Collin joined Watsi on August 1st, 2015. Seven years ago, Collin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Collin's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Natalia, a 13 year old girl from Bolivia, to fund heart surgery.
Collin has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 12 countries.
Collin has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 12 countries.
Natalia, who is 13 years old, lives in the mountains above La Paz with her parents and two younger brothers. Natalia was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Because of this hole, blood leaks out without passing through the chambers of her heart to gather oxygen, leaving Natalia weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Natalia's family sought care through our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, and Natalia is now scheduled for corrective surgery on January 17th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. During the surgery, doctors will sew a patch over the hole in Natalia's heart, enabling her to live a healthy life. Another organization Gift of Life International has contributed $3,000 and our medical partner is seeking your help to fund the remaining $1,500 needed for this life-saving procedure. Natalia said: "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can go to school without feeling tired."
Dennis is the first born in a family of four children. When he finished high school, he was reluctant to join college because of his condition. He currently is not able to work because he gets easily tired and cannot carry heavy loads. He joined college just recently but has been out of school for the past two months. Now that he is at home, he helps his mother who picks tea for a living. He does not have a health insurance coverage and cannot raise the required amount of money to cater for his hospital bill. In 2019 while he was sitting for his national school exams, Dennis experienced sharp pain in his esophagus. He took a glass of water, and the pain went away for a few weeks. The pain used to occur roughly two times in a month and a glass of water would help a lot. Late last year, the pain worsened. He was not in a position to swallow food. He went to a herbalist and was given some medication to use for some time. When the dose was over, the pain was still persistent, and he still could not swallow food normally. He was then referred to Kijabe Hospital by a friend where he was examined and given some medication to use. He didn't feel better and decided to go back to the herbalist for different medication but there was no change. Later he finally returned to Kijabe Hospital and scans and tests revealed that he has Achalasia. He is scheduled for a heller's myotomy which is a curative laparotomy surgery for his condition. Now he needs $1,074 to pay for the surgery. Dennis says, "I feel very sad. If I was healthy, I would be able to work well and be comfortable with myself.”
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."
Ivy is a hardworking 24-year-old mom from the Philippines. Her husband works as a construction worker, and she shared that his income is only enough to sustain their basic needs. For the past five years, Ivy has been monitoring a birthmark on her face, which she noticed is growing in size. However, despite her desire to consult a physician, her financial constraints have prevented her from doing so. Over time, she began experiencing troubling symptoms, such as pain, uncontrollable itchiness, and bleeding from the lesion. Fortunately, Ivy found her way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP). They are helping Ivy receive treatment. On July 16th, she will undergo surgery at WSFP’s care center. This procedure will remove her lesion and alleviate her symptoms, allowing her to return to supporting her family free of discomfort. Now, she needs help raising $1,196 to fund her procedure and care. Ivy shares, "Everywhere I go, I feel like people always notice my lesion, and it has started to affect my self-confidence. With Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines helping me get this surgery, I know I can regain my confidence. I am really thankful to them, and I hope they help more people like me."
Grace is a happy 9-year-old from Kenya and the fifth born in her family of six. Grace is close with her mother and helps care for her younger brother. Grace's mother works as a farmer to support her family. Grace is experiencing clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, Grace's family was able to travel to our medical partner's care center for support. On September 26th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Grace to walk well upon her recovery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,286 to fund Grace's surgery. Grace's family shared, "I am so grateful to Watsi for the support. May you be blessed and continue helping needier patients.”
Wensly is a sweet two-year-old toddler from Haiti who loves to draw and to play with his toy trucks. He lives with his parents and older sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital city. Wensly 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 him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Wensly is scheduled to fly to the Cayman Islands where he will undergo cardiac surgery at Health City Cayman Islands on September 19th. During this procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart to prevent blood from flowing through it. A portion of the cost of Wensly's treatment is being supported by Have a Heart Cayman. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Wensly and his family overseas. Wensly's mother shares, "Our family has been hoping for this surgery since our son was a baby, and we are so thankful it is almost here!"
Jane is a polite and calm 17-year girl from a family of four children. Jane’s father is a small-scale farmer of maize and vegetables and practices livestock keeping. Jane completed her primary education late last year and started secondary school, but had to stop because the walk to school grew to be too painful. Jane was diagnosed with left Genu Valgus meaning her leg is bent causing her knees to knock against each other when walking. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Jane experiences pain and exhaustion after just a short distance walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jane. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Jane's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Jane shared, “I would like to continue with my studies because I want to be either a teacher or a nurse.”
Wilna is a 13-year-old student from Haiti. Her family lives in a rural area in northwest Haiti, as Wilna's parents both work as farmers. Wilna is in the sixth grade and enjoys her math and social studies classes. Wilna has a cardiac condition called severe mitral regurgitation, which means one of Wilna's heart valves was damaged due to an infection she experienced earlier in childhood. As a result, Wilna's heart is not adequately pumping blood through her body. The care that she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, Wilna will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 26th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will either repair her damaged heart valve or implant an artificial replacement, so that her heart can pump blood normally. Wilna's family is requesting assistance to cover the costs of her surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing the funds to cover the cost of surgery. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover Wilna's surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Wilna and her family overseas. Wilna shared, "I am glad to be having this surgery so that I will be able to walk without feeling tired."
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Colleta is a 26-year-old woman who works at a small boutique in Nairobi. She is married and has two children, who are four-years-old and five-months-old. Colleta and her family currently live in the capital city, but they plan to relocate to Colleta’s hometown soon. Colletta and her family were involved in a serious car accident last month. Her parents and brother passed away, and her husband and two children were seriously injured and admitted to the ICU. Although her husband’s condition has stabilized, Colleta’s kids are in critical condition and under pediatric intensive care. Colletta sustained a fracture to her right pelvic bones. As a result, she experiences severe pain and cannot sit, turn her body, or feed herself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Colletta receive treatment. On April 28th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to sit and walk again. AMH is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Colleta shared, “I am in pain and cannot even turn or sit. I am also sad that I lost my parents and my brother. My kids and husband are in critical care and still in ICU. I feel confused and heartbroken.”
Dav is a 25-year-old construction worker. Dav's wife is a garment worker and together they have a one-year-old son, who they adore. In January, Dav was in a motorcycle accident, causing trauma to his right shoulder. Dav was treated at a local clinic, where surgeons placed screws and plates to repair his broken arm, but he has experienced paralysis from extensive nerve damage. Dav has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury that impacts the 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. Dav is unable to lift his right arm, abduct his shoulder, or have any sensation in his fingers. Dav cannot work to support his family so Dav, his wife, and child live with Dav's parents. Dav traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the country where this treatment is available. On March 7th, Dav will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, the nerves that have been damaged will be able to regenerate, allowing Dav to have use of his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Dav raise $696 to fund this procedure. Dav is hopeful that with this care, he can use his arm again to lift up his son and return to work to support his family.
Guy is an 8-year-old student from Haiti. Her lives with his parents and younger brother and sister in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. He likes going to school and dressing up for church. Guy 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 properly circulating through his body, leaving him sickly and weak. Guy will fly to nearby Dominican Republic to receive treatment as the care he needs is not currently available in Haiti. On February 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for his surgery. Guy's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and his check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Guy's family overseas. His mom is relieved that his surgery is finally happening and shared: "I am looking forward to seeing my son gaining weight and strength after his surgery!"