Zane joined Watsi on March 8th, 2021. One year ago, Zane joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Zane's most recent donation supported Ramal, a beloved newborn from Kenya, to fund hydrocephalus surgery.
Zane has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 9 countries.
Zane has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 9 countries.
Ramal is a 5-month-old baby from Kenya and the only child in his family. His parents separated before he was born. Ramal lives with his mother and great-grandparents. Ramal’s great-grandmother works jobs on people’s farms to earn a living, while his mother does laundry and also works casual jobs to provide for the family. Ramal’s family does not have NHIF coverage and needs assistance raising the required amount for Ramal’s hospital bills. Ramal was born two months early at seven months of pregnancy and was admitted to the nursery for two months. While in the nursery, the doctors noticed his head increasing in size, and upon close examination, he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. When he was discharged, the doctors referred the family to another hospital in their home county for treatment. His mother gathered some funds and took him to the hospital, where he was booked for clinics and waited for surgery. This continued for a few months until a doctor referred them to our medical partner’s care center for treatment. Once arrived, an urgent shunt insertion surgery was scheduled. Ramal has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result, Ramal has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Ramal will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Ramal to treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 15th and will drain the excess fluid from Ramal’s brain, thus reducing intracranial pressure and greatly improving his quality of life. With proper treatment, Ramal will develop into a strong, healthy young boy as he grows. Ramal’s mother said, “This condition is something that we have never seen before. This made us worried for Ramal’s health.”
Meet Pati, a 16-year-old student from Burma. Pati helps his family on the farm and loves to listen to music in his free time. Pati was born with club foot in his left foot that impacts his mobility. Doctors want Pati to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will help doctors with diagnosis and formulating an appropriate treatment plan. Pati is scheduled to undergo a CT scan on April 11th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $469 to cover the cost of Pati's CT scan and care. Sharing about the challenges he has experienced, Pati said: "I always try to encourage myself, though. I feel happy to receive help from you. After I get treated, I want to study and work in Thailand. In the future, I dream about becoming a businessman.”
Meet Ku, a 21-year-old from Thailand. He lives with his parents, four younger brothers, and one younger sister. Two of his brothers are in school, while his parents and other siblings practice subsistence farming. Ku works as a day laborer, providing the sole income for his household. In his free time, Ku enjoys gardening, growing vegetables, and looking after his family's two cows. In March, Ku was in a driving accident that caused his motorcycle to fall onto his left leg, fracturing his left thigh. He was brought to a clinic before being referred to the local hospital. After an x-ray confirmed his diagnosis, he was referred to our medical partner's hospital for further treatment. Currently, Ku is experiencing a lot of pain and cannot move or lift his left leg, sit up, or leave the hospital bed. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery on March 13th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. This procedure will help him walk again and live pain-free. He will also be able to go back to work and will no longer require a caregiver. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Ku's surgery. Ku shared, "I feel so upset. I never thought I would become like this [bed-bound]. I want to get surgery soon so that I can recover and go back to work. If I'm not working, my family could have a problem. I had to borrow money from my friend [to pay for basic expenses while getting treatment]. I want to go back to work and pay back my debt."
Mwandu is a 5-year-old girl — the first born and the only child in her family. She lives with her parents in a small town called Msevya in the northwestern side of Tanzania. Her parents are subsistence farmers who rely on agriculture for food and money. Inflation has negatively affected their source of livelihood. As small-scale farmers, managing their crops has been more costly than purchasing crops from the market. One day when Mwandu was young, she was playing inside the house while her parents were working on the farm. Her mother had set a pot on the stove to prepare tea. Mwandu walked close to the stove and pulled the pot with her bare hands. Hot tea spilled on her arm and the right side of her body. She got burnt on her arm and armpit. Now burn contractures have developed, tightening the skin around her burn, limiting her arm extension and involvement in day-to-day activities. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mwandu receive treatment. On March 3rd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her increase extension of her right arm and allow her fully enjoy her childhood and school activities. Now, she needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Mwandu’s father says, “I hope she gets better because she will be starting school soon.”
Daw Khin is a widow who lives with her three children in Yangon, Burma. She now stays at home and her elder son is often sick and unable to work. Her younger son is a day laborer, and her youngest daughter is a salesperson. The income they earn is only enough for daily expenses, and there is no extra money for basic healthcare. In March, Daw Khin began experiencing blurry vision and difficulty seeing clearly with her left eye. Despite the absence of pain or discharge from both eyes, she could not seek medical attention due to financial constraints. As her vision deteriorated, she acquired some funds from her children and visited an ophthalmologist at KBC Hospital on June 5th. The doctor diagnosed her with glaucoma in both eyes and emphasized the urgent need for eye surgery in her left eye to prevent blindness. Fortunately, Daw Khin contacted a monk from Kyaung Gyi Parahita Monastery in Yangon, who referred her to the Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now, Daw Khin seeks assistance to raise the required $769 for the procedure, significantly improving her quality of life and restoring her confidence. Currently, she cannot read books, watch TV, or walk alone as she cannot see her surroundings. She and her family are apprehensive about her eye condition and are afraid of her becoming blind and depressed about not having enough money for further treatment. Daw Khin said, "I am thankful for the support from donors and BCMF for my eye operation's cost. If there is no BCMF and donors, I will be blinded, and there is no hope for me to regain my vision. I can't thank you enough for helping me, and I pray the organization will be more successful in the future."
Elenita is a 60-year-old woman from Philippines. She previously worked as a Registered Midwife but lost her job during the pandemic's peak. She's now reliant on her four children for her daily basic needs. In January, Elenita began to experience troubling symptoms, including lower back pain that's radiating down to her lower extremities. She sought a medical checkup and was told to have an ultrasound and CT scan. The tests revealed that she was suffering from gallstones. These are small stones that are usually made of cholesterol that causes inflammation of the gallbladder. Elenita has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Elenita is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on February 17th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Elenita's surgery and care. Elenita shared, "Thank you, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! You are such a blessing and I will never forget how you save my life. If in the future you will need my service as a midwife, I'm more than willing to help out."
Berlando is a 4-month-old baby boy from Haiti. He is the only child of a single young mother. Berlando 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, Berlando has been experiencing Increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Berlando will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Berlando at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on January 26th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Berlando's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Berlando will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. His mother is looking forward to him being able to go to school and play with other children as he grows older.
Helen is a young student from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; she is in first grade and likes her math and reading classes. Helen has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to be oxygenated, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that Helen needs is not available anywhere in Haiti, so she will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On May 22, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in her heart to close it. Another organization, HeartGift Foundation, is contributing $14,000 to pay for surgery. Helen'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 passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Helen's family overseas. Helen's father said: "Our family is all very excited and hopeful to know that our daughter's heart can be fixed soon!"
Akram is a cute, curious 3-year-old from Tanzania. His mother is the family’s sole provider and works as a vendor at a local market, selling vegetables and fruits. Currently, Akram and his mother live in town to help save on living costs as he receives medical treatment, while his three siblings live with their grandmother in the village. Akram was diagnosed with bilateral genus varus, a condition in which his legs bow outwards so that his knees do not touch. 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 (AMH), is helping Akram receive treatment. On January 6th, he will undergo surgery that will restore his mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund this procedure. Akram’s mother shared: “As a single mother struggling to provide for my children, Akram’s condition has been weighing on me.”
Dennis is the first born in a family of four children. When he finished high school, he was reluctant to join college because of his condition. He currently is not able to work because he gets easily tired and cannot carry heavy loads. He joined college just recently but has been out of school for the past two months. Now that he is at home, he helps his mother who picks tea for a living. He does not have a health insurance coverage and cannot raise the required amount of money to cater for his hospital bill. In 2019 while he was sitting for his national school exams, Dennis experienced sharp pain in his esophagus. He took a glass of water, and the pain went away for a few weeks. The pain used to occur roughly two times in a month and a glass of water would help a lot. Late last year, the pain worsened. He was not in a position to swallow food. He went to a herbalist and was given some medication to use for some time. When the dose was over, the pain was still persistent, and he still could not swallow food normally. He was then referred to Kijabe Hospital by a friend where he was examined and given some medication to use. He didn't feel better and decided to go back to the herbalist for different medication but there was no change. Later he finally returned to Kijabe Hospital and scans and tests revealed that he has Achalasia. He is scheduled for a heller's myotomy which is a curative laparotomy surgery for his condition. Now he needs $1,074 to pay for the surgery. Dennis says, "I feel very sad. If I was healthy, I would be able to work well and be comfortable with myself.”
Hoeung is a 64-year-old retired rice farmer from Cambodia. He is married and has two sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren. He lives with his wife, and has retired from rice farming due to poor vision. At home, he enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. Seven years ago, Hoeung developed a pterygium in his right eye. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. He experiences itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. He also has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Hoeung learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On November 15th, surgeons at CSC will remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. Now, he needs help raising $225 to fund his procedure, medications, supplies and inpatient care for two days. Hoeung shared, "I hope after surgery my eye can feel comfortable, and I can go outside again."
Sov is a 72-year-old widower from Takeo province. He has one son, six daughters, and twenty grandchildren. He lives alone after his wife passed away 40 years ago. His children help support him through their work at local garment factories. At home, he enjoys listening to monks pray on the radio, and joining ceremonies at his local pagoda. Two years ago, Sov developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him blurry vision and a cloudy lens. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on his own. When Sov learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for 4.5 hours seeking treatment. On January 5th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and implant a new lens in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Sov said, "I hope after surgery I can see more clearly, so I can recognize faces and join ceremonies at the pagoda in my village."