Christina joined Watsi on April 25th, 2015. Seven years ago, Christina joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Christina's most recent donation traveled 8,100 miles to support Erick, a football-loving 4-year-old from Tanzania, to fund leg surgery so he can grow up active and healthy.
Christina has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 11 countries.
Christina has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 11 countries.
Erick is a four year old boy, living with his parents and five siblings. He is a charming and playful fellow, who loves football. Erick was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, a condition which causes his legs to bow outward, making it difficult for him to walk, and causing him pain. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, has stepped up to help Erick access the corrective surgery he needs. They are requesting $880 to fund this procedure, which is scheduled to take place on June 7th at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, and which should restore Erick's mobility. After he heals, he will be able to engage in a variety of activities, and the risk of future complications will be greatly diminished. Erick’s father says: “We have hope that our son could have his legs corrected here.”
Jovaito is a joyful woman and a wonderful mother to her four children, all of whom are in school. She is in her late forties and relies on farming to make ends meet. Her husband is a laborer who also takes up farming jobs on people's farms to make a living. Together, their income is limited, which makes paying school fees and meeting health needs difficult. For eight months, Jovaito has been experiencing uncomfortable symptoms and lower abdominal pain. She has been diagnosed with cervical cancer and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, in order to remove her tumor and relieve her of her pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $219 to fund Jovaito's surgery. On May 12th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center, Karoli Lwanga Hospital. Once recovered, Jovaito will be able to resume her daily activities and take care of her family pain free. Jovaito says, “I never got a chance to study but I have worked so hard to see that my children acquire so much education. I hope to continue with farming to push them farther once given a chance to undergo my surgery successfully.”
Linda is a beautiful three-week-old baby from Kenya who is the youngest of three children. A few months prior to Linda's birth, her mother became very sick and lost her job as a security guard. Her mother shares that this created many challenges for their family because she was their sole source of income after Linda's father left them. Additionally, they have not had many people nearby to help them since they came from Uganda. Fortunately, a Ugandan friend of Linda's mother heard about her condition and offered to accommodate her. This good Samaritan has since been facilitating hospital transportation and providing Linda’s family with financial support where possible. Shortly after her birth, Linda was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Linda is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. The public hospital where she was born was unable to offer her any treatment and instead referred her to our medical partner's care center, Bethanykids Kijabe Hospital. Upon arrival, Linda was found to be in critical condition. She was immediately admitted and put on medication. She stayed in the hospital for more than two weeks under the care of the medical team. Once she got better, she was discharged and scheduled to undergo spinal repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Linda's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 25th. This procedure will hopefully spare Linda from the risks associated with her condition and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Linda’s mother says, “I was shocked when I saw her at birth and did not know if she would ever be treated. Now, I have courage to face the future, as I have been told that she will be treated.”
Prince is a 4-month-old baby from Kenya and his parents' only child. Prince and his family live in their ancestral home. To support their family, his parent work on a farm, as well as do casual jobs like plowing farms for neighbors. When Prince was born, his mother noticed that his head was larger than expected. When his head continued to increase in size, she took him to a nearby hospital. There, he was examined and referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Prince has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. This condition is the reason Prince has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, he will experience severe physical and developmental delays. However, his parents shared that they do not have insurance and cannot fund Prince's needed treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is helping Prince receive treatment. On July 20th, he will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from his brain and reduce intracranial pressure. With treatment, he will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. AMHF is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Prince's surgery. Prince's mother says, “I feel bad that my child has to go through this and that I’m not able to take control of the situation.”
Silvia is a 38-year-old woman, living with her husband and two children. Today, Silvia sits in a hospital bed, awaiting surgery. But this story begins in December 2020, when she suffered a stroke. Because of the stroke, Silvia had to give up her work as a hairdresser, so she now relies on her husband, a freelance electrician, to provide for their family. After recovering from her stroke, Silvia began to notice worrying symptoms. The doctors at Kijabe Hospital continued to follow Silvia, but it wasn't until 2022 - after undergoing a scan - that her doctors realized that Silvia had a tumor in her bladder. Silvia underwent surgery to have the tumor removed, but developed post operative complications that required another operation. Subsequently, Silvia was found to have a bladder leakage, which now requires urgent surgical repair. Silvia and her family have no medical coverage, and in the past, they have relied on friends and family to help pay for all of her medical bills. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is here now to help Silvia access the care that she needs. They are requesting $1,074 to fund the surgical repair of Silvia's bladder perforation, which is scheduled for June 20th at AIC Kijabe Hospital. Silvia says: “I can't believe I am scheduled for another surgery again. I have been going through a lot. It is tough but I hope to be better soon.”
Woldegibreal is a 10-year-old boy, living with his parents and two younger siblings in Ethiopia. He is an intelligent and loving boy, who helps his parents around the house, and with looking after his two siblings. He also loves music and playing football. Woldegibreal was born with a congenital abnormality, which leaves his bladder exposed to the open air, and leaking urine directly into his abdomen. Because of this, Woldegibreal is prone to infections and injury to his bladder, and suffers from constant pain and discomfort. There is a surgical procedure which can correct Woldegibreal's condition. However, even though his parents work hard on the land that they have, they are unable to sustain their family, due to the poor harvests which result from the hot and dry area where they live. They survive with support from others and are unable to cover the costs of Woldegibreal's surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of the life-changing procedure for Woldegibreal, scheduled to take place at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre on May 24th. This procedure will enable Woldegibreal to heal, and to enjoy a full and healthy life. His father shared: “If he gets the surgery we will faint in happiness. We will bless all who helped him. We will send him to school. And we will lead our life with thanksgiving and gratitude.”
Melodie is an 11-month-old baby from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and two older sisters. Her father is a school principal, and her mother is a homemaker. Melodie has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. There is a hole between the two lower chambers of Melodie's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Melodie also has Down Syndrome. Since the care she needs is not available in Haiti, Melodie will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On April 18th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Melodie's heart using a patch. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for the surgery. Melodie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Melodie's family overseas. Melodie's mother shared: "Our family has been very scared about whether our daughter will have surgery in time. We are very happy to know that the date is almost here!"
Grace is a bright and hardworking student who is ready to sit for her government-mandated national exams for high school students in just two days. She is the youngest in her family of four. Grace's family came to Kenya as refugees from Rwanda to escape the 1994 genocide. Her parents started a small cereal shop after they settled. They don’t have medical insurance so are requesting help for Grace. She has had many ear infections that have now caused difficulty for her to hear and she strains to pick up voices. This has been affecting her classwork and she's even worried she may not be able to hear during her final exams on Monday. Grace urgently needs hearing aids on both ears and our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping her receive this treatment and care. AMH is raising $1,171 to fund the full cost. Grace father shared, "Grace has been struggling with her studies because of her hearing. She is now supposed to sit for her final exams in two days and will need the hearing aids so as not to miss the instructions during the exams.”
Daychai is a 52-year-old man from Thailand. He lives alone in a village where he works as a gardener, growing fruits and maintaining the garden. From his work, he earns 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) per month. On February 23rd, Daychai was driving home from work and, suddenly, he lost control. He ran into a post beside the road and was knocked unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he found himself admitted at a hospital with pain in his right ankle. The doctor came to see him and told him that his right ankle is fractured. He would need surgery at nearby Mae Sot Hospital for his ankle to heal properly. Currently, his right lower leg is swollen and he cannot walk without crutches. He is in severe pain though he feels better after he takes pain medication. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Daychai will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 25th and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help his ankle heal properly so that he can walk again and he can go back to work. He said, "I am all alone and if I do not work, then I have no income and no money to eat. I need to recover to be able to walk and work again. I will be more careful next time while driving."
Natinael is a sweet toddler who loves to play with toys. He loves birds especially looking at the doves where he lives with his mom. Natinael's mom shared that he is shy and always wants to be at her side. She is a single mom and has been raising Natinael on her own with help from her family. Natinael was born with birth condition called Bladder Extrophy, which means that his bladder is open to air and at great risk of infections and injury. He needs surgery to help heal his condition, but his mother is unable to afford the cost. She is very much worried and concerned by his health and wants to do whatever she can to make sure he grows up healthy. She shared, “At first I did not know about the gravity of his condition. Then when I went to the hospitals they said they can’t do the surgery and they referred me to another hospital. I was in so much distress. I thought ‘what is this disease that the doctors refer it to another hospital.’ One doctor explained the condition to me and that was my lowest time of my life. I couldn’t eat or drink or sleep. All I could do was cry. I asked God why this happened to me." Fortunately someone referred her to an organization that knew our medical partner's care center BKMCM Hospital where doctors can perform the surgery he needs. Natinael's mom says, "If he heals, I hope I will work hard and raise him well and give him good education. I did not go to school and that makes me to want to send Natinael to school more. I'd like to spend the rest of my life with him protecting him.”
Jackson is a 48-year-old married man and the father of three children. His oldest child is in high school and his youngest has not yet joined school. Jackson works as a welder, but he shared that work is hard to come by. His wife works as a teacher in a small private school. On Monday, December 20th, Jackson was riding as a passenger on his friend's motorbike when they were in an accident. They were going to plant some tomatoes on a farm they both owned. They arrived safely and went ahead to plant the tomatoes. When they were done, they decided to go back home and took off on Monday evening. Along the way, they were involved in an accident. Jackson was badly injured and rushed to the emergency room. Later, he was evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon where he was told he had a fractured femur and surgery is recommended. Jackson is bedridden and in pain, and he worries that without treatment, he might not be able to walk again. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On December 23rd, Jackson will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After a successful surgery, he will be able to move around easily and resume his work to provide for his family. Now, Jackson needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Jackson shared, "it is very hard to comprehend what happened and how I’m going to clear the hospital bill but despite the situation I’m in right now, I’m very happy that I’m receiving treatment."
Hannah is a farmer and the 62-year-old mother of four kids. All her children are now grown. She lost her husband in 2014 who was the sole breadwinner for their family. Hannah does not have a job and grows food crops for home use. She depends on her children and some relatives to help pay for her medical bills. Hannah was using her husband's medical insurance but since his death, she has no medical coverage. She recently registered for a national insurance program, but it will be not be eligible for funding for at least a month or longer and her surgery is urgent. Hannah first started feeling a painless lump on her left breast in early 2020 but she did not feel alarmed. She felt better but seven months ago, the painful swelling recurred. She went to a government facility and then Hannah recently visited Kijabe Hospital. Doctors their ordered several tests including a CT scan and core biopsy which revealed cancer of the left breast. She needs surgery to control the spread of the cancer. Hannah has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $,1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Hannah. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 24th. After treatment, Hannah will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Hannah says, “I worry I have nothing to smile about. I am scared and in pain. If left untreated, this cancer will spread and even cause death. I need this surgery urgently to stop this.”