Cheryl joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Cheryl joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Cheryl's most recent donation supported Grace, a 25-year-old nurse from Malawi, to fund thyroid removal surgery.
Cheryl has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 15 countries.
Cheryl has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 15 countries.
Grace is a 25-year-old nurse from Malawi. She the second-born in a family of six children and the only school graduate to date. She graduated from nursing college in 2022 and is now proudly a registered nurse. Currently, she is unemployed, and all her younger siblings are in school. Grace's father is a builder who works in one of the government departments, and her mother is a homemaker. Grace started having pain in her neck back in 2013. In October, the pain increased, affecting both shoulders, and the swelling on her neck grew. On November 11th, Grace met the surgeon who confirmed the diagnosis of a goiter and the need for a surgical procedure called a thyroidectomy, which is the removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. Grace was referred to our medical partner's program due to financial instability. Grace believes that the surgery will help her get back to everyday life and that she can actively search for employment. Grace said, "I just want to get rid of the pain and tumor so that I can be active in job searching."
Saw resides in a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma Border with his wife, two daughters, and son-in-law. His wife is a homemaker, and Saw stopped working as a day laborer due to his worsening health. He is proud of his family: One of his daughters is a student, the other is a pharmacist, and his son-in-law is a medic at the camp's hospital. He likes to forage for vegetables in his free time. Saw has been diagnosed with a right irreducible inguinal hernia and is scheduled to undergo hernia repair surgery in October. This surgery is essential to relieve his pain and discomfort and improve his overall quality of life. Saw said, “I want this discomfort and pain to disappear. I cannot do anything because of the pain. I hope that after surgery, I will be able to have a normal life again and will no longer be in any discomfort.”
Davies is a 14-year-old student in the 9th grade. He is the firstborn in a family of 3 children. His parents separated a few years ago, and both he and his siblings were left in the custody of his mother who is working hard to raise them well. His mother sells utensils in a local market to provide for the family. During the school holidays in March this year, Davies stepped on a broken glass that left him with a deep cut on his foot. His mother took him to a health center where the bleeding was managed and the wound was stitched. However, after a few days back in school, his leg started to swell. He was diagnosed with a blood infection and given medication. The recovery was smooth and the swelling stopped, leaving a small blister on the leg. Davies started to walk again and went back to school. However, after a few weeks, the blister got worse. He has undergone an emergency debridement surgery, he urgently requires a flap cover surgery to heal. The condition has made it difficult for him to walk and attend school. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Davies receive treatment. On September 8th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help him walk easily again and resume his studies. Davies's family needs help raising $1,185 to fund the procedure and treatment. Davies’ mother says, “This treatment has really destabilized me and I can't provide for them as I used to. Davies loves school and he really wants to go back.”
Sopheakdey is a 42 year old tuk-tuk driver, living with his wife and two children in Kandal province, Cambodia. Sopheakdey's wife works in a clothes factory, while Sopheakdey stays at home with their five year old daughter, since his condition prevents him from being able to work. For the past four years, Sopheakdey has been suffering from chronic back pain. While he has no history of trauma, it is difficult for him to bend, twist, or stoop down; any work or activity causes pain. His legs feel weak and clumsy, so he stays home. Because he cannot work, he worries about being able to feed his family. Fortunately, a relative told him about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. Surgeons have diagnosed him with spondylolysis, a weakness or stress fracture in one of the vertebrae, the small bones that make up the spinal column. This weakness can occur with no known injury. The most common cause in adults is degenerative arthritis. On August 3rd, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre plan to do a posterolateral lumbar fusion, to stabilize his spine and decrease his pain. Now, Sopheakdey needs your help to defray the cost of the $1500 operation. The money he receives will cover surgery, medication, and post-operative care. Sopheakdey said: "I hope that my pain will be less after surgery, and I can go back to work to help my wife and children."
Wine is a three-year-old boy who lives with his parents and siblings in Karen State - an area of Burma that is in a state of crisis and conflict. Wine’s father is a construction day laborer and his mother stays at home with Wine and his siblings. Wine's older brother lives in Bangkok and his sister lives in Shan State and is able to send Wine's household money every month. His other four siblings are students. Wine was born in 2019 with a condition called hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation or birth defect that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid to accumulate in brain cavities. Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear, colorless liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, protecting them from injury. It carries nutrients to the brain and spinal cord and takes away waste. In a healthy person, the amount of this fluid produced by the brain is absorbed by the body. In hydrocephalus, the fluid fails to drain and accumulates, leading to pressure on the brain. Wine's symptoms include a lump on the bridge of his nose. His eyes frequently water, and he cries a lot when he is in severe pain. Additionally, his head is gradually increasing in size as the fluid continues to build. The condition is most often treated by inserting a shunt. The shunt diverts excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the brain to another part of the body where the fluid can be reabsorbed. Wine visited a doctor when he was born to address the issue. While he was in the process of receiving treatment across the border at a hospital in Thailand, the Thai-Burma border shut down due to the outbreak of COVID-19. With the closure of the Thai-Burma border, Wine and his family could not go back to his follow-up care. Fortunately, after the Thai-Burma border reopened, Wine was able to meet with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Wine received a CT scan at Mae Sot General Hospital and the doctor was able to diagnose the issue and scheduled Wine to undergo surgery immediately on June 2nd. BCMF is now requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Wine's mother said, "I want him to be able to walk, sit, and be healthy like other children his age. My husband and two of my children work, so I can take good care of Wine. I cry a lot whenever I see Wine suffering from pain, but now I feel like I no longer have to shed a tear for him because of that. I don’t want to be rich, nor do I want him to be rich. I only want Wine to be healthy and happy."
Meet Fernanda: an 11 year old who is in need of heart surgery. She lives with her parents and younger brother in La Paz, Bolivia. Her father works for a paper company, while her mother is an eldercare social worker. Fernanda was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart, and blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. She needs surgery to correct this condition. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund Fernanda's cardiac surgery, which is scheduled for May 17th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. After she has recovered from her surgery, Fernanda will be able to resume her schooling, and even to return to playing sports which she loves to do. Fernanda's mother said: "Our family has been waiting for this surgery for many years, and we are glad the opportunity has finally arrived!"
Four-year-old Brighton is a pre-primary pupil from Kenya. His father works as a casual laborer while his mother is a homemaker, who takes care of their three children. The family is currently living in a temporary, makeshift shelter after they were displaced from their permanent home by flooding of the nearby Lake Baringo. On November 19, 2022, Brighton tripped over a piece of wood and fell onto an open flame in the cooking area of the family's shelter. He sustained burns to his forehead and both of his hands. As a result of his injuries, Brighton is in pain and has been unable to attend school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Brighton to access treatment. On April 26th, surgeons at AIC Kijabe Hospital will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent his wounds from becoming infected. The procedure will also help Brighton in regaining the ability to use his hands again and return to school. Now, Brighton and his family need your help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Brighton's father said: “This kid is so silent. He did not even scream when he got burnt. He has not been able to go to school due to the wounds he sustained. He needs this treatment to stop infection in the wounds. ”
Jasibe, who is only four months old, lives with her mother, grandparents and three older siblings in the mountains above La Paz, Bolivia. Jasibe was born with a hole between the two lower chambers of her heart, and a leak between two of the major blood vessels near her heart. As a result, blood doesn't flow normally through her body, and she struggles to breathe and to gain weight. Fortunately, our medical partner is here to help. On April 5th, doctors at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría will perform surgery, and repair both of these defects, so that blood can flow normally through Jasibe's body. Now she and her family need your help to raise $1,500 for this life changing procedure. Jasibe's mother said: "Our family is praying that after this surgery our daughter will become healthy and will be able to gain weight!"
Hser is a 30-year-old midwife from Burma. She lives with her husband and eight other colleagues in the staff housing of the clinic she works at. Hser is a midwife, and her husband is a medic. In her free time, she enjoys going fishing with her husband and friends, weaving Karen clothes, and visiting the villagers nearby. Around June 2020, Hser felt she had a mass. Thinking it was not serious, she did not go to a hospital for treatment until April 2022. At the hospital, a doctor gave her medication for three months, but the mass did not decrease in size. Currently, Hser's experiences uncomfortable symptoms from the mass. Hser sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 8th. Hser needs help raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hser said, "I am married, but I don’t plan to have children yet because my husband and I are both busy working as health workers for our community. So, I am very worried that I won't be able to have children anymore because of my condition. However, I have a loving and kind husband who understands me in every way, and he told me not to worry and feel sad. We cannot help but stay strong, helping and encouraging each other."
Marion is a 6-year-old student from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet county in Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three girls and currently attending preschool near her family home. Her parents are small-scale potato farmers. One day Marion's mother went to the river to fetch water. While she was gone, her children were sitting near an open fireplace at home making breakfast. Unfortunately, Marion's dress caught fire on the open flame, and as a result, she sustained severe burns on her back, abdomen and thighs. It has been difficult for her to walk, and the wounds are causing extreme discomfort. She especially needs a third surgery to treat the severity of her burns contractures. Despite Marion's parents having medical insurance, due to previous surgeries that she has had to treat the injuries, the insurance (a monthly subscription) has run its course and is no longer an option. Her parents do not have the funds to pay for Marion's surgery and need support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marion receive treatment. On January 25th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will allow her to walk with greater ease and resume her normal life at home and school. Now, she and her family are requesting $1,478 to help fund this procedure. Marion's mother says, “I am really looking forward to seeing my daughter live and walk in a normal way. I worked hard to pay for insurance coverage, but unfortunately, it cannot fund the upcoming procedure. I am disappointed, but I will not lose hope. Kindly help her.”
Esther is a young girl from Kenya. She likes reading books and enjoys going to school. Her family lives in a rural village, and she is the youngest in her family. Esther's mother is a business woman, while her father is a laborer on construction sites. Esther's right foot is affected by clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. She was born with hemiplegic CP, which means the right side of her body is weakened. Her condition has greatly impacted Esther and has made it difficult for her to engage with her peers at school. Earlier Esther was taken to a hospital, where she was given an orthosis to help correct her condition without surgery, however, she hasn't received treatment since then. Fortunately, Esther now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Esther's surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and proceed with her studies uninterrupted. Esther’s mother says, “I am appealing for your financial help so that my daughter can walk well like other girls.”
Jayden is an adorable 1-month-old baby from Kenya. He has two older siblings. His mother works as a hairdresser but currently stays home caring for Jayden, while his father works as a casual laborer at construction sites. The family shared that they do not have the insurance coverage to cover Jayden’s surgery needs and request assistance. Jayden was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Jayden is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, exposed nervous tissue infection, tethered cord syndrome development, and possible developmental delays. Jayden will undergo spina bifida closure surgery on December 13th. This procedure will help Jayden grow up healthy and without any risks associated with this condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Jayden’s spina bifida closure surgery. Jayden’s mother says: “We have never seen such a condition in our family, and it is very hard to explain to people. We are hopeful that he will be treated soon.”