Julie joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Julie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Julie's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Loucken, an artistic 16-year-old from Haiti, to fund his cardiac surgery preparation and transportation needs.
Julie has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 13 countries.
Julie has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 13 countries.
Loucken is a 16-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Loucken enjoys making art, listening to music, and going to school and church. Loucken has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole, leaving him feeling weak and unable to be active. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), can help Loucken receive treatment. Treatment is not available in Haiti, but on May 11th, he will fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch. HCA is covering the cost of Loucken's surgery, so Loucken's family is requesting assistance to help fund the $1,500 surgery preparation and travel costs. This cost includes all labs, medication, appointments, passports, and the help of a social worker from HCA who will accompany Loucken's family as they travel internationally. Loucken shared, "After the surgery, I hope that I will be able to start playing soccer with my friends."
Daw Aye is a 49-year-old woman who lives with her three sons, daughter-in-law, and a grandson in Burma. Two of her sons works as carpenters, while one works in a factory. Her daughter-in-law is a homemaker and her grandson is too young to go to school. Daw Aye was working as a vegetable seller, but recently stopped due to her injury. In February, Daw Aye and her grandson walked to her sister’s village for a visit. When her grandson tripped along the way, Daw Aye tried to catch him and fell herself. She injured her right knee, right elbow, hit her head and lost consciousness. Her elbow remained swollen and painful, and she sought treatment from a traditional healer. The healer suggested stretching exercises, but unfortunately, her condition did not improve. She visited a hospital where an x-ray and physical exam indicated a closed fracture of her elbow. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Daw Aye access the treatment she needs to heal. On March 26th, she will undergo internal fixation surgery at BCMF's care center. Hopefully, the procedure will help her regain use of her right arm and alleviate her pain. Now, she needs help raising $885 to fund her procedure and care. Daw Aye shared, "when the doctor told me about the cost of the surgery, I started to cry because I do not want to burden my children. My children are very kind to me and they are all good. When they heard that the surgery will be expensive, they told me that my only option was to pawn the house to come up with money to pay for the surgery. When the monk told me not to worry about the cost and that donors may be able to help pay for it, my children told me they would kneel down in front of the donors [in respect] if they ever had the chance to meet them in person."
Langeda is a charming 23-month-old boy and the only child to his mother. Langeda’s parents work as livestock keepers who sell cattle to provide for their family. When he was five months old, Langeda was in bed while his mother was outside doing chores. He woke up and rolled off the bed, and his hand went into a bedside fire. He sustained severe burns and was treated at home using traditional medicine, however, he now has limited use of his hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Langeda receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery so that he can use his hand freely. Now, he and his family need help raising $874 to fund his procedure and care. Langeda’s mother was grateful that support for her son was now possible and shared, "we have never sought treatment for our son due to lack of money."
Audrey is a three-year-old toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and has fun playing dress up and going to church with her family. Audrey has Down Syndrome and a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This entails a hole in the wall of her heart that separates the two lower chambers. Audrey is traveling to receive treatment at our medical partner's care center, Hospital CEDIMAT, in the Dominican Republic. On February 22nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole in her heart. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $5,000 to help pay for her surgery. Audrey's family needs help funding her pre and post operation costs. The $1,500 bill will cover her labs, medications, checkups, and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment for the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Audrey's family as they travel overseas where she can finally access the surgery she needs. Audrey's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter."
Srey Nath is a bright young student who loves to read books and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She has two older brothers and lives with her parents who are rainy day rice farmers. They also grow vegetables and keep cows and chickens to feed their family and make extra money at the local market. Over the past several years, Srey Nath's back has curved which limits her movement and lung expansion. She has trouble standing up straight or walking, and is easily winded when she is active due to difficulty expanding her lungs. She shared that she feels embarrassed with her friends and very shy about how her back looks. She loves school but doesn't want to attend now because of the abnormal curvature of her spine, and the chronic pain it causes. Srey Nath's neighbors told her family to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre for a diagnosis and treatment. Surgeons have diagnosed her with scoliosis of the thoracic spine. She needs expanding rods in her back to straighten her spine as she grows to avoid any further medical problems. Srey Nath and her parents traveled two and a half hours to seek treatment and need help raising $1,500 for this specialty surgery. Srey Nath's mother said: "My daughter needs this surgery to grow normally and become a teacher. I hope we can raise the money so she can fulfill her dream someday."
Savdey is a 24-year-old machine repairman. He's married and has 2 children, a son who is 6 years old and in first grade, and a daughter who is 3 years old. His wife is a factory worker in a clothing factory. In his free time, he enjoys playing games on his phone, playing volleyball, watching TV, and taking his children for a walk. When Savdey was young, he suffered a severe burn on his right leg. The scar has been bothering him for many years. Now he cannot bend his leg, and an open wound has developed behind his right knee. He is in pain and unable to work currently. When Savdey learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there hoping for treatment. On November 30th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to heal his open wound and allow him to walk more easily and work again. Now, he needs help to fund this $477 procedure. Savey shared that he hopes his surgery will help him feel better and be able to work.
Anthony is a three-year old boy from Southwestern Uganda. He's the firstborn in his family and has one younger sibling. His parents are farmers, and they live in a three-room mud-built house. At seven months old, Anthony developed a left inguinal hernia. The hernia manifests as swelling, which starts whenever he cries. According to his parents, the inguinal hernia swelling seems to pain Anthony quite a bit and they are afraid of him having to live like this as he grows. Anthony was recently taken to Rushoroza Hospital and surgery is recommended. His parents' income is limited, and so they are unable to cover the medical costs on their own and are appealing for help. Fortunately, on November 18th, Anthony will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $170 to fund Anthony's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to grow up more comfortably and confidently. Anthony's father says, “I pray that my son may get well through surgery. He is an active boy under normal conditions but the hernia has affected him negatively. I hope to take him to school very soon.”
Edrian is an active and talkative 4-year-old boy. He is the youngest in a family of three children. Both of his parents work as teachers, and one of his parents secured a new job recently which they are feeling optimistic about. A few months after Edrian was born, his mother noticed a birth condition. She consulted with his father, and they decided to raise funds to take Edrian to a local hospital. After examination, Edrian was diagnosed with left undescended testes, and surgery was done to address this condition. However, his surgery was unsuccessful and the doctors referred their family to our medical partner’s care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH) for additional care. At BKKH, Edrian was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Edrian has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Edrian will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), and will undergo corrective surgery on November 1st. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Edrian’s mother shared, “It has been a long and stressful journey for us since he was diagnosed with the condition, but we are still hopeful that all will be well.”
Joffrey is three years old and the only child of his young parents. He's a playful and curious boy who wants to know and understand everything around him. He is a big lover of football just like his father despite his legs being curved. His mother said she thinks he's too cheeky for his age. Joffrey has not started school yet but he keeps asking his mother to take him to school. Both Joffrey's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, groundnuts, rice, and vegetables. They get most of their food from what they grow on their farm. Joffrey was recently diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. His legs bow outward so that his knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he feels pain even after a short walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joffrey. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joffrey's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joffrey’s father says: “My son’s legs are worsening as days go by and from how I see it he might not be able to walk or enjoy his play, especially football, if he does not have this needed surgery.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”
Savoeun is a 55-year-old mother of three. She has one daughter, two sons, and three grandchildren. For a living, Savoeun makes and sells Khmer-style dessert cakes from home. Her husband is a construction worker and has been teaching their sons about construction work too. In her free time, Savoeun likes to travel and take part in religious ceremonies. Three years ago, Savoeun developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, and sensitivity to light. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Savoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On July 19th, doctors will perform a cataract surgery and an implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, CSC is requesting support to help fund this $229 procedure. Savoeun shares, "When my eye gets better I can make and sell cakes more easily, and I will enjoy being with my family. I want to start traveling again too."
Naing is a 46-year-old-man who lives with his mother, wife, sister, son and two daughters in Karen State in the border area of Burma. Naing used to work in a teashop as a baker but stopped four years ago when his health deteriorated. His son is also unemployed, unable to find work ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Burma more than a year ago. They all rely on Naing’s wife, who works as a vendor in the market, to get by. She earns about 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) a month, which they shared is not enough to cover their household expenses. In 2014, Naing received surgery for a right inguinal hernia with the help of his employer. Then, four years ago in 2017, he noticed that he had a small lump on his left side. Over time, the small lump increased in size and shifted downwards, causing pain and discomfort that made it impossible for Naing to continue working at the teashop. Although Naing knew that he most likely is having another hernia, since he was experiencing the same symptoms as before, he did not have enough money to pay for surgery. Therefore, he tried to cope with the pain and discomfort without treatment. In June, Naing’s friend advised for him to go to Ananda Myitta Clinic, a charity clinic in his city to ask for help accessing treatment. Naing and his friend went to the clinic, where they talked to the founder. The founder then referred Naing to another organization called Health for All who help put him in touch with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing surgery for his hernia. Naing said, “I would like to receive treatment for my hernia. If I’m cured, I can work again as a baker and our [household] income will increase. Now, only my wife works and we all depend on her.”