Stephanie joined Watsi on January 29th, 2015. Eight years ago, Stephanie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephanie's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Peter, an ambitious 21-year-old from Kenya, to fund a surgery to stabilize and heal his leg.
Stephanie has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 12 countries.
Stephanie has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 12 countries.
Peter is a young man who lives with his parents and two siblings. Peter loves soccer, and recently graduated from secondary school with hopes of joining the army. Peter's father, a bus driver, is the sole breadwinner for the family of five. In June of 2022, Peter fractured his right leg during a soccer tournament. He received a cast for his injury, but it became apparent that the extent of his injuries are more severe than initially anticipated. Peter's recent x-ray revealed a tibial shaft fracture along the length of the bone between his knee and ankle. Due to his injury, Peter is unable to walk without the help of crutches. As a result, he cannot play soccer, join the army, or work to help support his family. Fortunately, the surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On January 25th, Peter will undergo a procedure to repair to stabilize his leg and repair his fracture, allowing him to heal and walk again without crutches. Now, Peter's family is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Peter says, “I want to serve my country as a soldier. This fracture is dimming my hopes of joining the forces. I can also not play soccer; that is my passion. I need this treatment to be able to use my leg again.”
Rose is a 44-year-old wife and mother of two children from Haiti. She lives in a small town in central Haiti with her husband, two children, and her sister and her sister's children. Unfortunately, she has been too unwell to work for over five years, but previously sold electronics in a local market. Rose has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged as a result of rheumatic fever a number of years ago. Her heart cannot adequately pump blood through her body, leaving her tired and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Rose receive treatment. She will fly to the Dominican Republic for her surgery. On January 27th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her diseased mitral valve and implant an artificial replacement. HCA is contributing $12,000 to cover the cost of Rose's procedure, but she and her family also need help funding the costs of surgery prep. Rose and her family need help raising $1,500 to cover labs, medicine, check-ups and follow-up appointments. This money will also support passport obtainment and the social workers from HCA that will accompany Rose's family overseas. Rose shared, "I have felt very sick for a very long time, and I am very hopeful that this surgery will bring me relief and new energy!"
Paw is 52-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and son-in-law in a refugee camp. She and her husband are homemakers, while her eldest daughter and son-in-law are teachers. Her youngest daughter is a student. She has cataracts and she has blurred vision in both of her eyes. Because of her poor vision, she has difficulty walking around the refugee camp and she has had to stop weaving and selling traditional Karen clothes from her home-region of Burma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Paw. On December 29th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Paw's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "I hope that my treatment will be successful. I want to be able to see well. I want to continue weaving clothes in the future, and I want to live with my family for the rest of my life,” she said.
Morn is a 53-year-old recycled material collector. She is married, and has two daughters and two sons. In her free time, she helps to take care of her grandchildren. Many years ago Morn had an ear infection. This infection caused both of her ear drums to perforate. As a result, Morn experiences pain, hearing loss, and ear discharge. She also has difficulty communicating clearly with others. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Morn to receive treatment. On June 8th, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will close the perforations in Morn's ear drums. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund the procedure, and to pay for medications, supplies and inpatient care. Morn says: "I hope after surgery the ear discharge will end, and my hearing finally improves."
Agrey is a five-month-old baby boy, and the first child born to his parents. Agrey was born with spina bifida and bilateral clubfoot. Agrey's father, who is a truck driver at a local sand quarry, was able to find enough money to take Agrey to a referral hospital for assessment of his spina bifida. But their family could not afford to pay for the surgery necessary to correct this condition, which put Agrey at risk of losing the ability to use his lower limbs, and endangering his life in the event of a serious infection. They were referred to the Plaster House for help, and through Watsi funding, Agrey had his spina bifida corrected. Agrey's bilateral clubfoot also means that both of his feet are twisted out of shape, which would make it difficult for Agrey to walk when he gets older. Fortunately, Agrey's family brought him to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, our care partner's health center. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund this procedure and his care. After treatment, Agrey's feet will be straightened and he will be able to wear shoes and to walk easily as he grows up. Agrey’s mother says: “My son has had his first surgery of his back and it was successful. He now needs to start treatment for his feet. Thank you for your help.”
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."
Kidus is a five-month-old baby from Ethiopia who is his parents' first child. Some of his favorite activities include breast feeding and playing with his mother. His parents are both students and farmers. They earn their income by selling fruits from their farm; however, the weather in their area is very sunny and their land is dry, which makes their harvest limited. Kidus was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Kidus recently underwent a colostomy, an intestinal procedure that inserts a colostomy bag. His parents share that paying for this surgery was very difficult. They had to borrow the money from individual loaners, and it has been difficult for them to repay it. In the middle of these challenging times, they heard about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, and their care center, BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Kidus's parents decided to seek financial assistance so he could complete the series of surgeries he needs. Kidus is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on August 17th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kidus's procedure and care. After his recovery, Kidus will no longer experience bowel dysfunction and will be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Kidus's dad says, “We were happy that we got this opportunity. We hope that our child will get the treatment and make stool just like other people.”
Cristian is a sweet three-year-old boy from Bolivia who has Down syndrome. He lives in a small city in the mountains of central Bolivia with his parents and three siblings. To support their family, his parents operate a small market stall. Some of Cristian's favorite activities include clapping along to music and watching cartoons. Cristian was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Cristian is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 29th 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, healing his condition and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Cristian's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Cristian and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Cristian's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping our son to become healthy!"
U Pyin is a 36-year-old monk who lives with three other monks, seven novice monks, and his two younger brothers, in a village in central Burma. His two younger brothers are not monks, but work at the monastery as helpers, assisting with cooking and cleaning. U Pyin has no income, but receives food and accommodation at the monastery. If he is ill, there are three local families that help to cover the costs of his basic health care expenses. In early May, U Pyin began experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, and headaches. One of his brothers brought him to a hospital, where tests revealed that one of the valves in his heart needs to be replaced. This is a particularly dangerous condition, as it can lead to a stroke, and U Pyin has already suffered a stroke, earlier in his life. U Pyin was given medication, an appointment to return in two months, and sent home. When U Pyin did not feel any better after taking the medication that he had been given, he and his brother decided that he should see a cardiologist in Yangon. The cardiologist confirmed U Pyin's diagnosis, and stressed the need for U Pyin to have surgery to replace the ailing mitral valve. As U Pyin was unable to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to an abbot for assistance. Fortunately, the abbot referred U Pyin to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and now U Pyin is scheduled to have mitral valve replacement surgery on June 24th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of U Pyin's procedure and care, which will enable him to breathe well and to sleep comfortably again, things that he is unable to do right now. U Pyin will also be able to return to teaching the novice monks at the monastery, which he has been unable to do because he feels so unwell. U Pyin said: “After I recover, I want to teach novice monks again and I want to open a Buddhist school near Yangon.”
Lydiah is a 39-year-old woman, living with her husband and teenaged child in Kenya. While Lydiah works as a vegetable vendor - traditionally known as a mama mboga - her husband is employed as a clothing vendor. On her way to work in March 2021, Lydiah was hit by a motorcycle. She sustained a fracture of the right femur, necessitating three surgeries and multiple trips to the hospital. Despite the care that she has already received, an infection of the fracture has set in, and if Lydiah doesn't receive treatment soon, she risks losing her leg and becoming permanently disabled. Currently, Lydiah cannot walk, and is confined to a wheelchair. Lydiah is scheduled to undergo surgery for the infected fracture on May 24th, at the AIC Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Lydiah's surgery, which will enable her to walk again. Lydiah says, “I haven’t been able to go to the market to sell my vegetables because of the fracture and multiple infections. I am afraid of losing my leg and being unable to walk. I am in constant pain and need support to get this treatment.”
Emmanuel is a 7-year-old student who is in class two. His favorite school activity is counting numbers, and he also loves to play football. Emmanuel is the oldest child in his family of three kids, and his father works as a driver to help provide for their needs. Emmanuel has clubfoot in both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Currently, Emmanuel is having trouble walking and has pain after a long day. Fortunately, Emmanuel's family was able to travel to the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for his treatment. On April 22nd, Emmanual will undergo clubfoot repair surgery so that he can walk easily and no longer experience pain. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Emmanuel’s mother shared, “Life has become very tough, my husband cannot afford to take him back to the hospital to have his feet correct. Please help.”
Daniel is a smart sixteen-year-old boy. He is the eldest in a family of three children and has been living with his aunt ever since he was a little boy. He joined the primary school at the age of nine and he passed his class 7 exams with flying colors. It is now getting difficult for him to walk to school due to a condition that started when he was in class six. He dreams of becoming an orthopedic doctor in the future. Daniel's aunt works as a security guard in a hospital in Arusha and her husband is a driver. They have four children of their own and they are also looking after Daniel. Daniel was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. He used to enjoy playing soccer, but now he can no longer run as well as he used to. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Daniel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 17th. Treatment will hopefully restore Daniel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Daniel shared, “There were lots of things I enjoyed doing like playing football and being able to walk and run easily, but due to my legs bending it is hard now.”