Hong joined Watsi on August 8th, 2013. Eight years ago, Hong joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Hong's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Emmanuel, a hardworking student from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery and chase after his dreams.
Hong has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 12 countries.
Hong has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 12 countries.
Emmanuel, who is 19 years old, is the third born in a family of five children. He lives in Kansau village in Kenya. While Emmanuel was healthy at birth, when he was four or five years old, he began to experience convulsions. His parents brought him to Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was diagnosed with hemiplegic CP, a condition where the brain has been impacted and results in the paralysis of one side of the body. In addition, Emmanuel has clubfoot of his left foot, which makes it difficult for him to wear shoes and to walk easily. Fortunately, Emmanuel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily, and to resume his vocational studies classes at Machakos School, which he so enjoys. Emmanuel said: “I would love to see my foot corrected so that I can continue with my studies and start my business in the future.”
Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”
Meet Katweensly, a 16 year old student, living with her mother and siblings in a small town in Haiti, near the border with the Dominican Republic. Katweensly, who is a junior in high school, particularly enjoys her math and science classes. As a young child, Katweensly suffered a bout of rheumatic fever, which damaged one of the four valves in her heart. As a result, her heart cannot pump blood efficiently through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Thanks to the help of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Katweensly is scheduled to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery, which is scheduled for November 10th, at Hospital CEDIMAT. There, doctors will first try to repair the damaged valve. If they are unable to do this, they will implant an artificial valve. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is helping supporting the cost of the surgery, but Katweensly's family needs an additional $1,500 to pay for lab tests, medicines, and follow up appointments that are a part of her overall treatment. In addition, support will help cover the travel costs and ensure a social worker from Haiti Cardiac Alliance can support the family during treatment in the Dominican Republic. Katweensly said: "I am feeling very happy to finally have the chance to have my heart repaired after waiting for so long."
Vanna is a 38-year-old former construction worker from Cambodia. He is married and has a five-year-old son who has just started public school. His wife works in a local lamp factory. He enjoys reading the news, fishing, and playing football with friends In July of 2021, Vanna was in a motor vehicle accident in which he suffered loss of consciousness, trauma/paralysis to his right shoulder, and a fractured humerus. He had a fracture repair of his humerus done, and spent over a month in hospital. But he has also been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Vanna has no movement of his right shoulder due to trapezius nerve damage and cannot bend his elbow or move his fingers. He is unable to work to support his young family and is in chronic pain. Vanna traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On September 29th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to use his shoulder and arm again to find a job in construction. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Vanna said: "After surgery, I hope my right shoulder will have movement, I have no pain, and can work for my family again."
Dibora is a smiley and playful 13-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a housewife. She has three older siblings and loves to eat and to play with her family. Dibora was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Due to her condition, she developed a bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy procedure was performed. She has had a number of complications due to this procedure, and requires an additional procedure to correct her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dibora receive treatment. On September 8th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After her recovery, Dibora will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Dibora's mother shared, "Once Dibora has recovered and is healed of this condition, I want to take care of her and her siblings well."
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.
Chrismarlie is a 13-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a city on the northern coast of Haiti. Her father is a school administrator, and her mother is a homemaker. Chrismarlie shared that she enjoys going to school and listening to music with her friends. Chrismarlie has a cardiac condition called pulmonic stenosis, which means one of her heart valves is too tight, making it difficult for blood to pass through and leading to heart failure. The surgery that she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, Chrismarlie will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which the surgeons will widen the heart valve so that blood can flow through it more easily. Chrismarlie's family is raising funds to cover the costs of her surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing funds to help cover the cost of surgery. The $1,500 will support her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-ups and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Chrismarlie and her family overseas. Chrismarlie said, "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart problem!"
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!"
Debora is a young student and the last-born child to a single mother of two. She is charming and friendly. Her father left her family when Debora was very young. Debora’s mother has worked hard to raise her two children by herself ever since. She practices small-scale farming and grows bananas, maize, beans, and other vegetables as food for her children and to sell to others for money. Debora has clubfoot on her right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Debora and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Debora's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily when she heads back to school. Debora’s mother shared, “I have watched my daughter turn from a normal child to a disabled child and all because I cannot afford her treatment cost. Please help.”
Elibariki is a playful and friends 10-year-old boy. He is the third born child in a family of five children. Elibariki has not started school yet because his parents shared that he cannot walk for a long distance due to his foot. The only school in their village is a long-distance walk for Elibariki and too far for him to manage. Elibariki’s parents are small-scale farmers who depend entirely on their harvest for their food and sell a few of the harvest to get money for other commodities. Elibariki was involved in a fire accident when he was three years old. At home, they have an open fireplace outside their house that serves as a cooking area. His mother had prepared breakfast that morning and there were still a few charcoals burning below the hot ashes. Elibariki and his siblings were playing around the fireplace when Elibariki accidentally stepped into the fire with his left foot. Access to medical care was out of reach for their family, so his parents treated him using herbal medicines. Now he is having difficulty walking. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Elibariki receive treatment. On March 15th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery and he will be able to walk much better and without pain and discomfort. Now, their family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Elibariki’s father says, “We always hoped one day we would find the money to take him to a hospital.”
Debora is an eight-year-old student in the second grade. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Deborah is the youngest of six children in her family, and has a twin sister. The children live with their grandmother and their uncle, while their mother lives in the city. Since she was two years old, Debora has had a swollen area on her neck. Because of this, she has difficulty talking and moving her neck easily. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Debora receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons at AMH will remove the mass. Now, Debora's family needs help raising $724 to fund her procedure and care. Debora shared, "I wish the swelling would disappear. I don’t like it."
Julius is a 44-year-old man with two children. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Julius used to buy old clothes to sell, but the business was so greatly affected by the pandemic that he has had to search for other work to survive. He now takes on labor jobs at construction sites. Julius was in a hit-and-run accident where a driver lost control of the vehicle and hit him while walking along the side path. Julius was thrown over the car and sustained an open fracture on his left leg. As a result, he is experiencing pain and is at risk of developing an infection or malunion, which occurs when a fractured bone heals in an abnormal position. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Julius heal. On February 7th, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure known as an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery, Julius will no longer be in pain, and he will be able to walk and work again. AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Julius shared, “I depend on my legs because, for construction work, you have to climb. However, I thank God I am alive. I kindly request help so that my leg can get well. I can then go back to my hustles and sustain myself."