Stephanie joined Watsi on January 29th, 2015. Nine 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 Mark, an upbeat kid from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery.
Stephanie has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 12 countries.
Stephanie has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 12 countries.
Mark is a cheerful and social 4-year-old boy from Kenya who is in preschool. He is the second to last born in his family. Mark's mother is a businesswoman, selling rice and cereals within the village, and his father is a teacher. Mark's mother shared that he is an independent kid who likes playing with his friends and helping with household duties at home. Mark was diagnosed with a condition known as Left Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, a type of cerebral palsy that causes paralysis only on one side of the body. After going through a series of consultations in different hospitals without any improvements, Mark's mother heard about our medical partner's care center. Mark has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Mark's mother brought him to the care center, and upon review, the doctors recommended surgery. On November 28th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,286 to fund Mark's procedure. After treatment, he will be able to stand upright, walk confidently, and continue with his education without any difficulty. "I will be happy to see my son walking well like other children." Mark's mother told us.
53-year-old Aye lives with her husband, son and two daughters in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her husband is a teacher, and Aye is a homemaker. All of the children go to school. In her free time, Aye loves to plant different types of flowers around her home. One day in the middle of 2018, Aye's friend told her that her neck looked a bit swollen. Aye did not seek medical attention, as she wasn't experiencing any symptoms. Gradually, however, she began developing mood swings, anxiety, and fatigue. Although she was put on medications by the doctor, her symptoms worsened, and she was referred to Mae Sot General Hospital. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with a left thyroid mass and for the next three years, she returned to the hospital for multiple follow-up appointments. During her appointment on September 28th, the doctor told her that she will need surgery to remove her thyroid and cure her worsening condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to fund Aye's thyroidectomy, which is scheduled for October 11th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Aye is looking forward to her surgery, as she feels as if the mass is increasing in size, and is causing her to have fatigue and chest pain. Aye said: “Because of my condition, I feel sad and angry without reason. Afterwards, I feel bad for my family. I believe that after my surgery, I will have normal emotions again, and I will be able to help my family more.”
Luana is the only child of her mother and father. Her mother is a college student hoping to become a doctor, and her father is a market vendor. They live in the Amazon basin of northeastern Bolivia. Luana was born with a condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Luana also has Down syndrome. Our partner International Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund cardiac surgery which will help her to grow up healthy and active. Luana's mother shares, "We are so grateful that the hospital selected our daughter to have surgery, and we are praying everything will go well!"
Francis is a 20-year-old student - a freshman at university and the second born in a family of 3 children. His mother earns money to support the family by cleaning clothes for neighbors. Francis' dad left the family in 2007, leaving his mother to raise the children and make ends meet on her own. Francis loves athletics and serving in the local church. Francis commutes to university daily and often ends up seeking rides from other vehicles, especially lorries carrying sand and stones. On one of these occasions, he ran to board a lorry, and unfortunately, missed the steps and fell on the tarmac where he hit his left elbow. It is difficult for him to use his left arm, and he is in pain. Francis was diagnosed with a fracture to his left elbow. Surgeons at our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. On August 17th, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve him from pain and allow him to regain the use of his left arm. Francis will be able to go back to school and continue with his studies. AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I will be very grateful if assisted to have this surgery. I have to be strong, for I would love to complete my education and hopefully change the situation of my family,” said Francis.
Mon is a 40-year-old mother from Thailand. She lives with her husband and son in a small village. She is a seamstress while her husband is unemployed. Her son goes to nursery school. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her son and riding bikes with him. Since 2015, Mon has been experiencing pain in the right side of her abdomen. She has been diagnosed with uterine myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Mon's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Mon is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 19th. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCM) is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain. She said, “I was depressed when I learned I have to undergo surgery, but my husband comforted me and encouraged me to continue seeking medical treatment so I will feel better.”
Tha Zin is a 43-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives in a refugee camp in Tak Province with her husband and two sons. Tha Zin and her husband run a shop in the refugee camp. Their total monthly income is not enough to cover their basic expenses, and sometimes Tha Zin needs to borrow money with interest from her neighbor for her children’s school expenses. Tha Zin shared that in her free time she loves reading the Bible, praying, and knitting hats for her family. In 2022, Tha Zin started to experience pain when sitting. She also experienced bleeding in a sensitive area. In the refugee camp, they receive free basic health care from the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Tha Zin went to the hospital in the refugee camp, where they completed a physical examination, diagnosed her with severe hemorrhoids, and provided her with basic medication. While Tha Zin took the medication, she felt relieved, but after she finished her medication, the pain worsened, and she experienced increased swelling and inflammation. As time went on, the pain worsened. She felt it was harder to stand up, walk or sit. Currently, Tha Zin feels like she has less energy and has difficulty completing her everyday tasks. She also experiences difficulty sleeping due to her worries about her condition. Tha Zin sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo surgery on June 2nd at our partner's care center. Tha Zin needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Tha Zin said, “Because of my illness, I had to close my shop and leave my two children with my relatives. So, I worry about them. But I am thankful to those who will support my surgery because I cannot afford to pay for it by myself. When I recover, I will reopen my shop and pay back my debt that I borrowed for my children’s school expenses. If my family has the opportunity to do so, I want us to be resettled in a new country one day.”
Evans is a 22-year-old from Kenya who just completed his training as a plant operator with the National Youth Service. He will be looking for jobs as a plant operator but is currently unable to work and depends on his parents for support. His mother is a hairdresser, and his father is a casual laborer. Evans was in a bad accident in April and had to use his mother’s medical insurance, but their coverage is now exhausted. Evans shared that he has a large medical bill that they are struggling to raise money for, and he still needs to undergo two more procedures and is requesting financial support. On April 30th, Evans was involved in a road accident while traveling for a site-seeing visit that caused him to sustain hip and wrist fractures. The bus he and the other youth members from his church were in was involved in a head-on collision with an oncoming truck that was speeding. Evans has undergone multiple surgeries, including ex-fixator placement for a pelvic fracture, laparotomy surgery, and minor bowel repair surgery. His treatment journey is ongoing, with two more fracture repair surgeries scheduled. Currently, it is difficult for him to walk or use his left hand; he is bedridden and in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 16th, Evans will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk, sit, and restore grip on his hand. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Evans says, “I am lucky to be alive. It is a miracle considering the magnitude of the accident. I hope to walk again and be a productive citizen now that I have recently finished my training.”
Solomon is a jovial and social 12-year-old boy, living with his family in Oldaraja village in Kajiado County in Kenya. He is clever, innovative, and aspires to be an engineer. Solomon's mother sells Maasai blankets at a small shop in the village, while his father passed away last year. Solomon also has two siblings. Solomon was healthy at birth. However, at five years of age, his mother noticed that his knees knocked against one another when he walked and that he would sometimes fall down as a result of the positioning of his legs. Due to a lack of information and finances, the family could not get access to a hospital. A doctor in Kajiado, who spotted Solomon in the village, referred the family to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. On April 18th, Solomon is scheduled to undergo an angular deformity correction procedure at AIC Cure International Hospital, which will cost $1,224. This life-changing surgery will enable Solomon to walk easily, play with his friends, and continue with his education. Now Solomon and his family are looking to you to help raise the necessary funds. “I will appreciate your help in correcting my legs so I can walk well without knees knocking each other,” Solomon told us.
Roly, who is two years old, is a happy and loving child, who lives with his family in a small town, which is a nine hour drive from La Paz, Bolivia. Roly's parents are farmers. Roly was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. Because of this condition, blood leaks through a hole that connects two major blood vessels next to the heart, leaving Roly sick and short of breath. He needs surgery in order to be able to live a full and healthy life. Fortunately our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Roly access the care that he needs. On March 1st, surgeons at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uria will operate on Roly, sewing the hole in his heart closed, so that blood can no longer leak through it. Now Roly and his family need your help to raise the $1,500 necessary to fund this life saving procedure. His mother is hopeful that he will be better soon and said, "We are hoping that our son will have a better appetite and gain more weight after his surgery is finished."
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.