Catarina joined Watsi on June 24th, 2021. One year ago, Catarina joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Catarina'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.
Catarina has funded healthcare for 14 patients in 7 countries.
Catarina has funded healthcare for 14 patients in 7 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!"
Agnes is a quiet, 49-year-old farmer and mother of six, living in the Rift Valley region in Kenya. Currently, her family lives on a small piece of land that was given to them, after they were displaced from their original home. The family depends on Agnes, as her husband is unable to work. In order to provide for her family, Agnes does casual jobs within the community, and also travels to neighboring villages to do farm work. While carrying a heavy load on one of her jobs, Agnes fell, fracturing a bone in her ankle. She suffers from joint pain and swelling, and is unable to bear weight on her right leg. This injury prevents Agnes from being able to work, which jeopardizes the well being of Agnes and her family, as she is the sole breadwinner for them all. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On June 28th, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure, which will enable Agnes to continue to support her family, and to resume her life as it was prior to her injury. Agnes says: "I am living because of my children. They always look up to me for their needs. My hope is to be well again and continue supporting my family.”
Rayvan is a 1 month old baby boy living with his parents and three siblings in Kenya. Rayvan's mother used to plough her neighbors' farms, while his father herds cattle and ploughs farms to earn a living for their family. Rayvan parents shared that he was born at home because they could not afford to pay for his delivery at a hospital. After his birth, his mother noticed that Rayvan had a large swelling on the lower part of his back. She immediately took him to a nearby hospital to be examined. Rayvan was given some medication, and sent back home. After using the medication for a few weeks, there was no change in his condition. His mother shared her concerns about Rayvan with her friends, and one of them referred her to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital in Kijabe. On arrival, he was examined and diagnosed with spina bifida, a condition that requires surgical intervention to heal. Without surgery, Rayvan is at risk of developing paralysis of his lower limbs, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, and possible developmental delays. His parents do not have health insurance, and are unable to pay for the surgery he needs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Rayvan's spina bifida closure surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 18th at BethanyKids Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Rayvan from the risks associated with his condition, and enable him to grow up strong and healthy. Rayvan’s mother says: “I have never seen such a condition before and I was very much worried about my child. Now I’m happy to hear that he can get treated. The sad part is that I cannot afford the treatment but I believe that God will make a way.”
Emmanuel is a 7-year-old student who is in class two. His favorite school activity is counting numbers, and he also loves to play football. Emmanuel is the oldest child in his family of three kids, and his father works as a driver to help provide for their needs. Emmanuel has clubfoot in both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Currently, Emmanuel is having trouble walking and has pain after a long day. Fortunately, Emmanuel's family was able to travel to the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for his treatment. On April 22nd, Emmanual will undergo clubfoot repair surgery so that he can walk easily and no longer experience pain. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Emmanuel’s mother shared, “Life has become very tough, my husband cannot afford to take him back to the hospital to have his feet correct. Please help.”
Meet Precious: a nine-year-old talkative girl who comes from a small village in Nandi County in Western Kenya. She's a bright third grade student who likes singing at home and at church. She is a second born in a family of two. Precious lives with her brother in their grandmothers’ house since their parents separated due to family conflicts. Precious' father is a casual laborer who works really hard to make ends meet. He is always determined to give what is best to his children and he now requests help so that his daughter can be well and be able to continue with her education without difficulty. Precious visited our medical partner's facility due to recurrent tonsillitis for more than a year. Medication has not improved her recurring infection and the medical team has recommended she undergo surgery to fully heal. With this treatment, Precious will finally have relief from her symptoms. Her family hopes she will be well and be able to concentrate in school and perform well once she is healthy. Precious' father shared, "I would like to see her well. I am motivated to work hard for my children to ensure they get a good education and prosper in life.”
San is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her daughter and two sons in a village near Mae Sot, Thailand. San’s two sons work as agricultural day labourers on a farm. San’s daughter is a second grade student. San stopped working on the farm about four months ago when she first developed problems with her vision. The money that her two sons earn is not enough to cover their household expenses and pay for her daughter’s school fees since she stopped working. They have had to borrow money to pay for basics like food. San has cataract and glaucoma. Currently, San has lost most of her vision in her right eye. Her right eye is painful and always waters. If she tries to focus her vision to make out someone’s face, her eyes will hurt, and she develops a headache. In her free time, San like to clean her house and plant vegetables. She said, “I hope that I will get better soon so that I can go back to work and pay back my debts. I want to support my daughter so that she can become an educated person. I want to live happily with my family for the rest of my life.” Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for San. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove San's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. San said, “I am so upset that my condition worsens every day. I cannot sleep well because I am worried about what will happen if I do not get better. I am upset that I cannot work and my two sons have to work and support me. I feel so sad for my two sons.’’
Twel Tar is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in northern Thailand. Their family is originally from across the border in Burma, but moved to Thailand for a better job opportunities. Her parents are both factory workers. Twel Tar was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, she is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Twel Tar, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 30th, and, once completed, will greatly improve Twel Tar's quality of life. “When my daughter recovers from surgery, I want to send her to school like other children. I want her to become an educated woman,” shared Twel Tar’s mother as she hoped for a better future for her daughter.
Yabsera is a sweet, playful boy from Ethiopia. He loves to watch cartoon films and play hide and seek with his friends from the neighborhood. His favorite food is Shiro, a traditional stew in Ethiopia. Yabsera is also a bright student in grade one, and he loves English class the most of all his subjects. His mother raised him all on her own, doing labor work and washing clothes for income. She shared that she lost her parents when she was young and left her hometown to work in the city. Her income is only enough for the monthly expenses for her and Yabsera. Yabsera has been diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Yabsera has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Yabsera will receive assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), and undergo corrective surgery on December 7th. AMH is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Yabsera's mom shared, “I hope he will be good with his education. And I hope he will get a good job and earn well. I hope he will lead a quality life in the future. And I hope he will be healthy."
Zaw lives with his mother, two sisters, two nephews, and two nieces in Mon State in Burma. His mother is retired, and his youngest niece and nephew go to school. His niece works as a betel nut cutter with his two sisters, while his nephew works as a day laborer. Zaw cannot work right now due to the pain in his foot. In his free time, he enjoys praying to Buddha and watching movies, which also helps him feel better. Around the end of September, Zaw developed pain in his left foot. A few weeks later, three of his toes turned black. Eventually, all of his toes, and his forefoot turned black too. When he went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) a couple weeks ago, he was diagnosed with gangrene and was admitted to the hospital straight away. At first the doctor tried to treat him with oral medication, injections and physiotherapy exercises to increase the blood supply in his left foot. When this did not work, Zaw was told that the best option is to amputate his foot. Unable to pay for surgery, the doctor referred him to our partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Zaw is in a lot of pain. His left forefoot is black and swollen. As the pain is worse at night, he cannot sleep properly. He also has difficulty sleeping because he is worried about his foot and their financial situation. "Once I have recovered from surgery and I have received a prosthetic foot, I want to support my family and become a taxi driver," he said. "Thank you so much to the donors for supporting me. Every day I pray for them."
Ohin Zain is a six-year-old boy who lives with his parents and his brother in a refugee camp. Ohin Zain and his brother usually study in the refugee camp but all schools have been closed since July 1st due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in the refugee camp. Ohin Zain's mother is a homemaker and his father works as a construction day labourer in the camp. Every month, Ohin Zain’s household receives 1,300 baht (approx. 43.33 USD) on a cash card from an organisation The Border Consortium. Their total monthly income is not enough for their daily expenses and sometimes, they have to borrow money with interest from their neighbour. In his free time, Ohin Zain shared that he enjoys playing with friends and drawing pictures. On the afternoon of October 24th, Ohin Zain and his friends went swimming in a stream outside of the refugee camp. While playing in the water, Ohin Zain slipped on a stone and hit his right arm against the stone. He went home and immediately his mother brought him to the clinic in the refugee camp, run by International Rescue Committee (IRC). At the clinic, a doctor examined his right arm and referred him to a nearby hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, Ohin Zain received an X-ray. The doctor explained that his lower arm is broken and that he will need to receive surgery. Currently, Ohin Zain’s right lower arm is very painful and swollen. He cannot grab nor lift anything. He cannot play nor sleep well because of the pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohin Zain will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for October 27th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ohin Zain be free from pain and will enable him to extend his arm and move it around. Ohin Zain said, “When I recover, I will try to study hard because I want to become a teacher. I would like to teach children.”
Maung is a 43-year-old father from Burma with two daughters. He used to work as a boatman, ferrying people to and from the island across from where they live; however, he had to stop working two years ago when a stroke weakened the left side of his body. Maung's mother supported the family until she developed severe diabetes and can now only provide them with rice. Maung's daughters are students; however, due to the current wave of COVID-19 infections and teachers protesting the country's recent coup, all schools are closed. As a result, his youngest daughter is looking after household chores, while his oldest daughter has found work to support the family. She works as a shop vendor and earns about 80,000 kyats (approx. $80 USD) per month. Maung's family shared that their current income is insufficient to cover daily needs or basic health care. About a month and a half ago, Maung's left toe became very itchy, and, eventually, the skin turned red and darkened further around his toe. Initially, Maung thought the skin was healing; however, the skin became hot, itchy, and painful. The area on his left toe later turned black, with the surrounding skin reddening. Maung was unable to see a doctor due to his family's limited income. Currently, the pain in his left toe makes it difficult to sleep and get around. Fortunately, in mid-September, Maung's relatives came to visit the family. When they saw Maung's toe, they were able to help him visit our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). On September 21st, doctors examined Maung's toe and ordered a blood test. He was diagnosed with diabetes and gangrene on his left big toe. Maung will need to undergo surgery to clean and remove the necrotic tissue and help him heal. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $694 to fund this procedure. Maung shared, "After surgery, I will no longer be in pain ... I will try to find some work to support my family."
Teltila is a lively five-month-old girl from Ethiopia and a sibling to an older brother and sister. She is sociable, loves to play with her mom, and enjoys it when her mom talks to her. Her dad is physically impaired and unable to move around easily. He sells candies and some sweets on the street for a living and her mom is a housewife raising their three kids. His income is not enough to maintain the family but fortunately, they are supported by a foundation in their town that works with people with impairments. Teltila was born with a birth condition called anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage causing pain and complications. She developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy, one of the series of procedures needed to eliminate the condition, was done for her at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM). She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications and as a result, she continues to feel significant discomfort. According to her mother, Teltila had her first surgery when she was 45-days-old and unfortunately, the second surgery was delayed due to finances. The money they saved could only cover doctor reviews and some level of surgical fees. After getting an appointment, her bag was stolen with all the money and documents at a bus stop. Teltila's mother was devastated and did not know what to do. She heard of a charitable organization that supports the poor and went there to share her story. Teltila is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Teltila's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Teltila's mother says, "I am now so thankful. I lost all I had and I just received it back through you all. I hope my daughter will be treated."