Brandon joined Watsi on April 7th, 2014. Nine years ago, Brandon joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brandon's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Malaika, a 9-year-old schoolgirl from Haiti, to fund heart surgery allowing her to grow strong.
Brandon has funded healthcare for 108 patients in 13 countries.
Brandon has funded healthcare for 108 patients in 13 countries.
Malaika lives on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in Haiti with her parents and four siblings; she is in the third grade and likes her science and reading classes. She was both with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately for Malaika, doctors at the Clinica Corominas in the Dominican Republic will be able to perform an interventional heart catherization procedure to fix her condition. During the procedure, doctors will insert a catheter into her heart to plug the hole with a device. Now, her family needs $1,500 to help pay the costs of the procedure and travel. Another organization Gift of Life International is also contributing to her life-saving care. Malaika's mother says: "Our family is very hopeful that our daughter will be healthier and happier after her heart is fixed."
Chom is an 84-year-old retired commune chief who enjoys listening to the news and to monks pray on the radio. He has three daughters, four sons, and 20 grandchildren. Since Chom's wife has unfortunately passed, he now lives with his daughter, who is an assistant to the commune chief. One year ago, Chom developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him to experience eye tearing, itchiness, and blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so he is not able to go places on his own. When Chom learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On August 10th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Chom says, "I hope after surgery my eye can see better and I can get around outside easily on my own and visit the pagoda for ceremonies."
Revania is an 8-month-old baby. She is the firstborn and an only child, bringing much joy to her parents. Her parents are trying their best to provide for their baby, but their income is dependent on the unpredictability of agriculture in Tanzania, where they live. Revania has clubfoot of both of her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Revania's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Revania's surgery. After treatment, she will be able to grow up healthy and active. Revania’s mother says, “It was scary at first not knowing how to help my daughter, but I wish she will get better.”
Adonai is a one-month-old baby boy and the last-born child in a family of five children. Adonai's parents are small-scale farmers of maize, vegetables, beans, and a bit of tobacco. Through farming, they can get their food while the tobacco is usually sold to get money to pay for daily necessities. Adonai was diagnosed at birth with a congenital disability of the left clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape causing difficulty in walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $935 to fund Adonai's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Adonai’s father shared, “Things are really tough, and money has become hard to get. I depend on farming which has been very poor this season. Please help treat my son.”
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.”
Zion is an adorable four-month-old baby boy from the Philippines. Despite being so young, Zion loves interacting with people and already responds when his name is called. Zion's mother is a full-time mom, while his father is a contract-of-service worker. Zion's father's income helps to sustain their family's daily needs. In March, Zion's family brought him to the hospital as he has skin tags on his body and they were concerned for his future health and development. This condition can be severe, especially at his age as it may cause discomfort that leads to itching, wounds, and infections. On May 4th, Zion is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Zion's parents raise $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. After recovery, Zion will no longer have multiple skin tags or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. "Once this surgery is done, we don't have to worry about his condition, and we can focus on taking care of Zion," his father shared. "Thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for your help. May you help other people in need like us," he added.
Saw Hsar is a 21-year-old man who lives with his mother, stepfather, and sister in a refugee camp in Hong Son Province. He used to live with his father in Burma, but he moved back to live with his mother in 2018 and hoped to receive treatment for an eye injury. His stepfather is a homemaker, while his mother weaves traditional Karen sarongs to sell. Saw Hsar stopped studying after he graduated from grade four, when he injured his eye. Currently, he is unemployed. In 2018, Saw Hsar began to experience blurry vision, and an inability to clearly see the objects around him. While he is comfortable moving around in his home, he needs someone with him when he leaves home, as he is afraid of tripping over unseen objects in his way, given his increasing inability to see clearly. Saw Hsar was diagnosed with a detached retina, which means that his retina has pulled away from the supporting tissue in his eye. Without the proper treatment, Saw Hsar could completely lose the vision in his eye. Saw Hsar is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach his retina on September 3rd, at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Saw Hsar's procedure and care. After surgery, Saw Hsar's vision will hopefully be restored, and he will be able to resume his daily activities without his current limitations. He said, “I would like to see clearly like before. In the future, I will find a job and earn a living. I want to grow rice or vegetables on a farm, save money and support my family.”
Katelyn is an eight-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the middle child, with her older sibling being 11 years old and her younger sibling being two. Her father previously worked as a butcher in their hometown, but he has since stopped and currently does not have a source of income. Her mother is a homemaker and takes full-time care of the children. They all live together in a rental house. Katelyn was born with an ear condition, which has caused her to experience hearing loss. She eventually had to stop attending school due to her condition. She is currently unable to communicate with others despite her having some speech. Last month, Katelyn's parents took her to Kenyatta National hospital to receive medical care. After undergoing an audiogram scan, it was confirmed that Katelyn has moderate to profound hearing loss. Her doctor recommends that she receive hearing aids since this would help with her hearing and likely her speech as well. However, her family is not able to pay for them due to financial constraints. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Katelyn receive treatment on August 5th. Now, Katelyn's family needs help funding these $1,171 life-changing hearing aids. Katelyn's mother shares, “We didn’t know that she could not speak because she is unable to hear! Doctors have said that it’s possible for her to both hear and speak if she gets the aids.”
Rose is a retried woman who used to work as a junior officer at the county government in Machakos in Kenya. Her husband is also retired, and they both now spend their time farming at their ancestral home to provide food for their family. Together, they have one daughter who is currently attending secondary school. Their family does not have a stable source of income. Rose was involved in a motorbike accident two weeks ago, and she was rushed to a nearby facility. There, she was treated for pain and discharged, but she later developed a blister on her right leg which burst and worsened into a wound. After attempting to clean the wound at home with no improvement, one of Rose's relatives advised her to visit Kijabe Hospital. On June 21st, she visited the facility and underwent two debridement surgeries where they removed damaged and infected tissue in her leg. However, her wound still needs care, as well as skin graft surgery. Due to financial constraints, Rose has not been able to pay for her medical coverage since she retired. She accrued a bill that she has been unable to clear, and as a result, she cannot afford her third procedure. Rose currently experiences pain due to her injury, and she is unable to use her right leg or walk. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Rose receive treatment. On July 4th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to get rid of the infection and help her walk again. Now, Rose needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Rose shares, “I haven’t been able to walk since the accident. The leg was so swollen and infected. I am scared I might lose my leg if not treated.”
Faith is a 12-year-old student from Kenya. Her father is a farmer, while her mother works hard to raise their family and care for their home. Faith is the only girl and the second-oldest in her family of four. She is in fourth grade and likes reading and playing with friends. She has a big heart and hopes to one day become a surgeon to help children who are neglected because of their medical conditions. Faith has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition where the foot is twisted out of shape. This condition makes it difficult for Faith to walk or to even wear shoes. Fortunately, Faith and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons are scheduled to perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Faith's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she should be able to put on shoes and walk well at home and school. Her self-esteem also will improve, and she'll be able to continue with her studies and hopefully achieve her dream career of becoming a surgeon. Faith's mother said, “I hope to see my daughter walking normally like other children. That’s why I am requesting support to facilitate her surgery."
Poe is a 43-year-old man who lives alone in Bangkok and works as a construction contractor. He supports his wife and son in Burma, but has been unable to work for the past four months since his health deteriorated. Currently, he is getting by on money his friends have given him. Poe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, he has edema (swelling) in both of his legs. If he walks short distances, he feels tired, experiences shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. He cannot sleep if he lays down and has to sleep in a sitting position. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Poe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 6th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. "After I recover from surgery, I will go back to work. I will save the money to pay back my debts. After that I will save money to support my son and wife. I want my son to go to school, and I want him to become an educated man," said Poe.
Laizer is 17 years old and a happy guy who loves to play with his siblings. He is the fourth born of his mother's eight children and does not attend school yet due to his disability. Laizer was diagnosed with a condition called Right Varus that affects the alignment of bones in his legs. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Laizer experiences pain at the end of the day and cannot walk for a long distance, including to school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help him finally heal. On March 22nd, Laizer will undergo corrective 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 life-changing procedure. Laizer's mother shared, "I am happy to know that his leg can be corrected. This will help him walk well and stop having pain."