Carlos joined Watsi on November 9th, 2015. One year ago, Carlos joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Carlos' most recent donation supported Gareth, a very special 4-year-old boy from Bolivia, to fund life-saving heart surgery.
Carlos has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Carlos has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 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."
Meet Kyar, a 4-year-old boy who lives with his parents, two brothers, and one sister in Tak Province. Kyar and his siblings are students at a Thai school, while their parents raise pigs and ducks and grow some vegetables for their own consumption. Kyar's mother is a homemaker, and his father makes charcoal to earn a living. He will also work as a day laborer to supplement his income, and goes fishing to put additional food on the table. The family income is just enough for their basic needs. In early December 2022, Kyar was playing with rubber bands with his friends, when one accidentally hit his left eye, which turned red and became painful. Kyar’s mother brought him to a nearby hospital, where he was admitted right away. After two days, Kyar's mother was told that he needed to be transferred to another hospital, but after eight days there, Kyar was referred to a hospital in Chiang Mai, because of the nature of the injury. Currently, Kyar experiences severe pain, swelling, and tearing from irritation in his left eye. He cannot open his eye because it is too painful. With the assistance of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Kyar is now scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure on December 20th at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, that will resolve his injury, enabling him to see clearly again. Kyar and his family need your help to fund the $1,500 needed for the surgery. "I honestly feel sad to see my son's condition and also worried about financial difficulty, but after learning this organization BCMF and donors will support my son's treatment, I am relieved and happy," said Kyar's mother.
Elia is a playful 17-month-old baby from Tanzania who loves to smile. He is the youngest in his family of four children. Elia's father is a small-scale farmer and primarily grows food for the family's sustenance, while his mother cares for children. They shared that their income is limited to cover their basic needs. Elia's mother noticed that his leg was twisted downward and inward, affecting his ability to begin walking. She took him to a local clinic, but there were no improvements in his physical condition. When Elia's mother learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), she brought him to AMH's care center. As soon as he arrived, Eila's charming personality emerged, and he made friends with the other children and played many games. Upon examination, the doctors at AMH diagnosed the condition as clubfoot of the right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. On November 18th, Elia will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and start wearing shoes. AMH is requesting $935 to fund Elia's procedure. Elia’s mother says: "I appeal for your financial support, and I will be glad to see my son start walking normally."
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Steevenson is a 21-year-old, living in a small farming village in southwest Haiti, with his parents and three younger siblings. Steevenson helps his parents tend to their farm, although he is hoping to be able to complete high school, once his health has improved. As a child, Steevenson suffered from a case of rheumatic fever, which left his heart severely damaged. As a result, one of his four heart valves cannot pump sufficient blood through his body, which leaves Steevenson weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Steevenson to finally receive the treatment that he needs. Steevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 26th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will attempt to repair his damaged valve. If this isn't possible, an artificial valve will be implanted. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Steevenson's surgery. But Steevenson's family also needs your help to secure $1,500 to fund the cost of labs, medicines and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Steevenson shared, "I have been praying for this surgery since I was a child, and I hope that when it is over I can be fully healthy and will have more energy."
Ei is a 15-year-old girl from Thailand who enjoys reading books and playing soccer! She lives with her grandparents, her parents, and her two brothers. She and her younger brother are both students. Her father is a construction worker, her mother is a homemaker, and her grandparents are both retired. On August 11th, Ei broke her right lower leg while playing soccer with her friends at school. As she went to kick the ball, she unfortunately slipped on the wet, muddy ground. She is currently experiencing a lot of pain, cannot put any weight on her leg, and is unable to stand up. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ei will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for August 11th and will cost $1,500. The goal of this treatment is to allow her leg to heal in the proper position and help her walk again. Her father says, "I want to say thank you so much to the donors for agreeing to support my daughter's treatment cost."
Chit is a 40-year-old woman from Burma. This past April, she and her husband have moved in with her sister and two nephews in Mae Sot, a border city in Thailand, while she receives treatment. Prior to the move, Chit would sell various fruits from their home in the village, but she had to close her shop once they moved. Her husband has been unable to work due to his disability. They are now supported by Chit's sister, who works as a waitress at a restaurant. In her free time, Chit enjoys gardening and growing various fruit trees, such as avocado, lime, banana, and pomegranate. In the future, she wants to grow and sell fruit tree saplings because she greatly enjoys growing fruit trees! Since August of last year, Chit has been experiencing slight lower abdominal pains. She especially experiences tightness on the right side of her abdomen in the morning right after she wakes up. She has been diagnosed with a uterine fibroid, a noncancerous growth of the uterus. Doctors have advised her to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Chit's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Chit is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 26th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and will be able to return home and work again. Chit shares, “I had to leave my house, and I always have to take care of my husband. But I also have to take care of myself because I am ill. Sometimes, I feel sad and tired of my life. I know surgery will help me...”
Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”
Meet Lydia, a 25-year-old mother of three, living with her husband and children in rural Kenya. Lydia and her husband both work as farmers, and live with her husband's parents. Lydia, who has epilepsy, fainted while she was preparing food for her children. She sustained severe burns on her left hand, extending to the left forearm. Lydia was admitted to the hospital, where she was treated, but her wounds became infected, and she lost her fingers. After three weeks of medication and surgeries, Lydia’s medical costs rose to a level that her family could not sustain, so the decision was made to discharge her from the hospital, even though her condition had not improved. Lydia is worried about being able to care for her children now that she can no longer work as a farmer. Her mother-in-law is also concerned about her future, and the difficulties she may face: will she be able to do laundry and cook, will she face social problems or financial challenges? Lydia requires skin grafting to heal her burn wounds and treat her infection. Her family, who sold everything at home to raise funds for Lydia's initial treatment, cannot afford the cost of her procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,089 to fund her surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 25th, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Lydia shared: “It is difficult to look at my hand; I want to get better than this. Please help me improve the quality of my life.”
Alex is a student and is a very ambitious and active teenager from Kiambu, Kenya. He is the only child of a single mother, who is a hawker of different items. He is in high school and his mother shared that he has a passion for football and running. After schools were closed in March, Alex decided to go and visit his aunt who lives near Nazareth Hospital. Being playful as he is, he took a bicycle from his aunts’ house and decided to have a ride on last Saturday. Unfortunately, while riding, he tried to avoid a collision and he fell. He sustained an injury to his left hand. Now Alex is in pain, unable to use his hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 12th, Alex will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Alex's fracture will heal, he will be able to use his hand and also resume school. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I am feeling for my son, and hope he could receive the sponsorship so that he can be well before the school opens,” said Alex’s mother.
Margaret arrived at the hospital with visible yellow eyes and prolonged discomforts that is causing her worries. The medical team has scheduled her for a binary reconstruction to help heal her condition. As a mother of three, she has been visiting different faculties for medical care since 2009. These frequent visits have depleted her family's resources and exhausted her health coverage. Margaret's husband is a Boda-Boda taxi driver, but the income he earns goes to rent and other basics for their family. Margaret told us, "My eyes are turning yellow and they making me very uncomfortable and scared. I need this surgery to help me get well.”
San is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her daughter and two sons in a village near Mae Sot, Thailand. San’s two sons work as agricultural day labourers on a farm. San’s daughter is a second grade student. San stopped working on the farm about four months ago when she first developed problems with her vision. The money that her two sons earn is not enough to cover their household expenses and pay for her daughter’s school fees since she stopped working. They have had to borrow money to pay for basics like food. San has cataract and glaucoma. Currently, San has lost most of her vision in her right eye. Her right eye is painful and always waters. If she tries to focus her vision to make out someone’s face, her eyes will hurt, and she develops a headache. In her free time, San like to clean her house and plant vegetables. She said, “I hope that I will get better soon so that I can go back to work and pay back my debts. I want to support my daughter so that she can become an educated person. I want to live happily with my family for the rest of my life.” Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for San. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove San'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. San said, “I am so upset that my condition worsens every day. I cannot sleep well because I am worried about what will happen if I do not get better. I am upset that I cannot work and my two sons have to work and support me. I feel so sad for my two sons.’’