iwao joined Watsi on November 24th, 2016. Six years ago, iwao joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. iwao's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Titus, 34-year-old laborer from Kenya, to fund a skin graft surgery on his right arm and face.
iwao has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 11 countries.
iwao has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 11 countries.
Titus is the eldest son in a family of four. He shared his life's story with us: sometime back, his father was involved in a fatal argument with a neighbor, and went to prison. Titus' family became homeless as a result of this incident, and Titus could not stay in school after 8th grade due to financial difficulties. Recently, he has been working getting jobs near his home and sometimes he works at construction sites in order to earn a living. His jobs enable him to get his daily basic needs and be able to pay for his rent. Generally, Titus’ life is hard, and it is difficult for him to makes ends meet. Titus had a burn accident and his relatives rushed him to the hospital for treatment of severe burns on his hand and superficial burns on his chest and face. He has been on a daily dressing regime to lower the risk of infection and his doctor has determined that he needs a skin graft surgery in order to replace the lost skin and restore function of his right upper limb and forearm. Titus is requesting to be discharged home from the hospital without further treatment because he does not want the bill to accumulate as it will be hard to pay. However, it is critical for him to have the surgery, so that he can have the full use of his right arm. He needs $1,089 to pay for the surgery. Titus says, "Life has really been hard for me: when a problem ends, another one begins. I am so desperate, but I will not lose hope because someday things will be well. I kindly ask for your help to get well so that I may be able to continue working in order to change my current state.”
Naanyo is a nine year old girl who lives with a small and loving family, consisting of her parents and two siblings. When she is not in school, she enjoys watching television and helping her mother to cook, wash and fetch water. She told us that also has fun playing with her school friends, especially when she pretends to be a police woman. When Naanyo was two years old, she was in an accident that resulted in burns on her left hand. She was treated at a local dispensary, and was sent home. However, after the burns healed, Naanyo developed burn scar contractures, which make it difficult for her to move her hand. Her parents were unaware that the contractures could be treated, until on a recent visit to a doctor, they were informed that surgical intervention could resolve Naanyo's condition. The doctor helped the family travel to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where Naanyo was assessed and scheduled for surgery, which will take place on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Naanyo access the care that she needs, despite the fact that her parents can't afford the $874 required for the surgery. They are appealing to you to help cover the cost of this procedure, which will make such a difference in Naanyo's life. Naanyo’s mother says: "We did not know that our child’s condition is treatable, but it is better being late than never.”
Steevenson is a 21-year-old, living in a small farming village in southwest Haiti, with his parents and three younger siblings. Steevenson helps his parents tend to their farm, although he is hoping to be able to complete high school, once his health has improved. As a child, Steevenson suffered from a case of rheumatic fever, which left his heart severely damaged. As a result, one of his four heart valves cannot pump sufficient blood through his body, which leaves Steevenson weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Steevenson to finally receive the treatment that he needs. Steevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 26th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will attempt to repair his damaged valve. If this isn't possible, an artificial valve will be implanted. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Steevenson's surgery. But Steevenson's family also needs your help to secure $1,500 to fund the cost of labs, medicines and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Steevenson shared, "I have been praying for this surgery since I was a child, and I hope that when it is over I can be fully healthy and will have more energy."
Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition. Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine's surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding. Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”
Josias is a three-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older brother. He is a happy and playful toddler who loves to smile and play! Josias has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Josias has been experiencing developmental delays. He cannot walk or talk yet. Without treatment, Josias will continue experiencing severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Josias at Hospital Bernard Mevs to treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 20th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Josias's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Josias will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Josias's family has shared that they hope this surgery will allow him to be more independent.
Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”
John is a young student from Haiti who lives with his mother and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He already loves going to kindergarten and enjoys playing with puzzles. John has a cardiac condition called double outlet right ventricle meaning the major arteries connect to the heart in an abnormal location making it difficult for blood to properly flow through his body. Unfortunately the treatment John needs to heal is not available anywhere in Haiti. So, John is flying to the Cayman Islands to receive cardiac surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will detach the arteries from John's heart and reconnect them in their anatomically correct locations. Have a Heart Cayman is contributing $17,000 to pay for this surgery. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, needs $1,500 to help John's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany John's family overseas. John's mother shared, "Our family all looks forward to our son having a more normal life after this surgery!"
U Chit is a 42-year-old husband and father from Burma. He lives with his in-laws, wife and son. His father-in-law works as a day laborer, while his wife and his mother-in-law are homemakers. U Chit used to work with his father-in-law, and also as a motorcycle taxi driver for extra income. However, he stopped working in January when his health worsened. When schools reopen, his son will begin kindergarten. A little over a year ago, U Chit began experiencing dizziness, fatigue, tightness in his chest and difficulty breathing when he exerted himself. A month later, he visited a local clinic where he was diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, in December 2021, U Chit lost a lot of weight and experienced night sweats in addition to his other symptoms. He was diagnosed with aortic valve regurgitation, mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation, and was placed on a waiting list to receive surgery. Because his condition is severe, the doctor recommended that he undergo surgery as soon as possible. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Chit access treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo mitral valve replacement surgery at BCMF's care center. After recovery, his symptoms should improve. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. U Chit shared, "I gave up and I was ready to die before. There are a lot of heart patients waiting to receiving surgery. Since I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I feel like there is hope that I will survive. I have to look after my family because my son is still young. I will always remember everything the donors did for me."
Angelica is a hard-working young mom with a three-year-old son. She and her partner work in construction, earning just enough to support their daily needs. Angelica was diagnosed with external hemorrhoids. Because of her financial situation, even though she experiences pain, she is not able to get the medical care she needs to heal. Fortunately, Angelica is scheduled to undergo surgery to treat her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,163 to cover the total cost of Angelica's procedure and care. After her recovery, Angelica will no longer experience severe pain and other complications in the future. "I want to be able to take care of my child without worrying about my condition," Angelica explained. "I am fortunate to have been referred for surgery with World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi; without them, I'm not sure where we would be able to get help for my treatment."
Sioni is a 17-month old girl and the only child to her young mother. Sioni's mom never had a chance to go to school herself, and is the second wife to her husband, who has two wives and seven children. Sioni's father is a livestock keeper and a small-scale farmer. They come from a Maasai community where health facilities are a long distance away, and frequently are unable to go to hospitals due to financial challenges. Due to this reality, Sioni was born at home through the help of midwives. Sioni was born with clubfoot on both feet. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes patients to have a great deal of difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, Sioni's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where she will receive treatment for her condition. There, on February 18th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on both of Sioni's feet. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Sioni's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily, and grow up to run and play like other children. Sioni’s mother says, “I would like my daughter to be like other children.”
Tajeuo is a 14 month-old baby and the last born in a family of 8 children. His siblings are aged between 22 and 5 years old. They all live in their family's traditional house, called a manyatta, in Narok, Kenta. His mother takes care of their family and home, while his father is a nomadic cattle herder who is typically away from home. Tajeuo was brought to the hospital by his uncle and relatives who pooled resources together to try to help get him treated. Tajeuo has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Tajeuo has been experiencing progressive increase in his head circumference and also has had some regression in developmental milestones due to his condition. Initially, Tajeuo was able to sit without support and was attempting to crawl, but now he lacks head control and is not able to support his neck on his own. Without treatment, the hydrocephalus will progress and could result in complications, including intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery that will treat Tajeuo's hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 19th and will drain the excess fluid from his brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Tajeuo will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Now, Tajeuo and his family need help raising money. Tajeuo's mother shared, “At first, seeing his head grow big, we never thought it was that needed medical attention. But it started raising concern when the size kept increasing. We appreciate any support you can provide.”
Somanith is a 17-year-old university student. She is the oldest child in her family and has two siblings: an 8-year-old brother in 2nd grade and a 12-year-old sister in 4th grade. Somanith is in her first year at university, where she is studying accounting. Her father works for the government, and her mother stays at home to care for her siblings. Somanith likes to read books, exercise, and meet up with friends in her free time. Six months ago, Somanith noticed swelling on the left side of her face and thought it was from her wisdom tooth. She received a biopsy at the government hospital, which revealed she has a mass called ameloblastoma. Somanith is experiencing swelling and pain and is concerned with how quickly the mass has grown. Specialty surgeons will need to perform an excision and histology to determine her future treatment. When Somanith learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled across the country for eight hours seeking treatment. On December 7th, surgeons at CSC will perform an excision to remove the mass and help Somanith feel comfortable again. CSC is requesting $657 to fund her procedure. Somanith shared that she is hopeful the tumor will be easily removed and the biopsy will be benign.