Olaf joined Watsi on March 22nd, 2014. Eight years ago, Olaf joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Olaf's most recent donation traveled 11,000 miles to support Michael, a three-month-old baby boy from Haiti, to fund surgery for hydrocephalus so he can develop into a healthy young boy.
Olaf has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 12 countries.
Olaf has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 12 countries.
Michael is a three-month-old infant from Haiti. He was born to a very young mom. He and his mom live with her parents while she attends high school. Michael has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Michael has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Michael will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner Project Medishare can help. Michael is scheduled to undergo surgery on August 8th when doctors will drain the excess fluid from his brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. Project Medishare is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Michael. With proper treatment, Michael will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Michael's family said they are grateful for this procedure to give him a chance at a normal, healthy life.
Anastasia is a 12-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in a small village in eastern Haiti where her parents are both farmers. Anastasia has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, meaning that 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. Anastasia also has Down syndrome. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Anastasia which is especially challenging as the treatment she needs is not available within Haiti. On August 2nd, she will fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole with a patch so that blood can no longer leak through it. HCA is subsidizing $8,000 of the cost of transportation and treatment, and Anastasia's family is asking for $1,500 to help to fund the costs of surgery prep, labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It will support passport obtainment and the social workers from HCA who will accompany Anastasia's family overseas. Anastasia's mother shared, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix our daughter's heart."
Mameulove is a 10th-grade student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. In addition to studying, Mameulove helps her parents with their ironwork business. Mameulove has a cardiac condition called pulmonary valve stenosis. When she was six, she underwent surgery for a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. While the surgery was successful, one of the valves of her heart could not be completely repaired at that time. Now, Mameulove needs to undergo cardiac surgery to repair or replace her pulmonary valve so that it functions normally. She will fly to the United States to receive treatment on July 10th. Another organization, the Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for surgery. Mameulove's family also needs help to fund the costs of her surgery prep, which is $1,500 and covers all labs, medicines, check-ups, and follow-up appointments. Additionally, it covers the cost of the passports they need to travel and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Mameulove's family overseas. Mameulove said, "I am so grateful to everyone who is helping me to have a strong and healthy heart!"
Paul is a 44-year-old herdsman and small-scale farmer living in Kenya. His wife sells vegetables at a local market, and together, she and Paul have four children. In February 2023, Paul was walking home one evening when he was hit by a speeding motorbike. He was rushed to a nearby health center where first aid was administered and an X-ray was performed. The X-ray revealed that his left leg had been fractured. As a result, he is finding it challenging to walk and sit upright. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On February 8th, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. The procedure will help him regain his mobility, and allow him to return to work, which is critical to his ability to support his family. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Paul says: “I cannot walk because of the fracture. I need treatment to be able to use my legs.”
Ann is a 16-year-old student from Kenya. Ann was orphaned when her father took his and her mother's life. Fortunately, Ann, who aspires to become an architect, now lives with relatives who adopted her. In October 2022, Ann was also in a horrible incident and one of her fingers was cut in half. She was rushed to the hospital for treatment, where she underwent surgery. While the right middle finger has healed, it developed a contracture during the healing process. The contracture is causing Ann to experience difficulties when she uses her hand - keeping her from writing and drawing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ann receive treatment. On May 3rd, surgeons at AIC Kijabe Hospital will perform contracture release surgery, which should improve Ann's grip and her ability to hold things, aiding in her aspirations to become an architect. Now she needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Ann says, “Architects draw building designs; this is what I want to do. I have been through a lot, but I am determined.”
Caleb is a playful and talkative 3-year-old boy from Kenya. He is an only child, and his mother works as a casual laborer at a local hotel. Currently, due to his clubfoot, Caleb cannot stand without assistance. He can roll over, but cannot yet walk or crawl. Caleb has clubfoot in both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This can cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Caleb traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, for treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 14th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Caleb's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to stand, walk and continue playing with other children. “I am appealing to people of goodwill to help my son undergo surgery to gain strength and walk on his feet,” Caleb's mother said.
Festus is a lively 6-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the third born in a family of five children. His parents own a small corn farm, which they use to earn a living by selling produce. Festus was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience discomfort and will be at risk for infertility. Fortunately, Festus’ father was introduced to a social worker who brought the family to the care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH). BKKH is run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). As a result, on February 16th, surgeons at AMH will perform the corrective surgery. AMH is requesting $847 to fund the total cost of his procedure and care. Festus’ father says, “I want Festus to be treated and grow up like other children.”
Ohn, who is 52 years old, lives with her husband in a village in Tak Province in Thailand. While Ohn's husband no longer works because of pain in his lower legs, Ohn earns money as a day laborer on a local farm. In the middle of 2021, Ohn began experiencing lower left abdominal pain, and discomfort when she urinates or has a bowel movement. She has been diagnosed with myoma, a uterine fibroid, and has been advised to have a total hysterectomy. Left untreated, Ohn's symptoms will worsen, and she will be at risk for additional medical complications. Ohn's income barely covers her and her husband's daily living expenses. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Ohn's procedure and care. Ohn is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on February 1st, at Mae Sot General Hospital, where both her uterus and cervix will be removed. After she has recovered, Ohn should be able to resume her life, free from pain. Ohn said: “I cannot sleep well because I am worried and feel depressed about my condition. When I learned that the organization [BCMF] would pay for the cost of my surgery, I felt very happy. I am very thankful to all donors and to BCMF for paying for my investigation and treatment. When I recover, I will try to work and save money, so I can pay back my debt."
Emmanuel, who is 19 years old, is the third born in a family of five children. He lives in Kansau village in Kenya. While Emmanuel was healthy at birth, when he was four or five years old, he began to experience convulsions. His parents brought him to Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was diagnosed with hemiplegic CP, a condition where the brain has been impacted and results in the paralysis of one side of the body. In addition, Emmanuel has clubfoot of his left foot, which makes it difficult for him to wear shoes and to walk easily. Fortunately, Emmanuel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily, and to resume his vocational studies classes at Machakos School, which he so enjoys. Emmanuel said: “I would love to see my foot corrected so that I can continue with my studies and start my business in the future.”
Ferdinand is a father of two from the Philippines. He has one son and one daughter. Both he and his wife both work as public school teachers. Their income is still insufficient for their needs, however and, in addition to supporting their children, part of their salary goes to their medication for diabetes and hypertension. In September, Ferdinand began to experience several troubling symptoms, including severe abdominal pain. He was rushed to an emergency room to be treated. The ultrasound test showed that he has gallstones. Ferdinand has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and will put him at risk of further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Ferdinand is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on December 3rd. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Ferdinand's surgery and care. "Because of my condition, I'm in constant pain which hinders me from doing my usual activities. I've tried to reach out for help to our local government but was unsuccessful," Ferdinand shared. "I am glad there are foundations like Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines that exist. I'm forever grateful for the help that you've given me," he added.
Kasotot is a cheerful 68-year-old woman from the arid region of Baringo County in Kenya. She is a widow and mother of seven children who are all grown. She lives with her youngest son and grandson. The main economic activity in the area is livestock herding of cattle, sheep, and goats. It is a challenging life, affected by insecurity, cattle rustling, and a lack of schools and other services. Most people barter with their neighboring communities for food and/or sell their animals in order to get money for food. Kasotot has no knowledge of medical insurance, and lives in a place full of hardships with no opportunity to do any saving. Kasotot suffers from epilepsy and last month she had a seizure that made her fall into the fire and burn her foot. She went to the closest hospital for treatment. Her wound condition worsened with time and when she went back to the hospital it was already infected. The facility was small, and was unable to provide the needed treatment, so she was referred to Kapsowar Hospital. Upon examination, she was admitted for urgent debridement, or deep cleaning of the wound. Kasotot is currently confined to a wheelchair, thus not able to work. Her wound is now clean after a successful wound debridement, but she requires a free tissue flap in order to reconstruct her burned foot and quicken her healing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kasotot receive treatment. On November 7th, surgeons will perform surgery so Kasotot will be able to walk, work and provide for herself so as to not overly burden her son and grandson. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Kasotot says, “I have really burdened my son and grandson now that I cannot walk on my own. It really hurts when all they can do is look after me while I cannot help them as I did before. Kindly help me so that we can be together in order to bring food to our table and strive together to get our basic needs.”
Stevenson is a 26-year-old man from Haiti. He lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince with his parents and several siblings. Stevenson had been attending university, studying for a business degree, when poor health forced him to leave school. When he was a child, Stevenson developed rheumatic fever, which has resulted in rheumatic mitral valve prolapse. This condition has meant that one of Stevenson's heart valves is unable to pump sufficient blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Thanks to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Stevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 27th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will perform surgery to remove the damaged valve, and implant an artificial one. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Stevenson's surgery. But Stevenson's family also needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers, who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Stevenson shared, "I feel very lucky to have this chance to finally have my heart healed!"