Umamaheswara joined Watsi on January 2nd, 2014. Five years ago, Umamaheswara joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Umamaheswara's most recent donation supported Helen, a beautiful 1st grader from Haiti, to fund surgery to fix a hole in her heart.
Umamaheswara has funded healthcare for 112 patients in 13 countries.
Umamaheswara has funded healthcare for 112 patients in 13 countries.
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!"
Natasha is a jovial six-year-old only child living in Kenya. She is a grade 2 student and has several hobbies, including singing, praying, and cooking. Natasha was a healthy child at birth. However, when she turned three, her grandmother noticed that she had an unusual gait when she walked. She hoped that the condition would simply correct itself. Unfortunately, Natasha's situation has deteriorated, greatly affecting her mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund open reduction femur shortening osteotomy surgery, which is scheduled for April 18th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. This treatment will greatly improve Natasha's mobility and allow her to play with other children and continue with her education. “I will be grateful to see my grandchild walking normally like other children with your support,” Natasha’s grandmother told us.
Brian is a cheerful 10-year-old student. He is the third and youngest child of the family. His mother is a homemaker and his father is a farmer. Brian lives with his parents and siblings in a village, and attends the local primary school, where he is in fifth grade. Despite his birth condition, Brian is a passionate footballer. Brian was born with a clubfoot condition in which his feet are twisted out of shape, and has been treated with serial casting starting from when he was just a day old. His left foot has corrected while his right foot has not - he currently tiptoes when he walks and feels pain whenever he runs, including pain on the field while playing football. Fortunately, Brian traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 13th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Brian's procedure. After treatment, Brian will be able to walk well, play football, and continue with his studies uninterrupted. Brian's mother said, “I am pleading for help from the donors for my son to undergo surgery and I will appreciate your support.”
David is a 24-year-old male from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of four children raised by his mother. He works at a timber workshop near his home. In June 2020, David was involved in an accident where he was hit from the side by a motorbike. He was taken to the nearest public hospital and received emergency care. An x-ray revealed that he had an open right tibia fracture that needed surgery. Following his initial surgery, he has since had several additional surgeries due to the severity of the injury. In October 2022, he was referred to the care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for specialized review and care. His doctors quickly realized that he still walks with a limp, and his ankle is stiff with bloody discharge from the incision site. His doctors determined that a deeper examination was needed, and he ended up having a hardware removal surgery. However, the region where the fracture occurred is still severely infected, and he risks losing his right leg due to the infection. The doctors have recommended an additional procedure to remedy the remaining issues and clean the infection. Fortunately, AMH has scheduled David for a second-stage bone transport in hopes of avoiding amputation and helping him walk again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure and provide for David's post-operative care. David says, “I feel exhausted and worried. I am unable to walk despite having several surgeries. I hope this surgery [helps] to save my leg.”
Danilo is a 40-year-old man from Philippines. He is married and his wife owns a small food business. He previously worked as a construction worker, and now he works as a tricycle driver. In February 2022, Danilo began to notice a small lump on his navel. Over time, the lump grew in size and he visited a doctor for further examination. He underwent an abdominal ultrasound and was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia and gallstones. He needs to undergo surgery to treat his condition. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and may put him at risk for health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Danilo receive treatment. On January 20th, he will undergo a hernia repair and a cholecystectomy to remove his gallbladder. A portion of the cost of his procedure is covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and he needs help raising the remaining $1,146 to cover the full cost of his procedure and care. Danilo shared, "I had to decline my colleague's offer to have a part-time construction job. It was an opportunity for me to bring more money to my family, but my condition is hindering me. This free surgery didn't just ease our worries about where to find the money to pay for the hospitalization but also gives me a chance to strive more for my family. Thank you so much, Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines!"
Vichea is a 37-year-old soft drink seller from Cambodia. He is married and has two daughters and one son. When he is not working, Vichea enjoys playing with his small son and helping his wife at home. When he was six, Vichea had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Because of this, Vichea experiences hearing loss, discharge, and pain. It is difficult for him to communicate with others, and the pain and discharge disrupts his sleep. The medications to alleviate his symptoms are expensive and have not treated the problem. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Vichea receive treatment. He traveled to CSC's care center where, on November 16th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During the procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Now, he needs help raising $926 to fund his procedure and care. Vichea shared, "I hope my hearing improves and my ear heals."
Sharon is a 23-year-old small-scale farmer from Kenya. She is married with two children, aged four years and one year old. Sharon and her husband grow and sell vegetables and take on casual labor jobs to help supplement their income. They have a three-room house for their family. A week ago, Sharon was grazing her sheep when she tripped on a root. She was located on a hill and fell from a high distance causing her to fracture her right leg. Unable to walk or stand, some neighbors heard her call for help and rushed her to the hospital. Sharon was experiencing severe pain, swelling, and skin traction on her right lower leg. She underwent an x-ray, which showed that she had a fracture on her right femur. She also underwent skeletal traction to realign the bone and keep it in place until she could undergo surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On November 29th, Sharon will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to mend her right femur and allow her to move again. AMH is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Sharon says: “It’s so unfortunate that I broke my leg at a time when my children needed me the most. I am now forced to stop breastfeeding my son, who is still young, but I am grateful as I am still alive. I need your help, and I believe that someday things will get back to normal, and I will be able to be there for my family.”
Edith is a house-helper for a family in Nairobi. She goes to work for two days a week and is paid Ksh 1,000.00 (8 US dollars) per day. As a widow, this is the income she relies on to support herself and her two kids who are high school teenagers aged 17 and 15 years old. For some time now, Edith has been experiencing abdominal bleeding and lower back pain. She has been diagnosed with an intrauterine myoma (fibroids). She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1260 to fund Edith's surgery. On November 3rd, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Edith will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain but she needs help to pay for this surgery. Edith says, “I started feeling weak and drained. I thought it is the long hours I work. It gradually became hard for me to endure working for a lengthy period and I could not walk for long distances. I was losing lots of blood. I was admitted to the hospital because my haemoglobin levels were so low. I need this surgery to correct these anomalies and get back to my normal life.”
Margaret is a single mother of two children. She moved from Uganda to Kenya in search of a better livelihood. She works as a house help in Loresho area in Nairobi and lives in a one-room rental house costing about $35 a month. She has an immigrant identification card and cannot get national health insurance coverage within Kenya. Since two months ago, Margaret has been experiencing lower abdominal pains. She visited a nearby health facility and was treated for typhoid and ulcers. The pain did not end and she could feel a painful lump on her abdomen. She was forced to go back for a checkup and advised to visit Kijabe Hospital for a cancer review. Early this month a biopsy was ordered and results revealed a vaginal mass and squamous cell carcinoma. She urgently needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1260 to fund Margaret's surgery. On September 22nd, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Margaret will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Margaret says, “This news is tough but I am determined to battle the cancer.”
Josias is a three-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older brother. He is a happy and playful toddler who loves to smile and play! Josias has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Josias has been experiencing developmental delays. He cannot walk or talk yet. Without treatment, Josias will continue experiencing severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Josias at Hospital Bernard Mevs to treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 20th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Josias's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Josias will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Josias's family has shared that they hope this surgery will allow him to be more independent.
Abegaelle is a five-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives in the capital city of Port-au-Prince with her parents and older brother. Some of her favorite activities include going to preschool and attending church with her family. Abegaelle was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through, leaving her weak and short of breath. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Abegaelle receive treatment. She will travel to the Dominican Republic to undergo surgery on July 26th, during which surgeons will insert a catheter to plug the hole in her heart and restore a healthy blood flow. Abegaelle's family is raising $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Abegaelle and her family overseas. Abegaelle's mother shared, "Our family is all very thankful that Abegaelle will have this chance to have her heart fixed!"
Munty is a 12-year-old sixth grader, who is the eldest of three siblings. His parents are rice farmers. Munty enjoys math at school, and would like to be a math teacher when he grows up. Munty likes swimming, playing football with his friends, and watching TV. Last year he fractured his right forearm while playing with his friends after school. He had surgery, and hardware was placed in his arm at a local hospital to help repair the fracture. Munty's arm has healed, and he is looking forward to having the metal removed from his arm so he can get back to his usual activities without pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On May 2nd Munty will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $304. After this procedure, Munty will be able to regain the strength in his arm and his risk of future infections will be limited. "I hope that the metal in my arm will be removed. I want to heal quickly, so I can play with my friends again."