Leif joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven months ago, Leif joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Leif's most recent donation supported San Htay, a mom of two from Thailand, to fund surgery to treat cervical cancer.
Leif has funded healthcare for 8 patients in 8 countries.
Leif has funded healthcare for 8 patients in 8 countries.
San Htay is a 45-year-old woman from Thailand and a mom to two sons. While she normally cares for their home, she has been unable to work since she became ill. Her husband and oldest son work as day laborers, and their youngest is too young to attend school. Her husband also makes and sells charcoal, and the family raises chickens. In her free time, San Htay enjoys gardening and growing vegetables, her favorite being cabbage and chilies. In October 2022, San Htay visited the hospital when she began to experience pain in her lower back. Through funding from Watsi donors, she underwent a CT scan and was diagnosed with cervical cancer and a left ovarian tumor. Currently, San Htay experiences headaches, fatigue, decreased appetite, pain, and other worrisome symptoms. The doctors referred her to our medical partner's care center where, on February 19th, she will undergo mass removal surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children's Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of San Htay's procedure and care. San Htay said: "I am so happy that BCMF has agreed to continue to support the cost of my treatment. I never knew that cancer could be treated. My children can now live longer with their parents."
Kimberly is a 5-month-old baby girl. She lives in a small city in central Bolivia with her parents, who work in the mining industry, and three siblings. Kimberly was born with several defects in her heart, including a hole between the two upper chambers as well as a second hole between the two lower chambers. As a result of these conditions, her heart struggles to pump blood through her body. During surgery, doctors will be able to sew these holes shut so that her heart functions well and is stronger. Her surgery is scheduled for January 19th. Fortunately, the organization, Gift of Life International, is subsidizing part of Kimberly's medical care, but her family still needs help to fund the remaining $1,500. Kimberly's mother says, "Our family is very hopeful that this surgery will be a success!"
Oun is a 64-year-old homemaker. She is married and has three sons and one daughter. Her family lives in Kampong Som with their youngest son who is disabled. Her husband is a motor taxi driver. At home, Oun does the cooking and cleaning, and cares for her son. Four years ago, Oun had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Oun experiences infection, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), hearing loss and ear discharge. It is difficult for her to sleep well due to tinnitus and frequent ear discharge. Oun traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 16th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $926 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She shared: "I hope after surgery my ear will get better and stop having the pus and infection, reduce the ringing sound, and improve my hearing."
Dawentz is a student from Haiti. He lives in a small town in the mountains of central Haiti with his parents and siblings. He is in his last year of high school, and would like to go on to university to study law or business. Dawentz has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic aortic regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever he suffered earlier in childhood. As a result, his heart can no longer adequately pump blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. The surgery that Dawentz needs is not available within Haiti due to limited cardiac care. He is scheduled to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to help pay for surgery. Dawentz'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 the costs of obtaining his passport and the expenses of the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dawentz's family overseas. Dawentz says: "I am very glad to know that so many people are helping me to get my health back."
Brenda is a student from Tanzania who has had epileptic seizures since childhood. This has continued until now, though she is taking medication that is helping her manage the condition. She shared that she is not close to her parents as they are verbally abusive. She tries to keep her distance, but with her condition, it has been hard to depend on herself. After hearing about our health center and the work we do, she was hopeful that she is could get help. She had to take more than three buses to get to our center. “I am lucky. I did not have any seizure episodes during my journey," she says. She is at our center ready to receive treatment, but she cannot afford it. Earlier this year, Brenda had a seizure and fell on a hot stove. Her face was badly burned. Brenda received treatment, but after healing her face was left impacted. She has been living this way for four months now, hiding her face whenever she goes out. Her neighbor saw her one day and noticed that she was hiding her face. Thankfully, he told her about our health center and informed her that she could get help. It is hard for her to open her eyes fully, and due to the disfiguration, her self-esteem is affected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Brenda receive treatment. On October 13th, surgeons there will perform a burn contracture release surgery, which will allow her to open her eyes fully, and will hopefully help improve her self-esteem. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Brenda says, “I am a spiritual person. I know it was God’s will for me to get here and get help. Thank you.”
Naima is a smiley and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She loves to breastfeed and play with her seven older siblings and her mother. Her dad is a retired driver and the community elder, and her mother stays home to care for the children. Because Naima's father has no source of income, their older children support them financially. Naima 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. Naima developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications. As a result, she cannot make stool in a typical way. Her parents have been very troubled because of her condition and are asking for support. Naima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on September 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Naima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Naima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Naima's father says, “I hope my child will get the treatment and heal. Once she finishes her treatment, I hope she will be relieved from her pain and suffering and lead a healthy life.”
Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition. Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine's surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding. Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”
Alexa is a 12-year-old girl with a heart problem that makes her constantly short of breath and unable to lead a normal active life. Alexa’s condition is called an atrial septal defect, and she has a large hole in the membrane that is supposed to separate the two upper chambers of her heart. The defect can be corrected through surgery, but Alexa’s family can’t afford the procedure, so it’s up to us to raise the $345 she needs to have it. Alexa is the oldest child in her family. She sets a positive example for her siblings by always doing well in school, and just wants to be able to live a vibrant and active life like a normal teen girl. Let’s make sure she can do it!