Brooke joined Watsi on October 21st, 2015. Six years ago, Brooke joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brooke's most recent donation supported Loserian, an 18-year-old man from Tanzania, to fund surgery to heal his leg.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 14 countries.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 14 countries.
Loserian, a student, and the youngest of six children, is a happy young 18 year old living in Tanzania. For over six years, Loserian experienced pain and discomfort when he walked, because his legs bowed inwards, forcing him to use a walking stick for support. Four years ago, he received surgery through Watsi funding, that helped to correct the inward bowing of the legs. This enabled him to walk with ease and to carry out his daily activities, like going to school and playing. However, Loserian was recently diagnosed with bilateral femoral varus, which causes his legs to bend outward at the thighs. This condition typically results from contaminated drinking water. Once again, Loserian is experiencing pain and difficulty walking. His parents, who are subsistence farmers, do not earn enough to be able to afford Loserian's treatment, and therefore, they are seeking help to cover the costs of his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Loserian. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Loserian's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Loserian says: "After I had my surgery, walking became easy and normal and I was not having any challenges. But for the past few months, I have been feeling pain when walking and my legs are now bowing at the thighs."
Esther is a sweet 2-year-old from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and several siblings and cousins in a neighbordhood of Port-au-Prince. Esther's parents are both market vendors. Esther was born with down syndrome and later diagnosed with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This means there is a hole between the two lower chambers of Esther's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. On April 20th, Esther will fly to Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart using a patch. This surgery is not available in Haiti and her family has been waiting for her to be able to travel for this life-saving care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Esther's family needs additional assistance covering $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Esther's family overseas. Esther's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more appetite and less weakness."
Rachhan is a 12-year-old student with five siblings. His parents are construction workers in their province. Rachhan enjoys playing football and riding bikes with his friends. Six years ago, Rachhan had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Rachhan experiences ear fullness, headaches, hearing loss, and ear discharge. He shared that he does not want to go to school because he is ridiculed by his friends when the teacher scolds him for not listening. As a result he has poor grades and it is difficult for him to communicate with other people. His parents are worried, but cannot afford expensive treatment for him. Rachhan traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 10th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right 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. Rachhan was excited that he will start to feel better soon. He told us, "I hope that I can hear well and go back to school."
K is a 46-year-old homemaker from Burma. K lives with her husband, son and two daughters in a refugee camp. K and her husband are small scale vegetable farmers. K's eldest daughter is a nurse in the refugee camp's hospital, while her other daughter and son are students. In her free time, K enjoys cleaning her house and weaving traditional Karen shirts. K has a cataract in her left eye that causes blurred vision. K's challenged vision has prevented her from weaving, and causes her to walk slowly so she does not get injured. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund K's lens replacement surgery on February 16th. After recovery, K will be able to see clearly again. K shared, "After surgery, when I can see again, I hope to go back to weaving and helping with all the household chores.”
Daiverson is an extroverted 12-year-old boy who lives with his family in Medellin, Colombia. His family moved from Venezuela seeking better opportunities. He loves to play soccer, really enjoys a good book, and loves making jokes. He's been diagnosed with a hernia, which is keeping him from doing all the things he loves and needs to do each day. With hernia surgery, he'll be able to enjoy his beloved soccer and chase his dream of being a professional soccer player one day! Daiverson's mother said: "I'm really thankful for your donation. This is the greatest gift I could ever get, thank you so much."
Arnold is a 40-year-old married man with three children; aged 15, 10, and 3. He is a truck driver and his wife helps take care of their family and home. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, his work has decreased. Also, his driving license is currently expired which means that he cannot work as a truck driver until he's able to renew the license. Since last year, Arnold has had a chronic cough. He sought medical care and tested negative for Tuberculosis more than four times; he was frequently put on antibiotics. Late last year, he started noticing a protruding swelling on his neck along with his persistent cough. He again sought medical attention from a health center and was referred to the public hospital. At the hospital, they suspected that he had a goiter and was referred to Partners in Hope (PIH) for thyroid tests since the other facility had no reagents for these tests. At PiH, Arnold was diagnosed with goiter. Doctors recommend that he has his thyroid removed in a procedure called thyroidectomy. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland; a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough, irritation and may also cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Arnold is afraid that his thyroid might grow bigger if he does not have it removed. It is expected that after surgery, the symptoms will heal and his neck will return to its normal size. Arnold appeals for financial assistance as he is not financially able to pay for the surgery. Arnold says, "My worry is that the goiter might grow bigger. I hope to get treatment before the condition worsens."
Naomi is a farmer and mom of five. She shared that she is shy and often quiet, but works hard as a maize farmer. She also helps on other people's farms to supplement their family's needs since she is a widow. She lost her dear husband while she was three months expectant in 2020 due to a short illness. She had to take up the responsibility of taking care of her family by herself, which hasn't been easy for her since her husband was the family breadwinner. She lives in a two-roomed house with her mother-in-law with her five children aged between 14 and 1 year. Around 16 years ago, Naomi began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck mass that started to grow while she was still in primary school. Before coming to our partner's hospital, Naomi had tried other means of treatment like herbal medicine, which did not improve her condition. She was then advised by a neighbor who had been treated in our partner's hospital to come to seek medication. Naomi has been diagnosed with a multinodular goiter. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She was deemed fit for surgery earlier but she was expectant so her surgery was postponed until after delivery. One year later, she was ready for surgery but had no funds. Naomi has high blood pressure-like symptoms, gets tired easily especially while she is working, coughs frequently with persistent headaches and this has affected her general well-being. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Naomi receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 11th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Naomi says, “My children look up to me, I want to be a strong mother for them. Please help me.”
Veronica is a 50-year-old small-scale farmer. She has a contagious smile and an optimism for life despite the challenges she has encountered. She is a mother of six children and lives with her husband who is a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) driver. She grows maize for home consumption and sells the surplus for additional income. 10 years ago, Veronica began experiencing troubling symptoms, including a small mass on her neck. She visited several hospitals for lab tests and medication, but nothing seemed to help and the mass has grown. She has also gained weight and experiences shortness of breath and a fast heart. A friend told her about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and she visited AMH's care center hoping for a clear diagnosis and treatment. She was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and surgery is recommended to prevent her symptoms from worsening. On October 19th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Veronica shared, "this condition is making me weak and I can’t work like before. I want to be strong for my children so that they can receive education and get their daily needs."
Victor is a three-year-old boy and the youngest in a family of four children. Victor’s father is the sole provider for the family through his job at a tobacco factory. Victor was diagnosed with bilateral Genu Valgus, which means that his legs have bowed inwards forming knocked knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, walking is difficult and painful for him. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Victor to receive treatment. On September 14th, Victor will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center and now, AMH is requesting $880 to fund Victor's procedure and care. Treatment will hopefully restore Victor's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Victor’s mother shared, "we have been informed that surgery will correct his legs but the cost is too high for us to afford."
Elsa is a 9-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to play football with his dad and other kids. He is the first born in a family of three. His father is a daily laborer and his mother takes care of their house and family. Elsa and his family live in a rented house. Their family shared with us that Elsa does not go to school because his father hides him from the community for fear of gossip and stigma due to his birth condition. His parents are highly affected psychologically as a result of his affliction. His father is planning to send him to school in September after his surgery and recovery. Elsa was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Elsa had his first stage of hypospadias repair surgery in January and is now planned for a second stage surgery. He will be healthy and active after this treatment. Elsa is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 31st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His father said, “I hope my child goes to school after the treatment. I hope he will mingle and play with other children and that will make him happy, break his isolation, and resolve the tension in his mind. If God wills he will be a doctor.”
Thunchey is am 11th grade student and the youngest of five children in his family. At school, Thunchey's favorite subject is mathematics. Outside of school, he loves to play football and wants to start a Youtube channel to share about life in Cambodia. One year ago, Thunchey had a severe ear infection, causing his eardrums in both ears to perforate. Thunchey experiences pain, pus discharge, and hearing loss. He cannot communicate clearly with others and often has to miss school. Thunchey traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 13th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears so that the surgeons can repair his eardrums. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Thunchey is eager to recover, "I hope that I can hear well after this surgery and understand my friends better. I can become a better friend and soccer player."
Hsue is a 52-year-old man who lives with his four daughters, his son-in-law and two grandchildren in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Hsue and his son-in-law used to work as agricultural day laborers in a nearby Thai village, but stopped working after travel restrictions were put in place due to Covid-19. These restrictions made it difficult for them to leave the camp for work. Since then, only Hsue's oldest daughter works, while one of his daughters goes to school and the others look after household chores. Last month, the ophthalmologist at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed Hsue with a cataract in his left eye. Currently, the vision in Hsue's left eye is blurry, and he can only perceive light. He develops a headache whenever he tries to focus on something. He has to rely on his right eye and he can only see things that are near him. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Hsue. On June 20th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Hsue's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Hsue said,“I feel very sad. I can’t see and I can't make out people's faces when they are not near.” He is hopeful that this surgery will help him to get his vision back.