Ilana joined Watsi on December 31st, 2018. Three years ago, Ilana joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ilana's most recent donation supported Gareth, a very special 4-year-old boy from Bolivia, to fund life-saving heart surgery.
Ilana has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 10 countries.
Ilana has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 10 countries.
Gareth, who is four years old, lives with his parents and three siblings in central Bolivia. His parents are shopkeepers and have so much love for their family. Gareth was born with ventricular septal defect, a heart condition that creates a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood, which should circulate through his lungs to obtain oxygen, simply leaks out through the hole, leaving Gareth weak and short of breath. In addition to his heart condition, Gareth was born with Down syndrome. Doctors at our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, are scheduled to operate on Gareth on January 19th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uria. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in Gareth's heart, so that his blood will flow normally. Gareth's family needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the costs of his care. Gareth's mother said: "Our family is very grateful to everyone who is making it possible for Gareth to have this surgery."
Hannah is a 70-year-old mother of seven children. She is a widow who lost her husband ten years ago. She is a small-scale tea farmer and relies on her children for upkeep and survival. For eight months, Hannah has been experiencing abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain. She has been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Although supportive, her children are unable to raise the funds required for her procedure. She had one cow that she sold to pay for a biopsy, treatment and fare to the facility. However, she is requesting financial support for her surgery cost. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping raise $1260 to fund Hannah's surgery. On December 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Hannah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Hannah says, "I am old now and fragile. This cancer has depleted my financial resources and affected my health. I need the surgery to avoid the spread of the cancer.”
Na is a 54-year-old homemaker from Thailand. She lives with her husband and her niece in a refugee camp. Her husband is a mechanic and her niece helps her with household chores since her vision worsened. In her free time, she likes to pray and listen to the news. She also enjoys helping her husband repair bicycles and motorcycles. Na has cataracts. The vision in her right eye is very blurry and she can only perceive light with her left eye. Her niece now has to do most of the household chores since her vision is so poor. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund eye surgery for Na. On November 27, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Na's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "I have no children to take care of me and my husband," Na said. "Because of this, I want to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can recover."
Christopher is the first born in his family of three children. He works in different homes taking care of cows or farming work. Although Christopher would have liked to go to college after completing secondary school, his family couldn't afford it. As a result, he earns limited income from casual labor jobs, which he shares with his mother who needs support. On Wednesday 5th October, as Christopher went to feed the cows, one cow pushed him to a corner and he was squeezed against the wall until he sustained fracture of the right clavicle. He is unable to attend to his duties that give him income and he is also experiencing pain. Christopher came to hospital accompanied by his employer. He is currently not in a position to fund his treatment and thus request for assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 13th, Christopher will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Christopher will be able to use his hand without feeling pain. He will also be able to resume his daily duties and continue to support his mother. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Christopher says, “I have a lot of pain and am afraid because I rely on my hands to make a life. I request for help so that I can get my hand treated. I hope to return to my regular workload soon so that I may work and help my needy mother."
Samuel is a hard working man from Kenya who gets jobs at a construction site in Narok town. He lives in his ancestral home with his siblings - his parents passed on several years ago. Six days ago, Samuel was attacked by unknown people on his way home in the evening. He has a swollen face, is unable to chew, and is also unable to use his right hand. He was taken to a nearby health center by well-wishers for emergency care from where he was referred to a government facility, and thence to Kijabe Hospital. Kijabe doctors have recommended two surgeries to heal his fractures. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him to get the care he needs. On September 30th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to fix the fractures in his jaw and hand. Samuel's income is inconsistent, and is not enough to pay for the surgery. He does not have medical coverage and has been depending on well-wishers to pay for his medical bill. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samuel shared with us, “I can only take liquid meals. My mouth is painful and swollen. I am also unable to use my right hand. I cannot work to buy food, and I cannot even eat the food I struggle to get because of the injuries.”
Samuel is a nine-year-old student who lives with his parents and three siblings in Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince. He is currently in third grade and enjoys studying history and science. Samuel has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a combination of four different congenital heart defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Fortunately, Samuel is scheduled to travel to the United States where he will undergo cardiac surgery on September 14th at Akron Children's Hospital. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart and remove the blockage from his valve. A portion of the cost of Samuel's treatment is being supported by Akron Children's Hospital. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Samuel and his family overseas. Samuel's mother says, "I have been very worried about my son's health for many years. I am looking forward to being able to stop worrying so much after this surgery!"
Alison is a sweet 6-year-old from Bolivia who loves princesses and coloring in coloring books! She lives with her parents in a small town on the border between Bolivia and Argentina. Her father is a minibus taxi driver, and her mother is currently finishing her university studies. Alison also attends school and recently finished first grade. Alison was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alison is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 26th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alison's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which funds surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alison and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alison's mother shares, "Our family is so grateful for this opportunity to save our daughter's life!"
Nedjee is a 17-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three siblings in a neighborhood outside of the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Nedjee has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that Nedjee needs for her birth condition is not available within her country. Fortunately, Nedjee will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 25th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Nedjee's family is requesting assistance to cover the costs of Nedjee's surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing the funds needed to cover the cost of surgery. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover the surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Nedjee and her family overseas. Nedjee's mother shared, "Our family is all praying that this surgery will go well and that our daughter's heart will be stronger afterward."
Gay is a one-year-old boy living with his family in a refugee camp. His family is originally from Burma, but they left for Thailand due to conflict in the area. Gay lives with his parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and brother. Gay and his brother are too young to go to school, so they stay home with their mother. Gay's aunt and uncle are in school, while his father and grandfather work on a farm near the refugee camp. Gay was born with an inguinal hernia. The condition causes him severe pain, and he often cries, so his mother sits quietly with him to help reduce the pain he is experiencing. Gay needs to undergo surgery to finally heal. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Gay receive treatment. On May 27th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery to help him live more comfortably in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Gay's mother shared, “I have to be with him constantly. He cries and does not let anyone else hold him except me. I also have to look after my mother and sister, and sometimes we do not have time to cook. I cannot take care of everyone. I felt so happy when I heard that an organization will pay for my son's surgery. I would like to say thank you to all the donors who will help my son. I believe my son will get better soon and that he will grow up without feeling ashamed of himself due to his condition. I want him to become an educated person in the future.”
Colleta is a 26-year-old woman who works at a small boutique in Nairobi. She is married and has two children, who are four-years-old and five-months-old. Colleta and her family currently live in the capital city, but they plan to relocate to Colleta’s hometown soon. Colletta and her family were involved in a serious car accident last month. Her parents and brother passed away, and her husband and two children were seriously injured and admitted to the ICU. Although her husband’s condition has stabilized, Colleta’s kids are in critical condition and under pediatric intensive care. Colletta sustained a fracture to her right pelvic bones. As a result, she experiences severe pain and cannot sit, turn her body, or feed herself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Colletta receive treatment. On April 28th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to sit and walk again. AMH is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Colleta shared, “I am in pain and cannot even turn or sit. I am also sad that I lost my parents and my brother. My kids and husband are in critical care and still in ICU. I feel confused and heartbroken.”
Nan Hla is a 65-year-old nun. She lives alone, as she is the only nun in her monastery of monks in Karen State in Burma. Nan Hla shared that she meditates daily, and the community supports her with meals. Her son, who also lives in Burma, can sometimes provide Nan Hla with extra money to buy additional snacks. On February 20th, Nan Hla began to experience severe stomach pains. She visited a local hospital the next day, where she received an ultrasound and x-ray, but her test results were not clear. As a result, she was referred to another hospital for a CT scan a few days later. The CT scan indicated she has common bile duct stones. Currently, Nan Hla is experiencing heartburn, jaundice, and a poor appetite, as she feels nauseous after she eats any solid food. Doctors have advised her to undergo a cholecystectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nan Hla's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Nan Hla receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo a cholecystectomy. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nan Hla's procedure and care. Nan Hla shared, "I have never experienced these kinds of symptoms before. This is a very bad experience to go through. I pray that all the donors will be healthy. May all your work be successful."
Daw Than is 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson, daughter and her son-in-law. Her daughter-in-law looks after her son, while the rest of her family makes and sells different types of breakfast food from their home to earn a living. Their income is just enough for their daily expenses, but they haven't been able to save any money. Five years ago, the vision in Daw Than's left eye began to blur. In 2021 she underwent surgery to replace the lens in that eye but soon after the surgery, she developed blurred vision in her right eye. She went to the hospital last week to have her right eye checked. The doctor told her she needs to undergo lens replacement surgery on that eye. She told the doctor that their family had used all the money that had for her first surgery so she went home feeling uncertain about the future. Later on, Daw Than's neighbour told her to go to a monastery where the abbot might be able to help her access surgery. Daw Than followed the neighbour's advice and went to see the abbot. The abbot then referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the surgery she needs. Daw Than's daughter said, "We do not have any money to pay for my mother's surgery. It is very helpful for us that the organisation and donors are hopefully willing to help pay for it."