, he developed a fever and felt very tired, so he went to a nearby clinic. There, he received an electrocardiogram (ECG). After his results came back, the doctor told him that there were problems with his heart, and U Eain was referred to Yangon Government Hospital for an echocardiogram. On April 19th, U Eain had the echocardiogram, and then brought the results back to the nearby clinic. Due to numerous issues uncovered by the test, U Eain will need cardiac surgery to replace two valves in his heart. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is able to help U Eain access the care that he needs. On October 21st, doctors at Pun Hlaing Hospital will replace the two valves in U Eain's heart, relieving him of the chest pains, rapid heartbeat, fatigue and difficulty breathing that he suffers from now. With his limited income, U Eain needs your support to raise the $1,500 to cover the cost of the procedure. He is hopeful to feel himself again soon and looks forward to returning to preaching and teaching. U Eain said: “I am so happy to receive treatment. I would like to say thank you so much to all of the donors.”
Titus is a hardworking 24-year-old from Kenya. He is the only child to his single mother, who sells tea and porridge at the market. Due to their financial situation, Titus was compelled to drop out of high school and do casual labor jobs to support his mother. Together with his mother, they live in his uncles’ home who is a small-scale farmer. Titus also helps his uncle with farm work. A month ago, Titus fell at work and his hand was cut by a sharp object. Titus went to a nearby facility where his wound was sutured because the fracture was open, and a splint was applied in order to stabilize the fracture. Now he cannot work using his hand and therefore he depends entirely on his mother. When he realized that there was no improvement of his injury, Titus visited a nearby facility where he was referred to our medical partner's care center Kapsowar Hospital. On physical examination, the surgeon told him that he required an urgent surgery in order to repair his tendon and fix his fracture which had taken time to heal. Titus has no medical insurance and is worried about how he can pay for the care he needs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 27th, Titus will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Titus will be able to go back to his work and continue to earn a living. He will be able to assist his mother. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Titus says, “I get my income through working with my hands. Now that I cannot use them, I feel so bad. I don’t want to burden my mother who is also struggling. Kindly help me.”
Walendjina is an adorable two-year-old toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents, who are both market vendors, and her two older siblings in a small village in the mountains of northwestern Haiti. Walendjina has Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare condition caused by a combination of four congenital heart conditions. These conditions include a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. On August 15th, Walendjina will fly overseas to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. During this cardiac procedure, surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the muscular blockage from her valve. A portion of the cost of Walendjina's treatment is being supported by Have a Heart Cayman, and our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the cost of Walendjina's labs, medication, followup appointments, and travel fees for her and her family. Walendjina's father shares, "Our family has been very scared for our daughter's health ever since she was born. We will all be very glad to be able to stop worrying so much about her heart!"
Alejandro is a tech-savvy 11-year-old boy from western Bolivia who just finished fifth grade. He loves everything related to computers and video games. He lives with his parents, who are both schoolteachers, and his two younger brothers. Alejandro was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alejandro is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 27th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alejandro's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alejandro and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alejandro shares, "I am excited to be allowed to play soccer once I have recovered from my surgery!"
Bonface is a 72-year-old gentleman, living alone in a remote area of Kenya. While Bonface works as a laborer on local farms getting small jobs whenever he can, his wife works in Nairobi, and lives with their four children. A week ago, Bonface was assaulted, sustaining injuries to his head and to his left arm. After the assault, Bonface was able to alert his neighbors, who brought him to a local clinic. He received stitches for the wound on his head, and an X-ray of his arm was ordered. The X-ray revealed a fracture of the humerus bone, which will require surgery to heal. Currently, as a result of the fracture, Bonface is unable to use his arm, and is in pain. Bonface visited AIC Kijabe Hospital, where he was scheduled to undergo surgery on June 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund his medical procedure, which will repair the fracture, and enable Bonface to use his arm without pain. Bonface says, “I am old and weak. I strain to work because of my age. It is now worse since one hand is broken. I need this treatment to be able to use my hand again.”