Raluca joined Watsi on February 23rd, 2015. Eight years ago, Raluca joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Raluca's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Dennis, a 12 year old boy from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery.
Raluca has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 11 countries.
Raluca has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 11 countries.
Meet Dennis, a 12 year old boy living in Kenya with his parents and two younger siblings. When Dennis isn't in school - where math is his favorite subject - he enjoys playing with friends and reading books. Dennis' father works as a casual laborer, while his mother is a housewife. Dennis was healthy at birth, but at the age of two, his left foot started to bend inwards. His parents brought him to numerous hospitals, but his condition remained unresolved. This is very frustrating for Dennis, who has to walk on tiptoes, and is in pain when he walks. Doctors at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, diagnosed Dennis with a clubfoot. Now he is scheduled to undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AIC Cure International Hospital on January 16th. This procedure which will allow Dennis to wear shoes and to walk with ease. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Dennis' life changing procedure. “Our joy will be to see Dennis walking and playing like other children,” Dennis’s mother told us.
Meng Huor is a 12-year-old student in grade seven, living in Kampong Cham province with his parents and four siblings. His father is a farmer, while his mother sells groceries from their home to other villagers. When Meng Huor isn't studying, he likes to read books and to exercise. About one year ago, Meng Huor had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in Meng Huor's middle ear behind the ear drum. As a result, Meng Huor experiences tinnitus, hearing loss, headaches, and frequent foul-smelling ear discharge. His mother purchased medicine from a local pharmacy, but it has not helped. Meng Huor finds it increasingly difficult to communicate with family and friends due to his progressive hearing loss, which also has him struggling to keep up in school. Meng Huor's family traveled to seek help from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. Now he is scheduled to undergo a mastoidectomy on December 19th, at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, during which surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $926 to cover the costs of this procedure, and all of the necessary medications, supplies and Meng Huor's stay in the hospital. Meng Huor's father said: "After surgery, I hope my son's hearing improves so he can talk well with others."
Dawentz is a student from Haiti. He lives in a small town in the mountains of central Haiti with his parents and siblings. He is in his last year of high school, and would like to go on to university to study law or business. Dawentz has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic aortic regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever he suffered earlier in childhood. As a result, his heart can no longer adequately pump blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. The surgery that Dawentz needs is not available within Haiti due to limited cardiac care. He is scheduled to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to help pay for surgery. Dawentz's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the costs of obtaining his passport and the expenses of the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dawentz's family overseas. Dawentz says: "I am very glad to know that so many people are helping me to get my health back."
Christopher is the first born in his family of three children. He works in different homes taking care of cows or farming work. Although Christopher would have liked to go to college after completing secondary school, his family couldn't afford it. As a result, he earns limited income from casual labor jobs, which he shares with his mother who needs support. On Wednesday 5th October, as Christopher went to feed the cows, one cow pushed him to a corner and he was squeezed against the wall until he sustained fracture of the right clavicle. He is unable to attend to his duties that give him income and he is also experiencing pain. Christopher came to hospital accompanied by his employer. He is currently not in a position to fund his treatment and thus request for assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 13th, Christopher will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Christopher will be able to use his hand without feeling pain. He will also be able to resume his daily duties and continue to support his mother. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Christopher says, “I have a lot of pain and am afraid because I rely on my hands to make a life. I request for help so that I can get my hand treated. I hope to return to my regular workload soon so that I may work and help my needy mother."
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."
Meet Hour! He lives in Cambodia with his parents, who both work as farmers. His 26-year-old brother works as a seller at a local market. Hour completed school up to 6th grade, but he no longer attends. He enjoys spending time listening to music, playing games, and meeting friends. When he was a toddler, Hour was diagnosed with hemophilia, a medical condition that severely reduces the ability of blood to clot. This causes him to bleed heavily from even slight injuries. Four months ago, Hour began experiencing pain in his hips. He was diagnosed with bilateral hip necrosis, a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur, or thighbone, is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, his condition can ultimately lead to the destruction of his hip joint. Hour is currently unable to walk without support, has anemia, and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping him receive treatment. On August 10th, he will undergo a joint replacement, called an uncemented hip arthroplasty. CSC is requesting $1,500 to fund Hour's treatment and care. Hour shares, "I am thankful that I have a chance to have a new hip. This treatment will help me be able to work to help my family in the future."
Hosea is a hardworking 18-year-old man from a small village in rural Kenya. He currently lives with his mother, who became a single mother after his father unfortunately passed away a few years ago. To help his sick mother support their family, Hosea works as a shopkeeper in the nearby center and earns a small amount of money. One day, while he was riding his motorbike on his way home from work, Hosea was involved in a road traffic accident. He was rushed to a nearby facility by well-wishers where his lower limb was stabilized with plaster. After this emergency procedure, he was seen by an orthopedic specialist, and an X-ray was done. This scan showed that Hosea has a fracture of his mid-shaft femur and that it is displaced. Because of his injuries, he is currently unable to walk without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On July 6th, Hosea will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The treatment will help him walk without difficulty again. Now, our medical partner is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Hosea says, "Our family is in a hard state, and I am not able to raise the money. Please help me get back on my feet so that I can be able to work and earn a living.”
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!"
La is a 36-year-old mother of three children. She is married and her husband works as a construction worker. To help support her family, she sells soft drinks and coffee from her home. The couple has one son and two daughters, who are all in public school. In her free time, La enjoys walking her children to and from school, cooking, and, after a long day, watching television. Five years ago, La injured her left knee and she has experienced intermittent pain since the injury. Unfortunately, in December 2021, she was involved in a motorbike accident where she re-injured the same knee. After an x-ray, she was diagnosed with an aneurysmal bone cyst, or a benign, blood-filled lesion in the bone that often expands or grows. She experiences severe pain and now has difficulty walking. To treat her condition, surgeons plan to remove the cyst from her left knee and help to heal the joint. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping La receive treatment. On April 9th, surgeons will perform a procedure to relieve La of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Now, she needs help raising $273 to fund her procedure and care. La shared, "I am thankful that I will be able to return to work and care for my children after this surgery."
Sapuro is a bright student from Tanzania. He is social, friendly, and funny. He's in class three in school and his best subject is mathematics. Sapuro is the third born child in a family of seven children. “It was last year on a Saturday afternoon, as I was looking after my father’s cattle. It had rained for a few hours, so the ground was slippery. I was grazing my father cattle’s on a slope which had green pasture. As I was siting under a tree, I saw one cow going down the slope and I had to run after it to bring it back because at the bottom there was a road where trucks carrying sand and rocks from the quarry pass through. As I was running, I slipped and rolled all the way to the road just as a truck was coming and one of the tires went over my foot. I have never been able to walk well since then,” Sapuro recounted about how he injured his foot. Now he cannot walk and it has really impacted his life. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Sapuro receive treatment. On March 15th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure which aims to prevent amputation of his foot should the infection persist. Now, Sapuro's family needs help to fund this $747 procedure. Sapuro says, “I miss walking without support and being able to run around freely.”
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.”