catherine joined Watsi on November 27th, 2013. Six years ago, catherine joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. catherine's most recent donation supported Alison, a sweet 6-year-old from Bolivia, to fund life-changing cardiac surgery so she can grow to be a strong, healthy young girl.
catherine has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 13 countries.
catherine has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 13 countries.
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!"
Miriam is a hardworking 52-year-old woman who finds work as a laborer or doing housework. She is a single mother of six children and cares for her family single-handedly. Due to the lack of help, it was not easy for Miriam to give her children a good education. However, two of her kids are still in school and one works selling phone covers in Nairobi, Kenya's capital. At the beginning of June, Miriam started having concerning symptoms. After seeking medical help, Miriam was diagnosed with having multiple fibroids, meaning she has multiple tumors growing on her uterus. In order to eliminate her condition, she needs to undergo a hysterectomy–a procedure where surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $755 to fund Miriam's surgery. On July 1st, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Miriam will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Miriam shared, “I have always been okay, but this bleeding shocked me. I kindly ask for help so that I can be confident in my life tomorrow. My children depend fully on me for their support and guidance. I hope to have successful surgery so that I can get well and be there for my children.”
Randy is a 49-year-old from the Philippines. He has developed a large mass on his left shoulder. Because of this mass, Randy has been unable to secure full time employment. In order to support the needs of his family, Randy works part time in the neighborhood where he lives. Because of his inability to afford and access care, Randy had to delay treatment for a couple of years, and the mass increased in size. Fortunately, Randy found his way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and he is now scheduled for surgery on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is requesting $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care, which will remove the mass and enable Randy to return to full time employment. “Randy is so eager to be treated so he can work and provide for his family,” his sister said. “We are very grateful to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping people like us. Thank you for your generous hearts," she added.
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
Kelvin is a shy, 14-year-old sixth grader. Kelvin was born to Ugandan parents who later abandoned him in Kenya. Kelvin was adopted by a potato farmer who gave him work on his farm and helped him enroll in school. Kelvin and his guardians live in a semi-permanent house in the West Pokot region of Kenya. Two weeks ago, Kelvin was struck by a motorbike in a hit and run accident. Kelvin was rushed to a nearby health facility for immediate care. Kelvin was then brought to Kapsowar Hospital for x-rays and further treatment. At this time, Kelvin is unable to walk and is in a great deal of pain. On April 1st, Kelvin will undergo a fracture repair procedure that will allow him to walk again and return to school. Our medical partners, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kelvin raise $1,145 to fund this life altering procedure. Kelvin shared, “I miss home, I want to get treated and be well again.”
Naipasoi is an adorable three-year-old girl and the firstborn child in a family of two. Naipasoi’s father lives across the border in Kenya selling Maasai herbal medication and honey, while her mother stays at home looking after her children. Naipasoi’s mother has a few cattle from which she is able to sell the milk of to get money for food and other necessities, however overall it is challenging for them to make financial ends meet. This is made more difficult since they don’t farm, so they must buy all their food to eat, which is hard when finances are so tight. In 2019, Naipasoi was involved in a fire accident, from which she sustained severe burns. Naipasoi’s mother made porridge for lunch and took the pot off the fire and placed it in a corner to cool down, so that she could feed Naipasoi. As she went out to clean plates Naipasoi took a cup and tried to fetch porridge for herself in the pot, however dipped her hand directly into the hot porridge. Her mother ran to her rescue, but Naipasoi had already sustained incredible burns. Over time, burn scar contractures have developed, which tighten the skin around her burn. As a result, she cannot use her hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Naipasoi receive the life changing treatment she needs. On March 2nd, surgeons at their care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform a burn contracture release surgery so that Naiposoi can regain some use of her hand. Naipasoi and her family need help to fund this $874 procedure. Naipasoi’s mother says, “Please help my daughter her hand needs treatment she cannot use it.”
Audrey is a three-year-old toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and has fun playing dress up and going to church with her family. Audrey has Down Syndrome and a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This entails a hole in the wall of her heart that separates the two lower chambers. Audrey is traveling to receive treatment at our medical partner's care center, Hospital CEDIMAT, in the Dominican Republic. On February 22nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole in her heart. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $5,000 to help pay for her surgery. Audrey's family needs help funding her pre and post operation costs. The $1,500 bill will cover her labs, medications, checkups, and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment for the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Audrey's family as they travel overseas where she can finally access the surgery she needs. Audrey's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter."
Nov is a 48-year-old rainy day rice farmer and part-time construction worker. Nov is married and has three children. His two sons work in a local factory making clothing and his daughter is in grade ten at the local high school. Nov's wife helps him with farming and sells fruit from their farm on the roadside to help pay for their daughter's school. He likes to go fishing and spend time with friends when he's not working. In December 2021, Nov was on his way home from selling bags of rice to a local distributor, when he collided with a tractor on a bumpy road. His femur was fractured. He spent a month in the local hospital, but his fracture did not heal. Now, Nov is unable to walk and can only move around in a wheelchair. He cannot care for himself and is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 5th, Nov will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. An open reduction and internal fixation of his femur will help the bone to heal properly so that he can walk again. Nov said, "I hope I will be able to walk again and no longer have pain. I need to work so I can support my family."
Dolla is a 47-year-old woman who has been married for 25 years. She has four children between the ages of 19 and 24 years. Her first and second-born are in college and the last-born children are twins, currently in form 4 of school. Her husband works as a carpenter, while Dolla sells Thobwa drinks, freezers, and second-hand clothes. She shared that business is now slow due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so it is a hard time to earn money. Dolla started having difficulty swallowing 2 years ago. She went to a healthcare facility near her home where she was referred to a bigger facility for diagnosis. The healthcare givers there told her to avoid taking certain foods which might have been a result of her having a hard time swallowing food. After a year, she noticed swelling around her neck. She returned to the hospital and had an ultrasound which revealed an enlarged right side of her thyroid. It was diagnosed as goiter. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland; a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough, irritation, and may also cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Dolla has been unable to eat well and constantly reports feeling like there is a foreign body in her throat. She is afraid of the goiter continuing to grow as she believes it may cause serious problems. She sought care at Partners In Hope Medical Center because she believes the surgery will prevent future complications and significantly improve her quality of life. Upon review at Partners in Hope, the surgeon confirmed a multi-nodular goiter and recommended a total thyroidectomy to remove it and heal her condition. It is expected that after the surgery the chronic sensation of choking and the feeling of having something ‘stuck’ in her throat will go away. This will allow her to eat and breathe without feeling uncomfortable. Dolla is not in a financial position to cater for surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Dolla says, "I hope the surgery will prevent future complications and give me a chance to continue meeting my responsibilities as a parent like raising school fees for my children.”
Hak is a 53-year-old farmer with one son, four daughters, and four grandchildren. Hak lives with his wife and their son. His wife and his son are also rice farmers. Hak likes to listen to the radio news and watch Khmer boxing on TV. One year ago, the retina of Hak's right eye detached, causing him blurred vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Hak learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 2nd, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Hak says, “I hope my eye can see well after surgery so I can go back to the rice field.”
Elizabeth a charming and very happy 4-year-old girl. She's the only born child to her mother who passed away after giving birth to Elizabeth. She was then taken in by her grandmother who has raised her since she was quite young. Elizabeth has not started school yet but her grandmother hopes to enroll her next year for school. Elizabeth has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. Her legs bow outward so that her knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she feels pain after walking for a while and it is keeping her from being as active as she'd like to be. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elizabeth. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Elizabeth's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Elizabeth’s grandmother says: “She plays and does most children's activities despite her legs being curved. But it hurts me to see her fall down every time she tries to run and how she walks with a gait. If I had enough money I would have tried to seek treatment for her.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”