Marlina joined Watsi on December 30th, 2016. Four years ago, Marlina joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Marlina's most recent donation supported Rechael, a widow and young mother from Kenya, to fund surgery to remove her gallbladder.
Marlina has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 8 countries.
Marlina has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 8 countries.
Rechael is a 38-year-old widow and mother of three children, who works in a small grocery store. Her husband died in a traffic accident in 2018, and her life changed dramatically as a result. Her husband's family sent her away with the children, and since her mother had also died earlier, she shared with us that she had nowhere to go. Her aunt agreed to have Rachael and her children come live with her. Rechael was accompanied by her aunt and uncle when she came to Nazareth Hospital this week. She was very anxious, and when she started narrating her story she began to cry. She had become depressed, had experienced periodic upper abdominal pains, and occasional vomiting. She has been admitted at hospitals three times, and a scan showed that she had gallstones. Doctors advised that she have surgery to heal her condition. Unfortunately, she is unable to pay the $788 needed for this surgery. If not treated, Rechael will continue to experience these symptoms, and could develop complications such as pancreatitis, or obstruction of the gallbladder among others. “I am desperate and don’t know what to do. I can only depend on my family, and they are not in a position to help. I pray for help so that at least my life can be normal again for the sake of my children,” said Rechael.
Shem is a 14-year-old student from Kenya who is studying in class seven. He is the youngest in his family of eleven. Shem's parents practice small-scale farming of maize, and his older siblings work labor jobs to help provide for the family. A few weeks ago, Shem was injured playing football and fractured his lower tibia and fibula. He is experiencing pain and cannot use his leg, which is preventing him from being able to go to school, play with friends, and help his family at home. Shem needs to undergo surgery to heal, and his family requests assistance with the surgery costs. Happily, Shem was able to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for assistance. On November 1st, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Upon recovery, Shem will be able to use his leg again, allowing him to attend school and participate in activities with friends and at home. AMH is requesting $1,145 to help fund this procedure. Shem shared, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties, especially going to school. I really look forward to getting well so that I can fully depend on myself as before."
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."
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
Santiago is a charming four-year-old boy from a mining community in the mountains of central Bolivia. His parents both work in office roles at a local mining company. Santiago enjoys watching cartoons and making new friends. He also loves to dress up as his favorite superheroes like Spiderman, who he aspires to be when he grows up! Santiago was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Santiago is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 26th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Santiago's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Santiago and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Santiago shares, "I hope that after my surgery, I will grow up to be Spiderman!"
Caleb is a sweet one-month-old baby boy. Immediately after his birth, the doctors noticed a small growth on his back, which they attempted to prick. This only made the growth increase in size, and to begin leaking fluid. Recognizing that they could not treat Caleb, the local doctors referred the family to our medical partner BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. A neighbor provided the family with the funds to travel to BethanyKids. Caleb was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect, in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without surgery, Caleb is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delay. As the family has very little income and no national health care insurance, they cannot cover the costs of Caleb's surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. Caleb is scheduled to undergo spina bifida closure surgery on June 16th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Their family needs $1,151 to fund this life saving procedure, which, it is hoped, will spare Caleb from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Caleb’s mother says: “I was very worried about my son’s condition but now I am happy that I know that he can be treated.”
John is a young student from Haiti who lives with his mother and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He already loves going to kindergarten and enjoys playing with puzzles. John has a cardiac condition called double outlet right ventricle meaning the major arteries connect to the heart in an abnormal location making it difficult for blood to properly flow through his body. Unfortunately the treatment John needs to heal is not available anywhere in Haiti. So, John is flying to the Cayman Islands to receive cardiac surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will detach the arteries from John's heart and reconnect them in their anatomically correct locations. Have a Heart Cayman is contributing $17,000 to pay for this surgery. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, needs $1,500 to help John's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany John's family overseas. John's mother shared, "Our family all looks forward to our son having a more normal life after this surgery!"
Samuel is a 52-year-old small-scale farmer and a father of four. He grows cereals for his family to eat, but the lack of rain in the area has dramatically affected his crop yield. Samuel shared that his family was able to fundraise for his medical consultation and testing, but they request assistance for the cost of his surgery. A year and a half ago, Samuel noticed an itch at the back of his throat that gradually became painful. Although his symptoms were on-and-off, the pain increased over time, and his jaw began to swell. A local dentist referred Samuel to our medical partner’s hospital, Kijabe Hospital, for review. The doctors conducted a biopsy and found cancerous cells in his tonsils and throat. He needs to undergo urgent surgery to stop the spread of the cancerous cells. Currently, Samuel is struggling to talk due to the pain and the way the tumor affects his speech. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Samuel receive treatment. On April 20th, he will undergo surgery to remove the mass. AMH is requesting $1,500 to help fund the cost of this procedure. Samuel says, “This tumor is painful, and I have been told it is cancerous. If it is not removed, it may result in the spread of the fatal cells. I am hopeful the surgery will be helpful because at the moment I am even struggling to eat.”
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Paul is 51-year-old, outgoing farmer from a small village in the highlands of Kenya. Paul survives on daily work in his neighbors' farms to gather for the needs of his family. He is married with two children, and together they live in a semi-permanent house. His family relies on him for their daily needs as Paul is the only family bread winner. Paul arrived to the hospital with a fracture on his left knee after a fall at his home. He now has a lot of pain, swelling, and inability to flex his left knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 22nd, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Once he heals, he'll be able to walk well with no difficulties and pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,145 to fund his procedure. Paul says, "I am really uncomfortable when my children need me and I cannot be there for them. Please help me so that I can heal and be able to raise them well."
Natinael is a sweet toddler who loves to play with toys. He loves birds especially looking at the doves where he lives with his mom. Natinael's mom shared that he is shy and always wants to be at her side. She is a single mom and has been raising Natinael on her own with help from her family. Natinael was born with birth condition called Bladder Extrophy, which means that his bladder is open to air and at great risk of infections and injury. He needs surgery to help heal his condition, but his mother is unable to afford the cost. She is very much worried and concerned by his health and wants to do whatever she can to make sure he grows up healthy. She shared, “At first I did not know about the gravity of his condition. Then when I went to the hospitals they said they can’t do the surgery and they referred me to another hospital. I was in so much distress. I thought ‘what is this disease that the doctors refer it to another hospital.’ One doctor explained the condition to me and that was my lowest time of my life. I couldn’t eat or drink or sleep. All I could do was cry. I asked God why this happened to me." Fortunately someone referred her to an organization that knew our medical partner's care center BKMCM Hospital where doctors can perform the surgery he needs. Natinael's mom says, "If he heals, I hope I will work hard and raise him well and give him good education. I did not go to school and that makes me to want to send Natinael to school more. I'd like to spend the rest of my life with him protecting him.”