Feminist Tech & Health Editor and Writer
United States • luceverntech.wordpress.com
Lucy joined Watsi on September 23rd, 2015. 28 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Lucy's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Jean Wilson, a student from Haiti, for a heart catheterization procedure.
Lucy has funded healthcare for 5 patients in 3 countries.
Lucy has funded healthcare for 5 patients in 3 countries.
"I am hoping that I will be able to have surgery, so that I can run and play soccer like my friends," Jean Wilson tells our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). Jean Wilson is a studious 16-year-old who was born with tetralogy of fallot, a heart condition that causes a hole to form between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage to form over one of the valves. As a result, Jean Wilson is chronically short of breath and his body is not able to absorb oxygen as easily as it could if his heart were healthy. "Because he has lived so long with this condition, there is a chance it may no longer be repairable, but the only way to determine this is by inserting a catheter into the chambers of his heart," HCA says. "Since this is not possible in Haiti, arrangements are being made to bring him to the Dominican Republic to perform this extremely important test in the hopes that he can have heart surgery later in the year." For $1500, Jean Wilson will be transported to the Dominican Republic for the catheterization procedure that will determine the operability of his congenital heart defect. If Jean Wilson is a good candidate for surgery, he will then undergo the operation so that he can regain his health and fulfill his dreams of becoming an engineer.
Meet Zakileydie, a nine-year-old girl from Haiti. Zakileydie “is very bright and is in the fourth grade. She loves to sing and dance,” shares our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). “Zakileydie was born 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 first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her sickly and weak,” shares HCA. The healthcare system in Haiti is fragmented with few reliable providers. The goal of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is to work with partners to scale up the availability of life-saving cardiac surgery to all Haitian children who need it. For $1,500, we can fund a treatment that will restore normal blood flow to Zakileydie's heart. $5,000 of her treatment is subsidized from from Gift of Life International. The cost of the treatment includes overseas transportation, as this procedure isn't accessible in Haiti. "I am happy that all the doctors and nurses are being so nice to me, and I am excited to get my heart fixed,” she shares.
Meet Akim, a six-year-old boy from Haiti who lives with his mother, father, grandparents, and little sister. According to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), “Akim is in first grade, and likes going to school. When he is not in school he likes drawing and listening to music.” Akim was born with a congenital heart disease called ventricular septal defect. This means that there is a hole between the two lower chambers (or “ventricles”) of his heart. Blood from one ventricle leaks into the other without first getting oxygen from the lungs. Due to his condition, the blood that is pumped out of Akim’s heart to his body is not oxygen-rich. Consequently, Akim often has trouble breathing. HCA tells us that if left untreated, Akim’s condition could lead to serious health complications. Health City Caymen Islands has contributed $7,500 toward Akim's treatment. An additional $1,500 will cover overseas transportation costs. Akim's surgery will repair the hole in his heart, and restore normal blood flow. Akim shares, “I am excited about going to the hospital because it means I will be healthy after I leave."
This is Mary Gold, a 39-year-old woman who lives in the Philippines. Mary Gold has an angiomyolipoma, a common variety of benign tumor, in her right kidney. “Mary Gold is experiencing a tingling pain in her right flank area, which she rated an eight out of ten on the pain scale. Furthermore, she has a mass that has been growing for the past seven months,” explains our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM). Although this type of tumor is benign, it can impair kidney functionality or even lead to the dilation and eventual rupture of blood vessels in the area. ICM reports, “Mary Gold’s daily activities are limited because of her condition. With an enlarged abdomen, it is uncomfortable for her to move around and perform necessary activities such as household chores, laundry, and fetching water.” For $1,395, we can fund surgery to remove Mary Gold’s right kidney. “With treatment, she will be freed from the pain her tumor brings and from the increasing possibility of bleeding," ICM says. ICM describes Mary Gold as “responsible and patient in taking care of her family.” They continue that she “really wants peace with everyone. Whenever her husband gets angry, she always walks out of the room so as to avoid arguments. Whenever she has nothing else to do, she usually entertains herself by watching TV shows.” “I really want to be well. Though there is a strong feeling of fear, I am trying to stay strong. I am excited to be well and take care of my family without out pain,” Mary Gold explains.
Joselin is a 19-year-old Guatemalan woman, who needs treatment for cataracts. She is developmentally delayed, and started to lose her eyesight due to cataracts a few years ago. Without eyesight, her ability to work and socialize is compromised. Joselin is from a large family with many young children. As she gets older, her family struggles to support her. “Although she is mentally challenged, she is an extremely capable individual, and could potentially work or contribute to the household in some way,” explains our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “However, without eyesight life is made much more difficult, and her ability to work and assist her family is close to eliminated.” “Even though she wants to learn, Joselin has never attended school,” continues WK. “Social stigma around her appearance and weakened ability to physically see others has limited her social interactions/community acceptance, and now she spends many days sitting at home.” With $1485, Joselin will receive cataract surgery to remove the cloudy lens, which will be replaced by a clear lens implant. The cost also includes antibiotic drops as well as transportation costs. Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed worldwide and only takes an hour. Just one day after surgery, Joselin’s vision will improve to 20/20.