Martha joined Watsi on October 14th, 2015. Six years ago, Martha joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Martha's most recent donation supported Jean Pierre, a 45-year-old father from Haiti, to fund cardiac surgery to finally heal a condition that has gone undiagnosed since birth.
Martha has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 11 countries.
Martha has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 11 countries.
Jean Pierre is a 45-year-old father from Haiti who lives with his wife and daughter. To help support his family, he works at the local city hall. His daughter was a previous Watsi patient and received life-changing surgery with the help of amazing donors. When bringing his daughter in a few months ago for a post-op checkup, he mentioned that he has been experiencing the same symptoms as his daughter for many years. After further examination, doctors found that Jean Pierre has the same life-threatening condition as his daughter and has somehow survived to his age! He was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, a condition in which blood leaks through a hole between two large blood vessels near the heart. After years of feeling weak and experiencing poor health, Jean Pierre's heart condition will finally be treated. On July 14th, doctors will use a catheter to insert a device into the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is raising $1,500 to pay for Jean Pierre's life-saving procedure. Jean Pierre shares, "My family and I are very grateful that so many people are making it possible for me to have this surgery!"
Caleb is a sweet one-month-old baby boy. Immediately after his birth, the doctors noticed a small growth on his back, which they attempted to prick. This only made the growth increase in size, and to begin leaking fluid. Recognizing that they could not treat Caleb, the local doctors referred the family to our medical partner BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. A neighbor provided the family with the funds to travel to BethanyKids. Caleb was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect, in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without surgery, Caleb is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delay. As the family has very little income and no national health care insurance, they cannot cover the costs of Caleb's surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. Caleb is scheduled to undergo spina bifida closure surgery on June 16th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Their family needs $1,151 to fund this life saving procedure, which, it is hoped, will spare Caleb from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Caleb’s mother says: “I was very worried about my son’s condition but now I am happy that I know that he can be treated.”
Naw En is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, two sons and parents in a village in Karen State near the border of Burma and Thailand. Her husband and parents are subsistence farmers. Naw En is a village health worker, and her two sons are primary school students in the village. Although she earns around 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month to support her family, she does whatever she can to only charge the villagers she treats for medications provided. Those who cannot afford to pay for the cost of medications are provided medication free of charge. Her family also raises chickens and pigs for their family to eat. The income Naw En earns is just enough to cover their daily expenses, but they have to borrow money to pay for anything else, like basic health care. Naw En learned she was pregnant last August 2021. She went to register her pregnancy at nearby Hlaingbwe Hospital, but the doctor told her to go to Hpa-An General Hospital when she told them that she had high blood pressure and previously needed a c-section delivery. When she went to Hpa-An General Hospital, a nurse told her to go to Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital because they were understaffed due to the coup and humanitarian crisis in their area. Finally, she then registered her pregnancy at Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital last November and received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test. The doctor gave her monthly follow-up appointments to check her high blood pressure and to check that her baby is in the right position. In January, Naw En learned that she will have a girl. “I was very happy to hear this as I already have two sons,” she said. Her doctor has now told her that she will need another c-section to ensure a safe delivery and unable to come up with the money needed, Naw En called her friend who works in Mae Sot to ask for help. Her friend told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that she may be able to find assistance in accessing her treatment. Currently, Naw En is taking medication for high blood pressure and feels tired when she walks. She can feel her baby kicking. When her blood pressure is high, she feels dizzy. She feels stressed each time she has to travel to the hospital, as it is located four hours from her home and cost 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) just for the round-trip transportation. She is also worried about the cost of her c-section and that they would have to borrow money if they cannot find donors. In the future, she will continue to work as a village health worker. In her free times, she loves to spend time with her two sons and play with them. Naw En said, “I was happy when BCMF staff told me that donors will help pay for my c-section. Thank you so much to the donors for reliving me of my worries.” She also added, “I am very happy and excited to have a baby girl!”
Eden is a 15-month-old baby boy from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Eden's father is a teacher and his mother takes care of their family and home. Eden was born with a cardiac condition called complete atrioventricular canal defect. A large hole exists in the center of Eden's heart that causes blood to leak between all four chambers. This condition puts a strain on his heart and makes it difficult for oxygen to circulate through his body. The treatment and diagnostics he needs is not available in Haiti so on April 20th, Eden will fly to the Dominican Republic to hoping undergo cardiac surgery. Upon arrival at the hospital, doctors will perform advanced diagnostics to determine the best way to treat Eden's condition. Depending on the results of the exams, the doctors will determine if they recommend Eden undergo surgery or have his condition closely managed through medication and other care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $4,000 towards Eden's medical care, but his family also needs assistance covering an additional $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Eden's family overseas. Eden's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that the doctors will have good news to share with us about Eden's heart problem!"
Khoem is a loving grandmother and a widow with two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren. Her husband passed away several years ago, so she lives with her youngest daughter, who works in a local factory and supports her mother. Over the past several years, her greatest joy is playing with her grandchildren when they come to visit. Due to her age, she mostly stays home and listens to the radio. Earlier this month, Khoem tripped in her house and fell, fracturing her left hip. Although she experienced a lot of pain and was not able to walk, she did not seek any medical help because she was worried she could not pay. A relative visited her and suggested she go to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for diagnosis and treatment. She is in constant pain and cannot walk so is using a wheelchair to get around. Fortunately, Khoem took her relatives advice and came to CSC. There surgeons can perform a surgery to relieve Khoem of her pain and allow her to walk more easily again. Her treatment is scheduled for March 15th, and Khoem needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I can walk without pain, and play with my grandchildren again," shared Khoem.
Keysha is a bright 12-year-old who lives on a small farm in northwest Haiti with her parents and four siblings. She really likes going to school and helping to take care of her family's animals. Keysha was born with a hole between the two upper chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and fatigued. During her upcoming surgery, doctors will use a catheter probe to plug the hole in Keysha's heart with a device so that blood can no longer leak through it. With this treatment, she can finally have a healthier life ahead. Keysha is hopeful to have more energy and feel healthy after her surgery. She shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can walk to my friends' houses to visit them without getting tired."
Ngeke is a 17-month-old boy from a family of four children. Ngeke's father is the sole provider of their family through keeping livestock. They shared that this year has been very hard for them because of the drought that hurt the pastures. This has led to a loss of cattle and income for their family. Ngeke was born with 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, Ngeke's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Ngeke's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to grow up healthy and walk much more easily. Ngeke’s mother says, “I would be very happy to see my son’s feet normal.”
Florante is a 44-year-old father from the Phillippines. He has one daughter, and he volunteers as a driver in his local administrative district. In 2016, Florante developed a mass in his neck. He was diagnosed with a cyst in his preauricular sinuses and surgery was recommended to treat his condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Florante receive treatment. On December 9th, he will undergo a parotidectomy, where surgeons will remove his parotid gland, the largest of the salivary glands. Now, he needs help raising $1,323 to fund his procedure and care. After he has recovered, Florante will be able to lead a higher quality and pain-free life. Florante shared, "this will be the best Christmas gift of my life. I am very grateful to WSFP and Watsi."
Godfrey is a 9-year-old student in grade 3 at a public primary school. He is the third born in a family of six siblings. Among them are four sisters and one brother. His eldest two siblings had to drop from school due to a lack of school fees, but his other younger siblings are in lower primary grades. Godfrey’s mother sells ripe bananas on the street while his father is a stone mansion. Through their daily combined efforts, they are able to support their family. The family lives in a rented single room timber house. Godfrey has a right hydrocele. The hydrocele is causing him progressive swelling resulting in pain and discomfort. Fortunately, on November 11th, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $733 to fund Godfrey's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Godfrey’s father says, "I have really struggled with my son’s condition and I cannot afford his treatment cost.’’
Yee is a 48-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, her daughter and a granddaughter in northern Tak Province. Yee's husband works in a rose farm and she is a homemaker as well as a caretaker of her granddaughter at home. Their family income is enough for their daily expenses and they are able to pay for basic healthcare but not for major treatment like Yee now needs. Currently, Yee feels that the right side of her head is achy and she experiences on-and-off pain around her right eye. When Yee feels the pain, she takes a pain medication, but she is worried because she cannot see anything with her right eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yee. On October 12th, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Yee's natural lenses and replace them with intraocular lens implants. After recovery, Yee will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I recover from surgery, I want to raise chickens and pigs for my family to eat and sell some too. I will also be able to plant vegetables for my family to eat and sell some of those,” said Yee.
Hai lives in Kandal province in southern Cambodia. He is married and has a son who is one year old. Hai's wife was a factory worker, but she stopped when their child was born. Hai enjoys playing football and listening to music in his free time. Hai was involved in a motor accident in October 2020 and experienced trauma to his back and lower limbs. After the accident, Hai went to a government hospital where he received X-rays and medications and was then sent home. Hai still feels poorly, continues to feel pain in his back, and has difficulty walking. He remains in a wheelchair and cannot work. Surgeons plan to use posterior instrumentation to stabilize his spine. A posterior instrumented fusion involves the placement of screws and rods in the spine. This procedure will provide realignment and stabilization of the spine allowing fusion to occur. Hai is seeking $1,500 to fund his surgery, as he is unable to pay for this treatment on his own. Hai shared, "I hope that I will walk again and can get my job back to support my family."
Elsa is a 9-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to play football with his dad and other kids. He is the first born in a family of three. His father is a daily laborer and his mother takes care of their house and family. Elsa and his family live in a rented house. Their family shared with us that Elsa does not go to school because his father hides him from the community for fear of gossip and stigma due to his birth condition. His parents are highly affected psychologically as a result of his affliction. His father is planning to send him to school in September after his surgery and recovery. Elsa was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Elsa had his first stage of hypospadias repair surgery in January and is now planned for a second stage surgery. He will be healthy and active after this treatment. Elsa is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 31st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His father said, “I hope my child goes to school after the treatment. I hope he will mingle and play with other children and that will make him happy, break his isolation, and resolve the tension in his mind. If God wills he will be a doctor.”