Barry joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Six years ago, Barry joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Barry's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Gianna, a 4 year old girl from Kenya, to fund surgery to help her birth condition so she can grow up stronger.
Barry has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 13 countries.
Barry has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 13 countries.
Meet Gianna, a lovely, four year old girl from Kenya. Gianna lives with her grandmother, while her mother works at a local hotel, and her father is a casual laborer on construction sites. Gianna was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. A child born with this condition has soft bones that break easily. Gianna has never walked, and lives in near constant pain. When she did try to walk using support, she fractured some bones. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Gianna access the care that she needs. On January 16th Gianna will undergo a procedure at AIC Cure International Hospital, that will provide greater support for Gianna's bones, and which may even enable her to gain sufficient strength to walk. Gianna's family is seeking your support to fund the $1,224 needed to pay for the surgery. Gianna's grandmother said: "Gianna has never walked, and my desire is to see her walk like other children. Your financial support to help her undergo surgery will be greatly appreciated."
Kenenitu is a young child from Ethiopia. She is a beautiful baby who loves playing with other children. She developed bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy surgery was done at our medical partner's care center BKMCM. The condition and care has been challenging for Kenenitu and her mother who has been affected psychologically. Kenenitu's mother is a single mom with four children. Her brother stepped in to help raise the children as her husband has left without support. Before giving birth to Kenenitu, her mother used to make injera, an Ethiopian cuisine, for a living. Currently, she is not working. The family received logistical support from an NGO to arrive at the hospital and Kenenitu's mother is staying at another NGO in Addis Ababa for medical follow-up and accommodation. Due to their financial situation, the family cannot afford the medical bills for Kenenitu's treatment. Kenenitu's mother has struggled emotionally with her daughter's condition. She said, "I wondered what was going to happen to her. I used to cry a lot and I was not in my normal mental condition. But when I heard that she could be treated, my hope was restored and I felt better." Kenenitu was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Kenenitu is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on December 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kenenitu's procedure and care. After her recovery, Kenenitu will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Kenenitu's mother said, "After receiving treatment, I hope she will start making stool... I want to take her to school and educate her."
Aung is a six-year-old student from Thailand. He lives with his parents and brother. His mother works at a factory, his father is a homemaker, and his brother goes to school. In his free time, Aung likes to play with his toys and watch cartoon movies on the television. Aung has cataract in his right eye. As a result, he can only see light with that eye, and his eye is very sensitive and irritated. Fortunately, on November 15th, Aung will undergo lens replacement surgery, during which surgeons will remove Aung's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to this surgery for Aung. Aung's mother shared: “We do not have money to treat him ourselves. My son is so lucky to be treated through the help of donors."
Thet is a 35 year old husband and father, who lives with his wife, son and in-laws in Mon State in Burma. Both Thet and his wife work in his uncle's grocery store, while his in laws are farmers. When he isn't working, Thet enjoys spending time with his son and reading. In November 2018, Thet started to experience tiredness when working, and frequent headaches. He also had a rapid heartbeat, and he couldn't sleep well. He went to a hospital in Mawlamyine, where he was referred to a different hospital in Yangon for further treatment. At the hospital in Yangon, Thet was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and stenosis, which would require surgery to correct. Thet was sent home with medications to manage his condition. In March 2022, Thet went back to the hospital in Yangon, because of continuing fatigue, headaches, coughing and fever. The doctor told him they would contact him to schedule his surgery in May, but Thet never heard back from the hospital. When Thet told his neighbor about this, his neighbor gave him the phone number of a heart patient who had been helped by our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Thet followed up, and thanks to the assistance of Burma Children Medical Fund, he is finally scheduled for surgery to replace the valve in his heart on October 13th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Thet needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of this surgery. "I have sold all my jewelry to pay for the cost of traveling to the hospital. I feel less stressed since I met the BCMF staff,” said Thet.
Meet Venesa, a beautiful two year old girl. She was born at home with a swelling at the lower part of her back, and with legs that were not straight like other babies their family knew. The day after she was born, Venesa's parents took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida and clubfoot. The family was advised to wait until Venesa turned nine months old, before having her undergo the surgery that she needs. Although surgery was deemed urgent, when Venesa was finally old enough, her parents couldn't afford to pay for it. Then, about a year ago, Venesa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Venesa's mom shared that shortly after this last diagnosis, Venesa's father abandoned the family and is not involved in helping support them any more. Venesa's mother used to work at a salon, but after Venesa's birth, she has been unable to work. They are now living with Venesa's grandmother, who does what she can to help. Without surgery for her spina bifida, Venesa risks paralysis of her lower limbs, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Venesa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Venesa from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to experience a strong and healthy life. Venesa’s mother says: “Since she was born, I have no peace knowing that I can’t afford her treatment.”
Naw Ywa is a 29-year-old woman who lives with her husband, sister-in-law, and three nieces in a refugee camp in Thailand. Naw Ywa is a homemaker, and she weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing in her spare time. Her husband also works as a homemaker and cares for his sister, who has a mobility impairment. Naw Ywa's three nieces all currently attend school in the refugee camp. This past March, Naw Ywa began to experience severe pain in her left pelvic area. This pain was accompanied by fatigue, dizziness, and trouble breathing. Although she did seek medical attention at the hospital in the refugee camp, she was only given painkillers, which temporarily alleviated her symptoms. After a few months of repeatedly being readmitted to the hospital without fully treating her condition, a doctor referred Naw Ywa to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital (MSH). On July 6th, she was brought to MSH and received an ultrasound. Her doctor diagnosed her with adenomyosis, a condition that occurs when the tissue that typically lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. She was also diagnosed with a five cm large myoma, which is a tumor that develops in or around the uterus. Her doctor has advised that she undergo a hysterectomy to remove her uterus and alleviate her symptoms. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ywa’s total abdominal hysterectomy. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 17th. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Naw Ywa shares, “Me and my husband want to have children, but we agreed with the doctor’s plan. I do not want to experience this pain anymore, and my husband also does not want to see me in pain.”
Leang is a seven-year-old 2nd grade student. She has one 12-year-old brother. Leang's father is a truck driver and her mother sells soft drinks by their home. At school Leang is good at math and wants to be a math teacher in the future. Four years ago, Leang was in a traffic accident and injured her left hand. She received a month of treatment including skin grafts and wound dressings after the accident at a local hospital. The skin has healed but a contracture formed causing a tightening around her left hand and between fingers. Now it is difficult for her to grasp objects and carry anything with her left hand. When Leang's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 7th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to to use her hand again. Now, she needs help to fund this $477 procedure. Leang's mother says, "I hope her hand heals and she can recover well."
Rose is a seven-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is an only child to her mother, who unfortunately passed away when she was one year old. She is now in the care of her aunt. Her aunt's husband practices farming and grows corn, sorghum, and potatoes. Rose had not been enrolled in school prior to this year due to her aunt's concerns about her condition, but she is now enrolled in kindergarten. Rose has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition where the foot is twisted out of shape. When she was three, her aunt noticed that she would fall every time she walked and that her legs seemed to be weakening. Rose currently experiences difficulty walking, playing, and carrying out other daily activities. Fortunately, Rose and her family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Rose's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Rose’s aunt shares, “...I would love to get her condition corrected, but I have no means.”
Meet Maripet, a 9 year-old-girl, living with her parents and two siblings. Her father is a farmer, while her mother stays home to look after the children. In August of last year, Maripet began experiencing persistent, severe headaches. Her parents brought her to a local hospital, where she was prescribed medication, and sent home. When her headaches didn't improve, her parents brought her to a second hospital, where she was given additional medication and sent home, once again. Her family tried traditional medicine, but nothing worked. When Maripet's headaches continued, her parents brought her back to the first hospital they had visited, and this time, brain scans were performed. Maripet's family was immediately referred to our BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, but without funds for her care they had to delay for visit for one month. During that time, Maripet lost her ability to walk and to move her head, and she also lost her eyesight for a few days. She is now in a wheelchair. When she arrived to BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, Maripet was examined and booked for immediate surgery to remove a brain tumor. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help make sure she can finally access the treatment she needs. They are seeking $1,500 to fund Maripet's surgery and medical care. Maripet’s mother says: “I’m very much worried about my daughter's condition. I just pray and hope that she will be fine.”
Robert is a 16-year-old teenager who is a sociable and talkative boy with five siblings. Robert enjoys helping his parents with their work. Their family lives a nomadic life, herding his father's cattle. During the dry season, Robert can spend two to three months away from home, walking long distances with his cattle, in search of pastureland and water. However, walking has gotten more difficult for Robert now. He was diagnosed with left genu valgus and right genu varus. His left leg bends inward at the knee, while the right leg bends outward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by excessive fluoride in contaminated drinking water. As a result of his condition, walking is exhausting and painful, and he has stopped taking his father's cattle out to graze. While he is scheduled for surgery to help correct his legs, his parents cannot afford the treatment cost, and are asking for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $880 to fund Robert's corrective surgery. It is hoped that this procedure, which is scheduled for May 13th, will restore Robert's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Robert says: “Staying at home all day without participating in daily life is very boring and it makes me feel bad, because I cannot work and help.”
Catherine works hard to care for her two children. She currently lives with her partner who works different part-time jobs to help make ends meet for their family. A month ago, Catherine began experiencing abdominal pain. She got checked at her local health center and was advised to undergo an ultrasound. The test showed that she is suffering from Cholecystolithiasis, a condition where there are one or more gallstones in her gallbladder. Their family already finds it hard to sustain their day-to-day needs, so didn't know where to find the money for her needed surgery. Fortunately, a health center worker knew about our partner care facility, the Our Lady of Peace Hospital, and was able to reach out to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for support. Catherine is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 7th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of Catherine's procedure and care. After her recovery, Catherine will no longer experience severe abdominal pain or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. “My maintenance medicine costs more than our daily meal budget. I’m grateful to WSFP and WATSI for helping us. Aside from the fact that I’ll be free from pain, I can now take good care of my children,” she shared.
Lionel is a charming five-month-old baby from Colombia. He was born near the northern coast and his parents are from Venezuela. After he was born, they moved to Medellin due to his father's job. Lionel was born with clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes as he grows older. Fortunately, Lionel's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel where they can offer life-changing treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 22nd. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Lionel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to learn how to walk and live a fully active life ahead. His father said: "I hope my little champion can get his surgery, I pray for his wellbeing. I just want his feet to be normal and hope to see him walking like any other child."