United States • Born on September 4th
Works at Gilead Sciences, Inc
Laurie joined Watsi on September 2nd, 2013. Seven years ago, Laurie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Laurie's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Hatsumi, a 19-month-old baby from Bolivia, for heart surgery.
Laurie has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 13 countries.
Laurie has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 13 countries.
Hatsumi is a 19-month-old baby who lives with her parents and five older siblings. Her mother sells flowers in the market and her father takes care of her and her brothers and sisters at home. Hatsumi was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, where a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart, causing blood leakage. This often leaves her weak and short of breath. Hatsumi and her family traveled to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, to seek treatment. On March 8th, Hatsumi will undergo a surgical procedure where doctors will sew a patch over the hole to prevent blood from leaking through. Now, Hatsumi's family needs help raising $1,500 to fund the procedure. Hatsumi's mother said, "Our family is praying that our daughter will be able to breathe more easily once her surgery is over!"
Abel, who is 11 months old, lives with his parents in La Paz. He is his parents' first child. Abel was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. Because of this, a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through Abel's lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Abel's parents sought the help of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, and now Abel is scheduled for surgery on January 16th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uria. During surgery, doctors will sew the hole shut, so that blood will no longer leak out. This procedure should enable Abel to grow into a healthy young boy. Abel's mother said: "Our family is praying that our son will be strong and healthy after this surgery!"
Valentina is a beautiful 2-year-old girl from Bolivia. She lives in La Paz with her parents, who are a teacher and a homemaker respectively, and two older siblings. Valentina was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result blood leaks through this hole, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner HCA is helping Valentina access life-saving cardiac treatment so she can grow up healthy. During surgery, doctors will use a patch to close the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Her family is raising $1,500 to support her surgery and care. Valentina's mother shared: "Our family is very thankful that Valentina can have this opportunity for her heart to be healed."
Meet Gianna, a lovely, four year old girl from Kenya. Gianna lives with her grandmother, while her mother works at a local hotel, and her father is a casual laborer on construction sites. Gianna was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. A child born with this condition has soft bones that break easily. Gianna has never walked, and lives in near constant pain. When she did try to walk using support, she fractured some bones. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Gianna access the care that she needs. On January 16th Gianna will undergo a procedure at AIC Cure International Hospital, that will provide greater support for Gianna's bones, and which may even enable her to gain sufficient strength to walk. Gianna's family is seeking your support to fund the $1,224 needed to pay for the surgery. Gianna's grandmother said: "Gianna has never walked, and my desire is to see her walk like other children. Your financial support to help her undergo surgery will be greatly appreciated."
William is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. He is a married man with twelve children. Some of his oldest children are married while others are still in school. William and his family live in a semi-permanent house. He has been a long-term potato farmer who has been growing them mainly for sale. His family has worked on their farm and it has contributed a lot to their income. Through the limited income William makes, he has been able to provide for his children's basic needs. William has medical insurance that he has been using throughout all his visits for inpatient and outpatient services for his medical procedures. In May 2019, when William was walking along the road, he was hit by a motorbike and he fell down, thus injuring his lower limb. Immediately, he was taken to a facility where he was admitted and surgery was done. All was well up to last year when he started feeling unwell and decided to visit our partner's hospital. He presented with a lot of pain, he had a wound that was discharging pus, and his affected limb was swollen. An x-ray was recommended and it found that he had a non-union on his fractured bone and he had to be admitted for hardware removal, as it was already infected. He went to the operating theater for infected hardware removal and antibiotic nailing was done in order to treat his infection. Since the nail was not stable, a patella tendon-bearing cast was applied in order to immobilize his non-united fracture. He has been in and out of the hospital for frequent check-ups, change of dressing, and casts. The wound has not improved and at some time after the antibiotic nailing, he went to the operating room for debridement and vacuum-assisted closure of the wound to help in healing and daily dressing change has been done in a health facility near his home. He also suffered eye problems in between and can barely see at the moment. On Monday when he came for review, his wound was not well and had a foul smell. His hardware needs to be removed, the non-union has to be taken down and a procedure will be done for stability. He was prepared for admission, but then it was realized that he had exhausted his inpatient insurance limit. In order to save his leg, it is vital to perform the surgery immediately. William has no alternative way of paying for his procedure, which is very complex. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 7th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure that will help William to be able to walk normally and continue with farming to provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $679 to fund this medical care. William says, "Spending most of the time in the hospital has been quite challenging. I cannot work or supervise my work as I did before because of my fractured limb. I am really looking forward to getting better in order to stabilize my family again. Please help me."
Frank is a 2-week-old baby. His mother is a young student and needs to raise her new baby on her own and with the generosity of her family. Since the birth, she depends on her parents to provide for her and the newborn baby. Frank’s grandparents are small-scale farmers that try their best to provide for their family. It is very difficult for them to afford to take care of everyone right now. Frank was born with clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Frank's clubfoot repair. After treatment and as he grows, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Frank’s grandmother says, “It has been hard ever since she got pregnant, and after delivering we were shocked but we are glad to know that the baby’s condition is treatable.”
Beatrice is a student in the fourth grade but has been unable to continue with her studies since she her injury on her right hand. She lives with her parents and four siblings in a one room rental house. Her parents are part-time workers with an inconsistent income and cannot afford her surgery. They are relying on well-wishers to pay her medical bills. Beatrice sustained a burn on her right hand in early June. She accidentally slipped on boiling water as she was getting out of the bed and sustained serious burns on her right arm. She was admitted to Kiambu Level Five Hospital and stayed there for almost three months where a debridement and a skin graft was done but failed. Her mother shares that the wound has been discharging pus. She was reviewed at our medical partner Kijabe Hospital and doctors agreed that she needs several debridement and skin grafting sessions to save the hand from amputation. She is in pain and unable to use her hand and has not been going to school since she had the accident. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Beatrice receive treatment. On October 11th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to aid in the healing of the wound and help her use the hand again. Now, Beatrice needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Beatrice's mother says, “My baby has not been attending school since the accident. Her hand has a foul smell, and it might be cut if not treated.”
Alma is a 46-year-old woman, living with her sister and daughter in the Philippines. Their basic needs are sustained by her sister’s small business. In 2020, Alma developed a sore on the inside of her right cheek. The sore kept increasing in size, until her face became highly swollen. Because her family had insufficient financial resources, Alma was unable to seek help for her condition. Fortunately, Alma was referred to our partner care facility, the Our Lady of Peace Hospital. There, she was assessed, and diagnosed with a Buccal Mass. This condition begins when the cells that make up the inner cheek have abnormal growth, and form lesions or tumors. Alma needs to undergo surgery to remove the mass. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Alma to access the care that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo an excision of the mass on September 10th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is asking for your help to fund this procedure, for which they need $1,452. Alma shared: “I’ve lost my confidence since the lump is very visible on my face. This surgery is the answer to my prayers. Thank you so much WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for helping me!”
Penlope is a 42-year-old mother of three children, with all her children in school. She does farming together with her husband and what they earn helps to meet their day to day needs. Penlope is expecting a new baby and has been having antenatal care at Nyakibale Hospital. At her last visit, the medical team has recommended she delivery via cesarian section to ensure a safe delivery. She is not able to raise the funds needed for surgery and appeals for help. Penlope shared: “I hope to deliver well this time, in safe hands, and I expect all to be well with your support.”
Mi is a 58-year-old mother from Thailand. She lives with her husband and her three daughters. She supports her family by working as a homemaker. Her husband does not work because he is ill. Her eldest daughter is an accountant, her second eldest daughter is a homemaker, and her youngest daughter does not work because she is attending school. Some of Mi's favorite activities include cleaning her house and growing vegetables in her garden. In February, Mi started experiencing pain in her left breast. After examining the area, she noticed a small mass. Over time, the mass increased in size and the pain worsened. She currently still experiences pain in her left breast. Although she takes medication, it only alleviates her pain temporarily. Because of this, she cannot cook or clean, and her daughter has had to take over the household chores. Fortunately, Mi sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on July 12th. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Mi shares, “I want to get better soon. Then my second eldest daughter can find work so that we can pay back our debt. I want to live happily with my family for the rest of my life.”
Keziah is a lovely, 36 year old mother of three, who lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Nairobi. Before her current illness, Keziah would hawk food, while her husband works as a laborer to support their family. After giving birth to her last child in 2016, Keziah began to experience pain around her umbilicus, and then her abdomen began to swell. Despite numerous trips to the hospital, Keziah was always sent home without a solution. Fortunately, Keziah was referred to Nazareth Hospital, where the doctor who first met with her thought that she was pregnant, because of the size of her belly, and because she was wearing maternity clothes. A CT scan revealed an unusual and benign cyst on Keziah's ovary, that had grown to a very large size. If Keziah does not have the cyst removed soon, she risks having the cyst rupture, which might lead to blood poisoning from the bacteria in the cyst. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $788 to fund the surgery to excise Keziah's cyst, which is scheduled to take place on June 10th at Nazareth Hospital. “I am worried and exhausted. I pray that I get help so that this problem can be treated so that I can resume my normal life, and also be able to restart my small business to support our family,” said Keziah.
Jamesly is an 11-year-old boy who lives with his parents and older brother in Haiti. He shared that he likes to play with his friends. Jamesly has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, increasing intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Jamesly has developed headaches, and he is unable to walk. Without treatment, Jamesly will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Jamesly at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only hospital in the country where Jamesly can receive the treatment that is critical to resolving his hydrocephalus. This life-changing surgery is scheduled for May 12th, and it should allow Jamesly to develop into a strong and healthy young man. His family is hopeful the surgery will enable Jamesly to go back to school, and be able to play with his friends.