Domna joined Watsi on November 11th, 2015. Eight years ago, Domna joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Domna's most recent donation supported Joyce, a 52 year old farmer from Kenya, to fund a thyroidectomy to treat her thyroid cancer.
Domna has funded healthcare for 97 patients in 12 countries.
Domna has funded healthcare for 97 patients in 12 countries.
Joyce is a 52 year old, small-scale farmer. She relies on the proceeds from her small farm, and from the milk that she sells from the one cow that she and her husband own. Her husband is also a farmer, and together, they have five adult children. In October 2017, Joyce began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain in her neck - especially during swallowing - and difficulty in breathing. She went to a nearby health facility, and underwent several surgical procedures on her thyroid and esophagus, but her condition did not improve. In May of this year, Joyce presented at Kijabe Hospital with progressive difficulty in breathing. After she was evaluated and scans were done, Joyce was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. While she has an excellent prognosis, Joyce needs to be treated quickly, to prevent the cancer from spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Joyce access the care that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on September 20th, at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of Joyce's thyroid gland. This operation will cost $949, and she and her family need help raising money. Joyce says, “I am almost losing my voice. I have been through several hospitals seeking treatment. This cancer is threatening my life.”
Miheretu is a sweet nine month old boy, who loves to play with his mother and other children. Miheretu's father works as a day laborer, while his mother stays at home to care for their children. Sadly, the family's income is insufficient to supply adequate food for the children, leaving Miheretu nutritionally deprived. Due to the concerns of his doctors, Miheretu underwent a colostomy for what was determined to be Hirschsprung's Disease. This is a condition that is present at birth, in which the baby's colon is missing necessary nerve cells. Without these cells, the muscles of Miheretu's gut cannot move contents through his colon, which can result in the contents backing up and causing a bowel blockage. After the colostomy, Miheretu's parents brought him back home, as they were unable to pay for the additional medical care that he needs. Thanks to the intervention of a local charitable organization, Miheretu was brought to BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre, where on January 5th, doctors from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will perform a Hirschsprung Pull Through. During this procedure, doctors will remove the damaged section of Miheretu's colon, which will alleviate the bowel obstruction, and allow for normal colon function. Miheretu's parents cannot afford the $1,500 cost of the surgery, and are looking to you for help. Miheretu's mother says: “If my child gets the surgery and recovers, I will give thanks to God in front of all church members and tell my testimony. I will take care of him to the best of my capacity. I want him to get an education and to get married one day.”
Saw Kyaw is a 25-year-old man living in Thailand. He currently lives with his older sister, younger sister, mother and her niece. He moved from Burma to Thailand for job opportunities three years ago. He was working in a shop and was able to support two younger siblings who are studying in Karen State in Burma. Around the end of July, he was playing football with friends when he slipped trying to kick the ball. His lower right leg was very painful, but he was still able to bear weight lightly on that leg. At the time, Saw Kyaw didn’t have health insurance, so he went to a clinic instead of the hospital. There they examined his leg, gave him some medication for the pain and advised him to go to the hospital for an X-ray if the pain persisted. Saw Kyaw rested for two days and then went back to work. That day at work, Saw Kyaw was carrying a heavy load when he slipped again. This time, the pain was severe, and he was unable to stand on his right leg. He went to a hospital in Bangkok where they X-rayed his lower right leg and told him that the tibia was fractured. The doctor recommended surgery where they would use a metal rod to connect the bones and set them in the correct position to heal. Saw Kyaw was told that the surgery would cost between 40,000 to 50,000 baht (approx. 1,330- 1,660 USD). He told them that he did not have insurance and was unable to afford the surgery, so they gave him pain medication and bandaged up his leg. He returned to the hospital three times and each time the doctor recommended surgery, but Kyaw was unable to figure out how he could get that kind of money. His employer was not helpful and refused to assist with the cost of the surgery. Since Saw Kyaw didn’t have the money, he decided to just rest and see whether the bones would heal on their own. Saw Kyaw recalled that he had fractured his femur when he was young, and he had used a traditional medicated oil to help heal the injury. He hoped that he could use this on his new fracture. But now he cannot walk properly and cannot work since his accident. He is stressed about his condition and his future. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Kyaw will finally undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for December 7th and will cost $1,500. He will able to go back to work after surgery Saw Kyaw said, “I would like to go back to Bangkok and find work again so I can go back to helping my family; my siblings who are studying in Burma, and also my mother who is getting older. I also want to save some money for my future. I will not work at the same place though as they have not been kind or caring since I had the accident.”
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Mark is a primary school student in a special need school in Nairobi. Mark wears a broad smile and is feeling proud to take his photo and share his story. Mark is the firstborn in a family of two children. Mark's parents are both hawkers at a local market in Githurai. His father sells second-hand shoes famously known as Mitumba and his mother sells t-shirts at the same market. This work results in inconsistent income for their family. Mark has a fracture and dislocation of the shoulder joint and the upper part of the bone of the arm (humerus). As a result of his disability, Mark is unable to communicate the cause of the injury, but his mother suspects he fell a couple weeks ago and injured himself. Mark is unable to use his arm and hand as a result of the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 5th, Mark will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mark's family raise $1,500 to fund this procedure. Mark's mother shared, “Mark is struggling to use his hand. He is in constant pain and it is written all over his face. Normally, he is a jovial kid but the pain is making him frown constantly.”
Chaw is 20-year-old who lives with his parents and three younger sister in a refugee camp. Chaw's sisters go to school, his mother is a homemaker and his father and brother work as agricultural day labourers. Chaw's brother lives on his employer's land and sends the family what money he can every month. After his accident, Chaw stopped working on the same farm as his brother. In his free time, before his accident, Chaw liked to play football with his friends and visit with them. In 2020, Chaw was carrying corn to the peeling machine where he worked and he slipped and hit his left lower leg against the fan of the machine. Chaw was in a great deal of pain and was brought to the hospital. Chaw was told that his left lower leg was broken, and underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his leg. This past January, Chaw noticed a mass on his left lower leg, where he had received surgery. The mass was very painful and felt hot to the touch. Over time, the mass increased in size until his whole lower left leg became swollen. Although he received surgery to remove the mass, Chaw's leg never fully healed. Eventually he was diagnosed with osteomyelitis and was told the steel rod in his leg would need to be replaced. Chaw is in a lot of pain and his lower left leg continues to be swollen and red. He cannot sleep well and needs crutches and assistance to move around. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Chaw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 6th and BCMF is raising $1,500 to cover the cost of this life-changing procedure that will help Chaw walk free of pain. Chaw shared, “I am happy that I will receive surgery with the help of the organisation [Burma Children Medical Fund] and I am thankful to all of the donors. In the future I want to get better quickly. I will find a new job and support my family.”
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!"
Naw Eh is a 32-year-old woman who lives with her parents, her husband, and her children in a refugee camp. She supports her family by caring for her children and managing their home. Her husband is currently unemployed. Three of her children are enrolled in primary school, but her fourth child is too young to attend. During her free time, Naw Eh enjoys sewing clothes. Naw Eh is currently expecting a new baby and her doctors recommend that she undergoes a caesarean section to deliver her child because she is already 40 weeks pregnant and her baby is still in the wrong position, laying horizontally instead of vertically. With a C-section, doctors will be able to ensure the safety of both Naw Eh and her baby during the delivery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Naw Eh undergo a C-Section on July 7th. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Naw Eh's family needs your support to help fund her care. Naw Eh shares, “In the future, I will search for a job in the refugee camp, and I will also take good care of my children.”
Meet Emmanuel, a 9-year-old boy, living with his mother and four siblings in a small town in rural Kenya. Emmanuel's mother is a single parent, who works daily jobs like helping with laundry in an effort to support her children. Despite her hard work, the family's neighbors step in at times to make certain the children are fed, as Emmanuel's mother shared that she doesn't always have enough money for food. On Saturday evening, Emmanuel was brought to Kapsowar Hospital, after being hit by a speeding car. An X-ray confirmed that Emmanuel's left femur was fractured. He was admitted to the children's ward, and his leg was placed in traction until he can undergo surgery to repair the fracture. In the meantime, Emmanuel is in pain, and he cannot use his left leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 7th, Emmanuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,145 to fund Emmanuel's surgery, which will enable him to walk easily again, and to resume the life of enjoying being a 9 year old. Emmanuel's mother says: “I am going through so many struggles. I have a one-year-old baby at home. I am unable to take care of her as I am at the hospital. My hope is to see Emmanuel treated so that I can take care of him at home with his siblings.”
Ko Kyaw lives with his wife and two daughters in the border region of Tak Province in Thailand. He is a homemaker while his wife works as a day laborer. He plans to send his older daughter to a Thai school in the new school year, but his younger daughter is still too young to go to school. In early 2021, Kyaw was still living in his village in Myawaddy Township in Burma but it has been a very challenging time for his community ever since the military coup. He and his wife were injured in an emergency involving the local soldiers who came to their area. Luckily other villagers came to their rescue and Kyaw was treated for fractures on both his upper and lower leg, where a metal rod was inserted to help him heal. Now the bone in his thigh is misshapen and doctors have diagnosed osteomyelitis (infected bone). His doctor told him that in order to heal, he would need to have the metal rods replaced in both his upper and lower leg. Currently, Kyaw’s left leg is in a lot of pain. He can only bend his leg slightly and needs to use crutches to get around. With his leg in pain, Ko Kyaw spends most of his time helping out with household chores he can do and teaching his oldest daughter how to read and write in Burmese. He feels frustrated that since his leg was broken, he cannot support his family. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping to pay the cost of his treatment and is raising $1500 to cover his surgery, which will take place on May 10th. “I feel upset that I cannot support my family as the head of the house,” he said. “We only have my wife’s income. We do not have our own house to live in. I want to say a lot of things but I cannot express what I want to say. I never thought that I would lose my house, my possessions and that my leg would be in pain.”
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Lani is a 61-year old widow who lives with her daughter in the Philippines. Her daughter works as part of a fast-food restaurant crew and is their sole source of income. Lani has been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. Because of her financial situation, even though she experienced shooting pains in her stomach, she saw a doctor only after a year, when the pain already extended to her back. Eventually, her condition got severe to the point that she could no longer stand up and walk due to her worsening symptoms. Now, if left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Lani is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Lani will no longer experience severe pain in her abdomen or other complications in the future. She shared, "I have had this disease for a long time, but I have been putting up with the pain for far too long because I really cannot afford medical treatment," Lani added, "I am eternally grateful to the World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for being able to provide assistance to individuals like me who simply cannot afford the procedures."