Elizabeth joined Watsi on May 11th, 2015. Two years ago, Elizabeth joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Elizabeth's most recent donation supported Dawentz, a teenage student from Haiti, to fund cardiac surgery to replace his damaged heart valve.
Elizabeth has funded healthcare for 30 patients in 8 countries.
Elizabeth has funded healthcare for 30 patients in 8 countries.
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."
Son is a 21-year-old mother of two. She and her husband have two sons - one is four years old and the other is one year old. Both she and her husband are construction workers. When not working outside on construction sites, she is a busy mother caring and cooking for her active children. Four months ago, on the way home from work, Son was in a motor vehicle collision. She injured her left shoulder and received a hard blow to the face, fracturing her left orbital bones. Her family took her to a government hospital to repair the bones surrounding her eye. The traumatic injury also damaged the muscle and nerve function of her shoulder, which was not repaired. This is a devastating injury for their young family, as it can cause a significant loss of function and ability to perform tasks of daily living. Son has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her left 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. She has pain and is unable to lift her left arm. She cannot work in construction or manage her household, which has also been very hard for her husband. Son 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 October 17th, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, she hopes that her arm will be functional and she can work, do housework, and care for her children. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. She says: "After surgery, I hope I can use my left arm. This treatment will help me in the future to return to work."
Margaret is a single mother of two children. She moved from Uganda to Kenya in search of a better livelihood. She works as a house help in Loresho area in Nairobi and lives in a one-room rental house costing about $35 a month. She has an immigrant identification card and cannot get national health insurance coverage within Kenya. Since two months ago, Margaret has been experiencing lower abdominal pains. She visited a nearby health facility and was treated for typhoid and ulcers. The pain did not end and she could feel a painful lump on her abdomen. She was forced to go back for a checkup and advised to visit Kijabe Hospital for a cancer review. Early this month a biopsy was ordered and results revealed a vaginal mass and squamous cell carcinoma. She urgently needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1260 to fund Margaret's surgery. On September 22nd, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Margaret will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Margaret says, “This news is tough but I am determined to battle the cancer.”
Rodjana is a creative three-year-old girl from Haiti who lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital city, with her parents and three older siblings. She currently attends preschool and enjoys drawings and making crafts. Rodjana has several cardiac conditions. She has a heart valve that does not adequately allow blood to be pumped through her body, as well as a hole between two blood vessels near her heart. Fortunately, Rodjana will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive cardiac treatment on September 7th. There, surgeons will repair the faulty valve and close the hole near her heart. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by Haiti Cardiac Alliance. Rodjana's family needs help raising the remaining $1,500, which covers labs, medication, and travel costs. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Rodjana's mother says, "I am hopeful that after this surgery, my daughter will be able to play normally and be more active."
Esther is an adorable two-year-old girl from Kenya who is the only child in her family. Her father used to work in a shop, but he unfortunately lost his job over three months ago. Her mother sells shoes in a local town center to help support their family. When she was seven months old, Esther began experiencing severe constipation, even going two weeks without passing stool. Her worried parents took her to four different hospitals and received different types of medication, which were all ineffective. Fortunately, one of her aunts heard about her condition and referred her to our medical partner's care center, Bethanykids Kijabe Hospital. At the hospital, Esther was examined and diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition that causes difficulty passing stool. She began treatment immediately and eventually underwent several surgeries to rectify her condition. These procedures were all funded by her family's insurance. One of the surgeries Esther underwent was a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Esther's case, her colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. However, her family is unable to fund this needed surgery, as their insurance rejected their funding request due to a depletion of funds. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is helping Esther receive treatment. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 25th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. AMHF is requesting $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Esther. Esther’s mother says, “As a family, we have gone through a lot with our daughter, but we are grateful to God that the treatment is almost over.”
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.”
Prince is a 5-year-old and the youngest of three children. His father works at a construction site to help provide income for his family. In early February, Prince was on the school bus when the bus ran into a nearby shop. Prince was trapped between seats and became injured. He was rushed to a nearby health facility for first aid and underwent surgery. Two weeks later, he was referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for review. Prince then underwent a debridement and skin graft procedure in mid-February. Currently, Prince cannot walk and attend school, which is affecting his ability to move up in grades this year. Prince’s first two surgeries were paid for using his parent’s medical coverage, but the medical insurer turned down the current request for the surgery Prince needs to heal. Prince’s family shared that their trips to the hospital have exhausted their savings. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Prince receive treatment. On May 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. This surgery will address any risks of infection so that Prince’s leg can heal and he can walk again and resume his studies. AMH is requesting $1,185 to help to fund this procedure. Prince’s father said, “Prince has missed school since February. He was supposed to graduate to grade one, but due to the injuries, he did not. He needs this surgery so that he can be able to walk again.”
Alex is a student and is a very ambitious and active teenager from Kiambu, Kenya. He is the only child of a single mother, who is a hawker of different items. He is in high school and his mother shared that he has a passion for football and running. After schools were closed in March, Alex decided to go and visit his aunt who lives near Nazareth Hospital. Being playful as he is, he took a bicycle from his aunts’ house and decided to have a ride on last Saturday. Unfortunately, while riding, he tried to avoid a collision and he fell. He sustained an injury to his left hand. Now Alex is in pain, unable to use his hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 12th, Alex will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Alex's fracture will heal, he will be able to use his hand and also resume school. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I am feeling for my son, and hope he could receive the sponsorship so that he can be well before the school opens,” said Alex’s mother.
Evaline is a nine-month-old baby girl, who is the youngest of two in her family. Evaline and her parents come from a Maasai community, who are largely livestock keepers. They mostly live in remote regions where they can find water and pasture for their livestock. Living in such an environment makes it difficult to access healthcare, so it is common that mothers neither go to a clinic during pregnancy nor deliver at a hospital. Most mothers deliver at home with the help of midwives. Evaline was born with clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Evaline's parents traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons performed clubfoot repair surgery on March 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Evaline's clubfoot repair. After treatment and recovery, she can learn to walk, run, and play like other children when the time comes. This will be especially helpful when she is school age and needs to walk longer distances to attend school,\. Evaline’s mother says, "Help my daughter, it hurts seeing her foot like this."
Soro is an 18-year-old who works as a rice and vegetable farmer. He also has an older sister. In this free time, Soro enjoys playing football, going out with his friends, and listening to music. In January, when Soro was traveling, he was assaulted and stabbed on the left side of his neck. He went to a local hospital, where doctors cleaned and closed the wound. However, he has not regained movement in his left arm since returning home. Doctors diagnosed his condition as a brachial plexus injury on his left 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 a loss of function and sensation. Currently, Soro cannot lift his arm, which means he is unable to work. Soro traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment, as CSC's care center is the only center in the country that provides the surgery he needs to heal. On February 15th, Soro will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery. Upon recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. CSC is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Soro says," After surgery, I hope I can return to work and be free of pain."
Ravuth is a bright student in the 4th grade. He's the youngest in his family and has three older siblings. When not studying, Ravuth likes to play football, watch TV and play games with his friends from school. Six weeks ago, Ravuth had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Ravuth now experiences ear discharge, pain, fevers, and hearing loss. It is difficult to listen and he feels shy because he doesn't understand the conversation. He has frequently been absent from class and his mother is worried that he might be held back in school. Ravuth's family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 18th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Ravuth said: "I hope my hearing will improve and I can go back to school!"
Daniel is a two-year-old from Tanzania. Daniel’s father is a tailor and his mother is a stay at home mother. Their family does not earn enough to be able to afford Daniel’s needed treatment which will allow him to be able to walk without difficulty. If not treated Daniel will continue to have challenges when walking. Daniel was diagnosed with genu varus where his legs bow outward 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. As a result, he feels pain after walking for a while. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Daniel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 3rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Daniel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Daniel’s mother says, “Please help my son get this treatment so that he can be able to walk.”