Caitlin joined Watsi on September 24th, 2016. Six years ago, Caitlin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Caitlin's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Kamsoth, a 39-year-old construction worker from Cambodia, to fund a skin graft procedure to heal his foot.
Caitlin has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 11 countries.
Caitlin has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 11 countries.
Kamsoth is a 39-year-old construction worker. He's married and his wife works in a local garment factory. The couple has one son and two daughters. In his free time, Kamsoth enjoys meeting friends for coffee, exercising to improve his health, listening to the news on the radio, and watching boxing on television. Kamsoth is diabetic and receives treatment from a local medical center. Since January, his left foot has been swollen and showing signs of severe infection. He underwent a wound debridement procedure, but his foot did not heal well, and the wound has reopened. Kamsoth experiences pain and it is difficult for him to walk. When Kamsoth learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled there hoping to undergo treatment. On April 25th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to allow his foot to heal. Now, Kamsoth needs help raising $487 to fund his procedure and care. Kamsoth shared, "I hope my pain will stop and the wound will heal so I can return to work."
Ryan is a handsome three-year-old boy and his mother's only child. He and his mother are supported by his grandmother, who works washing clothes for neighbors. In mid-2021, Ryan was frequently contracting common colds, and experienced difficulty sleeping and swelling of the tonsils. He visited many hospitals, and finally an ENT clinic where a doctor recommended that he undergo an adenotonsillectomy, or a procedure in which surgeons will remove his adenoids and tonsils. If left untreated, Ryan will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of complications like nasal obstruction, infection, difficulty swallowing or even heart problems. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Ryan receive treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo an adenotonsillectomy. After treatment, his symptoms will subside, his quality of life will improve, and he will be able to join school with no challenges. Now, he and his family need help raising $565 to fund his procedure and care. Ryan's grandmother shared, "we have seen our child suffer for a long time. We have tried all we could and our boy continues to suffer. We kindly seek sponsorship so that our boy can be happy and be ready to start school."
John is a motivated 16-year-old footballer from Kenya. He aspires to be a professional footballer and currently plays the position of goalkeeper. He attends school and is in class seven. He currently lives in a children's home with his younger brother. His other two siblings live with his mother in a nearby town. She is a single parent who works as a hawker. She had to give her two sons up to the home because she was unable to care for them due to financial constraints. Two months ago, John broke his right leg while on the playing field with his friends. He has a right tibia fracture that is currently affecting his mobility. As a result of the injury, he has a long leg cast and has to use crutches to get around. X-ray images show that his bones are not properly aligned. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 25th, John will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and be able to use his leg again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. John says, “I love football, and it is my passion. This fracture is affecting my passion to play and threatening my future goal of being a professional footballer.”
Misgana is a 15-month-old girl from Ethiopia. She is a happy and friendly baby. She has one older sister she loves to play with, and she also loves playing with her dolls. Her mom makes injera (a traditional Ethiopian food) for a living. She brings her two daughters along with her to work because she has no one to look after them while she is away. Misgana's dad is a farmer and they live in a rented house. Misgana was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Misgana underwent emergency colostomy surgery at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM) and now needs to have her next stage of treatment to fully heal. Her mom shared how difficult this has been on their family psychologically and that they cannot afford Misgana's medical bill. Fortunately, Misgana is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Misgana's procedure and care. After her recovery, Misgana will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Her mom says “I hope my child will heal and grow. I want her to learn about God. And I wish she will get a good education and become a teacher.”
Thay is a one-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, grandfather, three sisters and a brother in a village. Thay's mother looks after her and her brother at home, her grandfather is retired, and her sisters go to school. Thay's father works as a porter, but has has difficulty finding work for over a month. With the increasing number of internally displaced people settling in their village due to the humanitarian crisis, there are now many individuals competing for the same work. When Thay was around eight months old, her parents noticed that her head was increasing in size. As a result, Thay cannot yet sit up or crawl. She is only able to turn her head, and will cry if she cannot see her parents. Thay was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has causes fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure, Thay is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Thay, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th and, once completed, will greatly improve Thay's quality of life as she grows up. Thay's father said, "I am thankful to every organisation and everyone for supporting my daughter’s treatment cost. Because of you, I believe that my daughter will receive surgery and be healthy and live a normal life after treatment."
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Darensky is a 10-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and grandparents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the third grade and likes building things and making crafts. Darensky has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus and tracheal ring. Two holes exists between two major blood vessels near his heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs, leaving him weak and oxygen-deprived. The treatment that Darensky needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to United States to undergo surgery. Many years ago he had one hole closed so this is the second surgery he needs, and his family has been waiting for this moment for a long time. Fortunately, on March 10th, Darensky will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the remaining hole that leaks blood between his two main blood vessels at the same time. During the surgery, he will also have a muscular blockage removed from his trachea that affects his ability to breathe. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $12,000 to help pay for surgery. Darensky's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Darensky's family overseas. HIs mother told us: "I am very happy to know that after this surgery my son will finally be able to run and play normally!"
Sioni is a 17-month old girl and the only child to her young mother. Sioni's mom never had a chance to go to school herself, and is the second wife to her husband, who has two wives and seven children. Sioni's father is a livestock keeper and a small-scale farmer. They come from a Maasai community where health facilities are a long distance away, and frequently are unable to go to hospitals due to financial challenges. Due to this reality, Sioni was born at home through the help of midwives. Sioni was born with clubfoot on both feet. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes patients to have a great deal of difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, Sioni's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where she will receive treatment for her condition. There, on February 18th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on both of Sioni's feet. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Sioni's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily, and grow up to run and play like other children. Sioni’s mother says, “I would like my daughter to be like other children.”
Kiliani is the last-born in a large family of seven children. He was born prematurely along with a twin brother, who sadly did not survive. Kiliani works hard and is now in class three in school. His best subject is mathematics. Currently, he walks to school every day on his crutches because he cannot use his right leg. Kilani was born with a condition impacting his leg and was further made challenging when he had a fracture when learning to crawl. When he was young, his parents tried to seek treatment for him but due to financial challenges, they were not able to continue with treatment. Unfortunately, Kiliani has lived with this condition until now, enduring a lot of pain. Their family depends on small-scale farming where they raise their food for daily use. They are working hard to make ends meet due to the change weather where they live, which is affecting the amount of harvest each year. Our medical partner met Kiliani through a community outreach program. After a medical team reviewed his condition, he has been scheduled to have amputation below his knee which will enable him to use a prosthetic leg. This will make walking for him easier and relieve him from the challenges he is going through. Kiliani’s father says “If this treatment can help my son have ease in walking, please help make it possible, we cannot afford the cost of treatment.”
Bancy shared with us that she has been a widow since 1990 when her husband passed on. She raised her children on her own and they are all adults now. Bancy does small-scale farming on her one-acre ancestral piece of land. Bancy looks uneasy and eager to get treatment. She's had stomach pains for the last ten years. She says the prolonged stomach upsets are making her uncomfortable and in pain. The pain has been on and off but worsened this year. She was diagnosed with Pyloric Stenosis, a condition in which the opening between the stomach and small intestine thickens. Last month before visiting Kijabe Hospital, she had a series of painful instances. She visited a national referral hospital in Nairobi where she was reviewed and an endoscopy requested. She was scheduled for surgery but the cost was too high. She opted to try our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where the same surgical operation can be carried out. There she can undergo a procedure called gastric antiectomy to finally heal her condition. Bancy is appealing for financial assistance. She shared, "For the last ten years, I have had prolonged stomach pains that are so uncomfortable. I have sought several interventions but so far have not received any help. I'm hopeful this surgery is my likely solution to my decade-old problem."
Hannah is a farmer and the 62-year-old mother of four kids. All her children are now grown. She lost her husband in 2014 who was the sole breadwinner for their family. Hannah does not have a job and grows food crops for home use. She depends on her children and some relatives to help pay for her medical bills. Hannah was using her husband's medical insurance but since his death, she has no medical coverage. She recently registered for a national insurance program, but it will be not be eligible for funding for at least a month or longer and her surgery is urgent. Hannah first started feeling a painless lump on her left breast in early 2020 but she did not feel alarmed. She felt better but seven months ago, the painful swelling recurred. She went to a government facility and then Hannah recently visited Kijabe Hospital. Doctors their ordered several tests including a CT scan and core biopsy which revealed cancer of the left breast. She needs surgery to control the spread of the cancer. Hannah has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $,1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Hannah. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 24th. After treatment, Hannah will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Hannah says, “I worry I have nothing to smile about. I am scared and in pain. If left untreated, this cancer will spread and even cause death. I need this surgery urgently to stop this.”
Elia is a three-year-old boy and the youngest child in a family of three children. Eli's mother sells sugar, salt, tea leaves and kerosene to people in her village to provide for the family. Elia has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Due to financial challenges, his parents have never been able to seek treatment for their son. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Elia receive treatment. He traveled to visit AMH's care center after a passerby who saw him struggling to walk recommended the place to their family with hopes he could be treated. On October 8th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. After treatment, Elia will be able to walk easily. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Elia's procedure and care. Elia’s mother shared, "I am struggling alone to find food for my children. Getting the money need to cover the treatment cost is not something I can afford."