Terje joined Watsi on May 30th, 2014. Three years ago, Terje joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Terje's most recent donation traveled 4,800 miles to support Nan, a twenty-nine year old from Burma, to fund life-saving heart surgery.
Terje has funded healthcare for 114 patients in 13 countries.
Terje has funded healthcare for 114 patients in 13 countries.
Nan lives with her mother, father, sister, and brother. Nan and her sister run a food stall, and her brother is a teacher. Her parents are both subsistence farmers who raise pigs and sell them yearly. During her free time, Nan enjoys spending quality time with her family. At the age of six, Nan experienced a period of whole-body swelling, which thankfully subsided after a few days. Similarly, when she turned 14, she experienced rapid heartbeat and occasional difficulty breathing, but these symptoms alleviated over time. Without comprehensive examination or treatment for 15 years, her breathing difficulties and fatigue severely returned in January 2022. She then underwent an echo and was diagnosed with atrial septal disorder (ASD). The doctor scheduled to perform an ASD closure procedure on her heart on August 24th. Facing financial constraints, she sought treatment through Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), a partner organization of Watsi, with the hope of securing financial support to facilitate her access to essential treatment. Nan mentioned, “I feel sad that I am so tired and cannot work. I am also worried about my parents because I cannot support them right now. I was concerned with the cost of treatment but now, I am happy that I will receive help with my treatment. Thank you to the donors.”
Miguel is a 7-month-old baby boy who lives in a small town in the jungle of northern Bolivia with his parents and his older sister. Both of his parents work as barbers. Miguel was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole exists between two major blood vessels near his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving him weak and unable to gain weight. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on July 20th, when doctors will tie the hole between the vessels closed so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure. This surgery will help Miguel thrive so that he can grow up to be a healthy young boy like other children in his village. His mother shared, "Our family is so grateful to know that our son can finally have this surgery, and we are praying that he will be fully healthy afterward!"
Leonardo is a 9-month-old boy who lives with his parents and older brother in a neighborhood of La Paz, Bolivia. His father is a maintenance worker and his mother is a homemaker. Leonardo was born with a heart condition called total anomalous pulmonary vein return. This means that the blood vessels between his lungs and heart connect to the heart at anatomically incorrect locations. As a result, his body cannot obtain enough oxygen, and he has required an external oxygen tank since he was born. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) will perform a surgery to detach the blood vessels and reconnect them in their correct locations. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Leonardo's surgery scheduled for June 21st. Leonardo's mother shared, "We are all praying that after this surgery our son will be able to breathe normally."
Helen is a young student from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; she is in first grade and likes her math and reading classes. Helen has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to be oxygenated, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that Helen needs is not available anywhere in Haiti, so she will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On May 22, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in her heart to close it. Another organization, HeartGift Foundation, is contributing $14,000 to pay for surgery. Helen's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. 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 Helen's family overseas. Helen's father said: "Our family is all very excited and hopeful to know that our daughter's heart can be fixed soon!"
Zaw, who is 29 years old, lives with his wife and extended family members in Karen State, Burma. He and his wife are currently unemployed, although Zaw hopes to work as a second-hand motorbike seller. Zaw has had an irregular heartbeat since he was 10 years old. Although he visited a local clinic as a child, he was never provided a definitive diagnosis. By January 2022, he began to experience fatigue. His back and neck were stiff, and he lost his appetite. He also had difficulty sleeping, experienced a persistent cough and body aches, and his lips turned blue. After multiple hospital visits, Zaw was told he had a heart condition that required surgery. Unable to afford surgery in Burma, Zaw sought affordable care at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, he received a free echocardiogram, which revealed he had mitral valve regurgitation, atrial valve regurgitation, pulmonary valve regurgitation, and patent ductus arteriosus. He is now scheduled for a procedure at Kasemrad Prachachuen Hospital in Bangkok on April 18th to repair or replace three of his valves and address any other issues with his heart. Currently, Zaw continues to experience fatigue, thus he is unable to work. He experiences shortness of breath and a racing heartbeat, for which he requires oxygen therapy three times a day. He needs your help to raise the $1,500 to fund his life-changing surgery. Zaw said: “I want to be free from this disease as soon as possible. Thank you all for helping with my treatment cost.”
Nelson, who is 29 years old and unmarried, lives in Kenya and works as a casual laborer on construction sites. In October 2023, Nelson fell from a tree where he was working. His right leg was injured and he was taken to a hospital in Kiambu, where an X-ray showed he had a closed ankle joint fracture. He was admitted to the hospital and put in traction. The surgeon there told Nelson that he would need a procedure that requires surgical plates for implanting in his leg to stabilize the fracture. Nelson and his family could not afford this, thus Nelson has been trying to go about his life and his work, despite the fracture and the pain it causes him. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On March 20th, Nelson will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at Nazareth Hospital. This procedure will mean that Nelson will no longer be in pain; he will heal well, and resume working. Now, African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I have almost given up since I cannot pay for treatment. I would greatly appreciate the help so that I may be well and resume my job. I also hope to have a family of my own soon.” Nelson said.
Meet Nafissa. She is a 25-year old woman who shared that she tends to be very shy and reserved. She lives with her parents and her young child in an area of Burkina Faso where conflict is currently impacting their lives deeply. When she was a child, Nafissa developed a painful growth on the left side of her chin. This swelling in her lower jawbone affected her ability to eat, and was determined to be a benign tumor that needed to be removed. Her parents were able to secure the funds to send Nafissa to a hospital in Togo, where she could be treated at no cost to her family. The growth was removed, and for several years, Nafissa did well. However, the growth recurred, and in the middle of last year, Nafissa returned to Togo, where the second growth was excised. This time, however, the surgeon determined that her whole jawbone would also need to be removed. As the doctor in Togo did not have the necessary training to perform the surgery that Nafissa needed, he referred her to a physician with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Miraculously, Nafissa is now scheduled for a major jaw surgery with the leading team at AIC Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. As Nafissa's husband abandoned her because of her condition, and provides no support to Nafissa or their child, Nafissa and her parents are looking to you to help fund the $1,500 procedure, which will finally relieve Nafissa of the pain and symptoms that result from the tumor. Nafissa says: “It pains me that I have to stay at home with no friends. Making it worse, I cannot work to provide for my child.”
Nashon is a farmer, a husband, and a father of one. He grows potatoes while his wife is a hair salonist. Nashon dropped out of school in grade 8 because of lack of funds at home. The young family is hardworking but since Nashon fractured his leg, he hasn’t been able to work in his farm and he is relied on as the breadwinner of his family. His wife says “It has not been easy for me since he broke his leg. I have to work extra hard to feed my family since he is the pillar of our family.” Their family lives in a single room house with grass as its roof. One month ago, Nashon experienced a severe road traffic accident that costed him a right tibia fracture. Nashon was a passenger in a motorbike which lost control and clenched into a ditch. He sustained an open fracture in his right leg. He was rushed to Kapsowar Hospital where he needed emergency surgery to clean his wounds. He was discharged with a cast to recover at home. Three weeks later, Nashon returned to hospital for a normal checkup. During the visit, It was recognized that his fracture had not healed and he needs a surgery to heal and stabilize a broken bone. Nashon is unable to use his leg, work, and provide for his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. If Nashon undergoes a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation, Nashon will be able to use his leg, work and provide for his family. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Nashon says, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties especially going to my farm. I look forward to getting well so that I can support my family.”
Dennis is the first born in a family of four children. When he finished high school, he was reluctant to join college because of his condition. He currently is not able to work because he gets easily tired and cannot carry heavy loads. He joined college just recently but has been out of school for the past two months. Now that he is at home, he helps his mother who picks tea for a living. He does not have a health insurance coverage and cannot raise the required amount of money to cater for his hospital bill. In 2019 while he was sitting for his national school exams, Dennis experienced sharp pain in his esophagus. He took a glass of water, and the pain went away for a few weeks. The pain used to occur roughly two times in a month and a glass of water would help a lot. Late last year, the pain worsened. He was not in a position to swallow food. He went to a herbalist and was given some medication to use for some time. When the dose was over, the pain was still persistent, and he still could not swallow food normally. He was then referred to Kijabe Hospital by a friend where he was examined and given some medication to use. He didn't feel better and decided to go back to the herbalist for different medication but there was no change. Later he finally returned to Kijabe Hospital and scans and tests revealed that he has Achalasia. He is scheduled for a heller's myotomy which is a curative laparotomy surgery for his condition. Now he needs $1,074 to pay for the surgery. Dennis says, "I feel very sad. If I was healthy, I would be able to work well and be comfortable with myself.”
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."
Priscillar is a 50 year old single mother, living in Kenya. She has a small area in her ancestral home where she does small scale farming for personal use, and can occasionally sell extra produce at the local market. For ten years, Priscillar has been experiencing heavy bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, a condition that usually develops during a woman's childbearing years. Fortunately, the condition is benign, but it has made Priscillar uncomfortable about being in public places. Priscillar will need to undergo a hysterectomy, to have her uterus removed and fully heal. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,260 to fund Priscillar's surgery, scheduled for October 27th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. After she has recovered, Priscillar should be able to resume her life free from pain, and free of the constraints that have kept her from going out in public without discomfort. Priscillar says: “I have been experiencing heavy bleeding for the last ten years. It is really uncomfortable and makes me ashamed. I hope to get the problem solved.”
Nancy is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. Together with her elderly husband, they grow food crops for home use on their half-acre piece of land. She is a mother of eight children who are all adults. All her children don’t have a stable source of income at the moment. She needs care but does not have medical coverage and hasn't been able to raise the required amount for treatment. In early July this year, Nancy was tripped by her dog and fell on a stone, hurting the left side of her hip. She sustained a left sub-trochanteric fracture that is making her immobile. This is a fracture of the proximal femur located a few centimeters from the hip. She was taken to a nearby health facility and had an x-ray done after review. She was then referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for surgery. She is unable to walk and is currently using a wheelchair and although jovial and smiling, she is in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 30th, Nancy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of her pain and help her walk easily again. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Nancy says, “I am unable to walk. I am desperate, and also struggling to pay for my treatment. I need this treatment to be able to get out of this wheelchair.”