Brooke joined Watsi on January 3rd, 2021. Three years ago, Brooke joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brooke's most recent donation supported Mourine, a bright 9-year-old student from Kenya, to fund clubfoot surgery.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 11 countries.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 11 countries.
Mourine is a 9-year-old bright, social and friendly girl from Kenya. She is the firstborn of a family of two and hails from Merigi village in Bomet county. Her mother told us that she is very active while at school and at home, helping do household chores, including tending to a kitchen garden as part of her work. Mourine is passionate about studying and she told us that she aspires to become a neurosurgeon in the future! Mourine was first seen in August 2023 at our medical partner's care center (AIC Cure International Hospital) mobile clinic and scheduled to undergo serial casting. She comes from a humble background where her mother is a homemaker while her father is a farmer. Mourine has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. This condition was not noticeable at a young age and her mother came to notice it when she was 4 years old. Mourine was taken to a hospital and the family were told that her foot needed to be corrected. They stayed home for quite sometime until they heard about AIC Cure mobile clinic and upon review, she was scheduled to undergo treatment. Currently Mourine walks with discomfort, is not flexible, and has pain when walking for a long distance. Fortunately, Mourine's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 30th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Mourine's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk comfortably like other children, she will be able to play with her peers since there will be no pain and she will continue with her education without any challenge. She has a bright future ahead. Mourine said: "I'm looking forward to healing and walking comfortably to avoid people always asking me what is wrong with my foot."
Meshack is a six-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the first born in a family of two and is currently in primary school. Meshack's father works as a casual laborer while his mother stays home to take care of Meshack and his sibling. Meshack was born with bilateral genu varus, a condition where his legs bow outward at the knees. It's difficult for him to walk, and he cannot run or play football with his friends. Due to his family's financial constraints, Meshack has never been to any hospital for review. When his family heard about Cure Mobile clinic near their home, they brought Meshack for a consultation. After their visit, Meshack was scheduled for a procedure to correct his genu varus. However, his family needs support funding his treatment Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On August 16th, Meshack will undergo Bilateral PTO and Medial Plateau Elevation at AMH's care center. After treatment, it will be easier for Meshack to walk and play with his friends. Meshack's father said, “As his father, I would love to see my son walking normally and upright like other children and continuing with his education without interruption.”
Grace is a 25-year-old nurse from Malawi. She the second-born in a family of six children and the only school graduate to date. She graduated from nursing college in 2022 and is now proudly a registered nurse. Currently, she is unemployed, and all her younger siblings are in school. Grace's father is a builder who works in one of the government departments, and her mother is a homemaker. Grace started having pain in her neck back in 2013. In October, the pain increased, affecting both shoulders, and the swelling on her neck grew. On November 11th, Grace met the surgeon who confirmed the diagnosis of a goiter and the need for a surgical procedure called a thyroidectomy, which is the removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. Grace was referred to our medical partner's program due to financial instability. Grace believes that the surgery will help her get back to everyday life and that she can actively search for employment. Grace said, "I just want to get rid of the pain and tumor so that I can be active in job searching."
Lydiah is a single mother of an 8-year-old and 5-year-old. She used to work at an eatery but has not been able to go to work recently due to her medical condition. Lydia has had abdominal swelling and pain for the past six months. Three weeks ago, Lydiah's brother found her unwell and vomiting and took her to hospital. Lydiah's CT scan revealed a that 11.15cm heterogeneous cystic mass on her pancreas. Lydiah has been scheduled for a curative laparotomy on October 31 with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Because the mass is large enough to be affecting her adjacent organs, doctors may also need to perform a splenectomy and/or distal pancreatectomy to fully remove the cyst. Lydiah has been relying on her brother to support her treatment, but they are unable to afford the $1,704 needed for the proposed surgery. A naturally calm and stoic woman, Lydiah says, “I cannot work due to my condition. My children depend on me and are now forced to live with relatives. I am weak and dependent on other people. I need this treatment to be well again.”
Noah is a 3-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the second-to-last child in a family of 4 children. His family resides in a remote village known in Simanjiro, Tanzania. Noah’s mother is a homemaker and also assists her husband with agricultural activities, given that farming is their primary source of sustenance and income. Noah takes pleasure in helping others and enjoys solving puzzles alongside his friends. When Noah was merely eight months old, he was crawling around the house and ventured into the kitchen alone, just as his mother was occupied with washing chores. Inadvertently, he encountered a pan which slipped from the stove, causing hot water to spill onto the left side of his body, resulting in severe burns on his left armpit and elbow. Noah’s parents swiftly transported him to the nearest medical facility for urgent treatment. After receiving initial first aid, he was subsequently discharged with instructions for proper wound care. Despite these efforts, his wounds took two months to fully heal. Even after healing, noticeable damage to the skin remained on his left axilla (armpit) and elbow, which subsequently restricted the range of motion in his left arm, leading to his discomfort while crawling. The gravity of the situation became apparent to Noah’s parents, who were initially unaware of the necessity for further medical intervention to enhance their son’s quality of life. Noah was diagnosed with burn scar contractures affecting his left axilla and elbow. The contractures tighten the skin around the arm such that he is unable to use his hand without discomfort. Recognizing the significance of their son’s well-being, Noah’s parents humbly seek assistance to ensure he receives the requisite treatment to enhance his quality of life. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Noah receive treatment. On August 14th, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery to enable him to use his hand with ease and improve his quality of life. AMH needs help raising $874 to fund the procedure. Noah’s father says, “We are excited for his treatment as this condition has made him less interactive with his peers, and we are hopeful for a positive outcome from the treatment."
Nafie is a 22-month-old toddler from Ethiopia. He loves water play and often touches things to see what is before him. He is the only child of his parents. His dad and mom are day laborers who graduated from high school. Nafie's mom noticed he was experiencing discomfort when using the restroom. She sought medical treatment and doctors determined that he was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of cancer and infertility in the future. Due to Nafie's condition, his parents are stressed and concerned about his future. They are appealing for financial assistance to help their son undergo a hypospadias repair surgery that will correct the abnormality and enable Nafie to live a full and quality life filled with dignity. After the procedure, Nafie will be able to pass urine as his peers do. Fortunately, Nafie is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 22nd. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nafie's dad said, “It was really hard to believe that there is this kind of condition or there are children that went through this kind of situation. We were so scared and worried when we learned about his condition. We couldn’t think that it was correctable by treatment. We were relieved and felt happy when the doctor told us that the condition was correctable by surgery.” Nafie's mom also shared, “After the surgery, we hope he will be normal and just as other children.”
Miguel is a 7-month-old baby boy who lives in a small town in the jungle of northern Bolivia with his parents and his older sister. Both of his parents work as barbers. Miguel was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole exists between two major blood vessels near his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving him weak and unable to gain weight. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on July 20th, when doctors will tie the hole between the vessels closed so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure. This surgery will help Miguel thrive so that he can grow up to be a healthy young boy like other children in his village. His mother shared, "Our family is so grateful to know that our son can finally have this surgery, and we are praying that he will be fully healthy afterward!"
Angel is an 11-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of three children. Her father works as a teacher in a local school, and her mother is a homemaker. Angel's hearing ability has declined and the doctors are recommending hearing aids to enhance her hearing. She had delayed milestones and did not start speaking until she was 8 years old. This also resulted in delays in her studies compared to her peers, who are in grade seven, while Angle is in grade one. Her mother noted that she is performing well in subjects like environmental science that do not require as much hearing. She had to be enrolled in special needs school, but her doctor recommended that she join a school with her peers. The hearing aids will significantly enhance her hearing and hopefully allow her to comfortably attend a school like her peers and live a full life. Her family has medical insurance, but it does not cover this treatment and hearing aids. Our partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $1,171 to fully fund her care. Angel's mother says, “Angel has delayed her studies because of her difficulties in hearing. Her peers are in grade seven but she is still lagging behind in grade one. She was enrolled in a special needs school but should ideally be in a normal one. These hearing machines will help to make this a reality and help her to hear well.”
Paola is a brilliant little star from Colombia. She was born in Putumayo a region in the south of Colombia, and lives with her mother, brother and grandparents. Her brother is 10 years old and they love painting and drawing together. She is really good at school, and loves math. Paola has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Paola's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 22nd. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1,500 to fund Paola's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk without pain and continue studying without further complications. Her mother said: "I hope you can help my little girl, I struggle a lot seeing her suffering and not being able to help her or stop her pain."
Godson is a 4-month-old baby boy, the youngest in a family of six children. He lives with his parents and siblings in Singida, Tanzania. Both parents are farmers. They grow corn and sunflowers, which they use to make cooking oil. They sell cooking oil to earn money to support their family. Godson was born with a congenital condition in which his feet are twisted out of shape. The parents have been very concerned for their son. They've been to several different hospitals in the past three months seeking treatment with no success. Two weeks ago, while Godson's mother was out for a walk, a stranger saw Godson and approached the mother. The stranger explained his experience with his daughter who had a similar condition. After a brief conversation, the man directed her to the care center of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for a consultation. Godson's parents wasted no time traveling over 400km and finally arrived at AMH's care center with excitement. The doctors at AMH diagnosed Godson with clubfoot in both of his feet. Godson requires a treatment that involves a series of casting. Fortunately, AMH is able to provide treatment. After a brief talk with our team, Godson's parents understood the diagnosis and what treatment would be needed. The surgeons at AMH will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 21st. AMH is requesting $935 to fund Godson's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Godson’s mother says, “After seeing my son I thought this will be his future. I am happy to know that his condition can be treated.”
Sai Laung, who is 18 years old, lives with her parents and her younger sister in Shan State in Burma. Sai Laung used to be an agriculture day laborer, but she stopped working in July 2022 due to her illness. In her free time, Sai Laung likes to read Buddhist books and study English online. During the first week of July 2022, Sai Laung began to feel very tired and she developed a fever. At first, she thought it was because she was working a lot, but when she had difficulty breathing a few days later, her mother brought her to the hospital. She was told she might have a congenital heart condition, and the doctor recommended that she have an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis. Sai Laung had an echocardiogram at another hospital, confirming that she has a ventricular septal defect, or a hole in her heart. The doctor advised her to go to the Pun Hlaing Hospital in Yangon to see a cardiologist, which Sai Laung did towards the end of November 2022. During that visit, the doctor also diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation, and told her that she needs surgery. Currently, Sai Laung has difficulty breathing and is only able to walk short distances before experiencing fatigue. Performing ordinary household chores like cooking or cleaning is exhausting for her. Her lips turn blue, and she has sharp chest pain, fever, and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has stepped in to assist Sai Laung access the care that she needs. On March 7th, she will undergo surgery to repair her heart at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Sai Laung and her family need your help to raise the $1,500 to fund this life-saving procedure. “I have felt so sad since I was diagnosed with this [heart disease]. I need surgery and we have no money. I look at my parents and I pity them because they work so hard to help me get treatment. I want to recover quickly and go back to work so I can help my parents with the extra income. When I learned that there are donors who will help pay for my treatment cost, I felt so happy," said Sai Luang.
Mylene is a small food business owner from the Philippines. She lives with her mother and two cousins. Her earnings from her business contribute towards sustaining the family's daily needs. Two months ago, Mylene began to experience troubling symptoms, including stomachaches and back pain. Thinking it was simply a urinary tract infection, she opted to delay her checkup. However, her symptoms worsened as her skin began to yellow and she began to experience severe skin itchiness. As a result, she temporarily closed her business as she was compelled to see a doctor. She was advised to undergo an ultrasound test and was diagnosed with Chronic Calculous Cholecystitis, a condition that causes swelling and irritation of the gallbladder. Doctors have recommended she undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Mylene is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on February 24th. Mylene needs help raising $1,128 to fund her procedure and care. Mylene shared, "This free surgery is a life-changing opportunity. I no longer have to worry about how or where to find money to pay for my hospital bill. I'm truly grateful to WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for helping me!"