Stephanie joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. 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 Gifton, a fifteen-month-old boy from Kenya, to fund treatment to heal his clubfeet.
Stephanie has funded healthcare for 103 patients in 13 countries.
Stephanie has funded healthcare for 103 patients in 13 countries.
Gifton is a fifteen-month-old boy. He is the only child in his family and resides in an urban area Nairobi. His mother, Mercy, works as a housemaid in the area, undertaking various household tasks, including washing clothes. Gifton's mother noticed a deformity in his feet immediately after birth. His feet were turned inward, not as other children's. Gifton has been diagnosed as having clubfoot of both feet--a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As Gifton grows, this will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes if not corrected. Mercy sought medical help for Gifton. When he was just one month old, a course of serial casting to correct the position of his feet was started. Despite these efforts, the condition has not improved, prompting Mercy to seek a pediatric orthopedic review. Doctors at AIC CURE International Hospital in Nairobi have determined that Gifton needs bilateral PMR surgery to correct the deformity. This surgery will be performed on October 23. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Gifton's clubfoot repair. After treatment, there will be a significant impact on Gifton, as the treatment will realign his feet to their normal position. As he grows, he will gain the ability to walk comfortably, just like other children. “I am appealing for help from well-wishers to help my boy walk comfortably like other children,” Gifton's mother told us.
Piseth is a 33-year-old monk from Cambodia who lives in a pagoda near his hometown in Prey Veng province. Piseth's mother lives nearby and works on a rice farm. Piseth enjoys studying Buddhist texts and visiting his family in his free time. Ten years ago, Piseth had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, it is difficult for him to hear and communicate with others. Piseth traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 28th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, requests $926 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. He said, "I hope I can return to the pagoda and hear everyone better."
Eh is a 58-year-old father of two from Burma. Eh became unemployed following a motorbike accident that left his leg weakened. He now relies on his wife, who sells betel nuts and noodles for support. During his free time, Eh enjoys weaving bamboo baskets. Eh has been diagnosed with multiple large gallstones. He has enduring intense right-sided abdominal pain, accompanied by back pain and a diminished appetite. Due to the pain, he also faces trouble sleeping at night. Eh has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Eh's symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Eh is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on September 4th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Eh's procedure and care. Eh said, "I stopped working for a year, and I have no income, so I am stressed about my treatment. However, when I learned that BCMF would help me access treatment, I felt very happy. I want to express my gratitude and say thank you to the donors and BCMF for supporting my treatment."
Meet Joshua: a playful and social seven year old boy who is also the third born in a family of five. He is currently a first-grade student and takes great pleasure in reading, both in school and at home. Joshua and his family live in Odure, a charming village situated near the Kenya-Tanzania border. His father runs a small shop right in Odure, while his mother devotes her time as a dedicated housewife. Joshua, having undergone a healthy birth, was okay until the age of five when his mother noticed his unusual walking style. Not long ago, they became aware of the Cure Hospital Mobile Clinic, which was set to take place in Oloitoktok, conveniently close to their village. Upon visiting the clinic, the doctors determined that Joshua would require knee repair surgery to help him walk. This treatment holds great promise as it would enable him to walk without limping and, more importantly, allow him to attend school like his fellow classmates. Currently, due to his walking difficulty, it is hard for him to go to school. The surgery presents a life-changing opportunity for Joshua to lead a more active and fulfilling life. Joshua's mom told us: “I would request support for my son to undergo surgery and resume his normal life.”
Dennis is a hardworking tricycle driver from the Philippines. He lives with his wife, Marecar, and their three-year-old child. Despite his hard work and dedication, Dennis's income is just enough for his family's basic needs but not for his needed surgical treatment. In October 2022, Dennis began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain and bleeding in a sensitive area. He sought medical consultation and was advised to undergo a colonoscopy. He was prescribed medicines to relieve the pain, but unfortunately, it has continued. He was then forced to have another medical checkup and was diagnosed with bleeding internal hemorrhoids, which gives him discomfort and pain, and hinders him from working to support his family. He needs surgery to prevent his symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Dennis receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy on June 20th at WSFP's care center. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is supporting a portion of the cost of his treatment, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,285 to cover the cost of Dennis's procedure and care. Dennis shared, "I am very thankful to Watsi, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and those helping us get this surgery done. It is such a big help for me and my family."
Festus is a lively 6-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the third born in a family of five children. His parents own a small corn farm, which they use to earn a living by selling produce. Festus was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience discomfort and will be at risk for infertility. Fortunately, Festus’ father was introduced to a social worker who brought the family to the care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH). BKKH is run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). As a result, on February 16th, surgeons at AMH will perform the corrective surgery. AMH is requesting $847 to fund the total cost of his procedure and care. Festus’ father says, “I want Festus to be treated and grow up like other children.”
Peterson is a 24-year-old man from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger sister in a city on the southern coast of the island. When he feels well enough, he helps his family with their market stand. Peterson has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Peterson urgently needs surgery, but this is not available within Haiti. So Peterson will fly to United States to receive treatment. On March 2nd, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $15000 to pay for surgery. Peterson'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 Peterson overseas. "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart," said Peterson.
Ian is a 5-year-old boy from the valley of Elgeyo Marakwet county in Kenya. He is the second of three children. He loves playing football and helping his mother gather firewood and clean the house. His mother takes care of the house and family while his father tills land for planting. Ian's father is currently working in a village far away from their home in order to earn money to provide for the family. Ian recently came to the hospital in a lot of pain because he had fallen and hurt his right arm. X-rays revealed that his arm was broken near the elbow joint. He needs surgery in order to stabilize the broken bone. Since the arm was so swollen, Ian was admitted to the hospital; a splint was applied and the arm is elevated to reduce the swelling. Because Ian is very young, he needs surgery so that his arm will continue to grow properly. He is right-handed and currently does not have use of the arm or hand. Fortunately, on March 21st, surgeons at our partner African Mission Healthcare will perform surgery to help heal Ian's broken arm. He and his family need help raising $853 to fund Ian's surgery. Ian's mother shared, “My son is in so much pain, and I feel like transferring it to myself. I am worried because he is a right-handed person, and he has injured his right hand. I sincerely have no option and no funds to help my son. Please help him so that he may be able to go back to school.”
Elithon is a curious and outgoing 5-year-old from Tanzania and a member of the Maasai community. He is the fourth child in his family of five. Our medical partner’s team shared that he loves to talk and was so excited to share about the amazing wild animals he saw on his way to their care center - his favorite being elephants! He also loves the cold weather in the mountains near his home. Elithon could not hide his excitement when he arrived at the care center for treatment. Elithon fell and tripped over a stove with a pot of boiling soup, causing him to burn his right arm. Burn scar contractures have started to develop and tighten the skin around his burn. Consequently, it is difficult for him to stretch and use his hand. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Elithon receive treatment. On February 27th, surgeons at AMH’s care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will help him use his hand again. AMH is requesting $832 to fund this procedure. Elithon’s mother says: “We are very excited to know that there is a place where our son can get treatment.”
Valmy is a 10-month-old infant from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, and older brother. Valmy 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, Valmy has been experiencing Increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Valmy will have severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Valmy at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available, and the procedure is scheduled to take place on February 2nd. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Valmy's brain to reduce the intracranial pressure and will greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Valmy will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. The family is looking forward to their child being able to grow up to walk and talk.
Boramey is an adorable 2-year-old toddler from Cambodia. She has an older sister, who is seven and in the 1st grade, and an older brother, who is four and not in school yet. Her father works as a driver for a construction company, and her mother sells groceries at a local market. Boramey's favorite activities include playing with the other children in her neighborhood and snacking on bread. When Boramey was born, she experienced an injury called shoulder dystocia, which occurs when one or both of a baby's shoulders become stuck inside the pelvis during childbirth. As a result, the nerves responsible for providing feeling and movement in her shoulder and arm were stretched. Boramey cannot move her left arm and has no shoulder abduction or elbow or wrist flexion. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand; injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Our medical partner's care center is the only center in Cambodia where the treatment Boramey needs is available. On January 3rd, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Boramey's parents were able to gather $100 to contribute to her care. Boramey's mother said: "I hope the doctors can fix her arm so she can use it like other children and be able to go to school when she is old enough."
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters, and brother. His grandparents are retired. His father farms paddy and rubber trees on their land, while his mother is a homemaker. Saw Myo and his siblings are all in school, but Saw Myo recently had to stop attending due to a medical condition. Saw Myo has had a lump on his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old due to an injury from a slingshot. He received medicinal ointment from a traditional healer that helped with the stiffness and prevented further growth. However, Saw Myo fell off his bicycle a few years later, and the lump grew in size. His family took him to several clinics, and an X-ray indicated a potential spinal cord problem. The doctors recommended a computerized tomography (CT) scan, but due to COVID-19 policies, Saw Myo could not receive the scan. His parents continued to try and help Saw Myo receive treatment but learned that his condition could not be treated locally. Saw Myo's mother then contacted a neighbor who worked as a medic at a clinic in Burma and began raising money for his care. The doctors want Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, which is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Saw Myo receive this treatment. On November 15th, he will undergo an MRI. BCMF requests $814 to cover the cost of Saw Myo's MRI procedure and care. Saw Myo's mother said: “We have been so worried since we saw the mass increasing in size. It was tiring to seek treatment in Burma, and we now have borrowed a lot of money without Saw Myo having received treatment."