Janne joined Watsi on March 20th, 2014. Nine years ago, Janne joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Janne's most recent donation traveled 4,300 miles to support Kelvin, a dedicated and special student from Kenya, to fund clubfoot treatment so he can walk and play football with his friends.
Janne has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 14 countries.
Janne has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 14 countries.
Kelvin is a student from Kenya and the eldest of 4 children. He is a student at Kitui School for the mentally challenged. His mother told us that he likes listening to music, playing football and operating a phone. Our partners in AIC Cure International met him at their Matuu clinic accompanied by his mother Petronilla who works as a peasant farmer. Kelvin has clubfoot of his right foot, a condition that was noted by the mother when he was 1 year old. His foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes. This condition formed because he used to convulse. He started medication and experienced delayed milestones. At the age of 3, Kelvin began to exhibit an unusual walking style and was diagnosed with hemiplegia, a type of unilateral cerebral palsy that causes paralysis on only one side of the body. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Kelvin's clubfoot repair. The treatment will be impactful to him because he will be able to walk without falling and play football with his friends. Kelvin’s mother shared, “I would love to see my son’s condition corrected so he can be independent. I will appreciate any support from AMH, and God bless you.”
Xavena is a young woman from Haiti. She lives with her older sister and her sister's family in a small farming village in central Haiti. She previously worked tailoring clothes but has been unable to work in recent years due to her cardiac illness. Xavena has a heart condition called severe rheumatic aortic regurgitation. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged by an infection she suffered earlier in her life. The cardiac surgery Xavena needs is not available in her country so she will need to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On October 18, Xavena will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will surgically remove her damaged heart valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $25,000 to pay for surgery. Xavena's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and follow-up medical care. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, checkups, and follow-up appointments. Xavena shaed: "I am hopeful that after this surgery I will have the energy and strength to return to work and pursue my goals in life."
Luana is the only child of her mother and father. Her mother is a college student hoping to become a doctor, and her father is a market vendor. They live in the Amazon basin of northeastern Bolivia. Luana was born with a condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Luana also has Down syndrome. Our partner International Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund cardiac surgery which will help her to grow up healthy and active. Luana's mother shares, "We are so grateful that the hospital selected our daughter to have surgery, and we are praying everything will go well!"
Jackson is a 28-year-old young man from Kenya. He is the second born in a family of three children and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, which caused paralysis on one side of his body. He lives with his parents in a rural county. His father is a pastor at a small church in their hometown, and his mother is a homemaker. He loves to learn and was sponsored to take a computer-networking course at a local technical institute in the capital city. On July 29th, Jackson was involved in a road traffic accident that caused a fracture on his left leg. He was hit by a speeding vehicle along a busy highway as he was trying to cross the road. He was rushed to a nearby local hospital where an x-ray revealed a broken bone that needed surgery. He had a cast applied and requested to return to the facility once he raised the amount needed for the surgery. Jackson is currently confined to a wheelchair and unable to walk on his own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. On August 3rd, Jackson will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will relieve him of pain and help him walk easily again. He will also be able to resume his studies. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jackson says, “I can feel the bones pricking my legs from the inside. I cannot walk, and I am in pain. I have so far missed my classes because of the accident.”
Meet Fernanda: an 11 year old who is in need of heart surgery. She lives with her parents and younger brother in La Paz, Bolivia. Her father works for a paper company, while her mother is an eldercare social worker. Fernanda was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart, and blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. She needs surgery to correct this condition. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund Fernanda's cardiac surgery, which is scheduled for May 17th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. After she has recovered from her surgery, Fernanda will be able to resume her schooling, and even to return to playing sports which she loves to do. Fernanda's mother said: "Our family has been waiting for this surgery for many years, and we are glad the opportunity has finally arrived!"
Wine is a three-year-old boy who lives with his parents and siblings in Karen State - an area of Burma that is in a state of crisis and conflict. Wine’s father is a construction day laborer and his mother stays at home with Wine and his siblings. Wine's older brother lives in Bangkok and his sister lives in Shan State and is able to send Wine's household money every month. His other four siblings are students. Wine was born in 2019 with a condition called hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation or birth defect that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid to accumulate in brain cavities. Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear, colorless liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, protecting them from injury. It carries nutrients to the brain and spinal cord and takes away waste. In a healthy person, the amount of this fluid produced by the brain is absorbed by the body. In hydrocephalus, the fluid fails to drain and accumulates, leading to pressure on the brain. Wine's symptoms include a lump on the bridge of his nose. His eyes frequently water, and he cries a lot when he is in severe pain. Additionally, his head is gradually increasing in size as the fluid continues to build. The condition is most often treated by inserting a shunt. The shunt diverts excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the brain to another part of the body where the fluid can be reabsorbed. Wine visited a doctor when he was born to address the issue. While he was in the process of receiving treatment across the border at a hospital in Thailand, the Thai-Burma border shut down due to the outbreak of COVID-19. With the closure of the Thai-Burma border, Wine and his family could not go back to his follow-up care. Fortunately, after the Thai-Burma border reopened, Wine was able to meet with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Wine received a CT scan at Mae Sot General Hospital and the doctor was able to diagnose the issue and scheduled Wine to undergo surgery immediately on June 2nd. BCMF is now requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Wine's mother said, "I want him to be able to walk, sit, and be healthy like other children his age. My husband and two of my children work, so I can take good care of Wine. I cry a lot whenever I see Wine suffering from pain, but now I feel like I no longer have to shed a tear for him because of that. I don’t want to be rich, nor do I want him to be rich. I only want Wine to be healthy and happy."
Kayden is an eight-month-old baby boy from Kenya. He is the second born in a family of two children. His mother works as a hotel attendant and is unable to afford the proposed surgery Kayden needs. Kayden was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. His mother noticed the growing lump on his back and sought medical advice at a Catholic Medical Facility in Kariobangi, Nairobi, Kenya. There, she was referred to BethanyKids, where he was examined by the neurological team. Without treatment, Kayden is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1151 to cover the cost of Kayden's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Kayden from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Kayden's mother says, “His condition has caused me immense mental stress, which has resulted in an increase in my blood pressure. Due to this condition, I am forced to hide him from people. I hope he gets this treatment to be healthy again like kids his age.”
Win is a 50-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his extended family in a village in Karen State, which is an area under conflict and violence. He and his wife have four children, and three grandchildren. Win, his wife, two sons and one of his sons-in-law are farmers, while his two daughters are homemakers. Win lost vision in his right eye in the middle of 2022. Two months after this occurred, the vision in his left eye blurred, until he could only perceive light. He was diagnosed with glaucoma in his left eye, and as a result of his impaired sight, he had to stop working. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of eye surgery for Win. On April 3rd, doctors at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital will operate and, after recovery, Win will be able to see clearly again. Now, he needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “I feel stressed and worried about my life," Win said. "I want to go back to work after my surgery.”
In 2018, Jerry noticed a palpable mass under his jaw that kept increasing in size. Although he sought medical attention, Jerry and his family were unable to support his continued need for medications and checkups. Over time, the mass kept growing, causing swelling in his neck. Due to his condition, Jerry was unable to receive job orders and support his family. This has affected his self-esteem and confidence in socializing with other people. Fortunately, a few months ago Jerry was referred by his friend to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines. Doctors assessed Jerry and diagnosed him with a submandibular gland tumor. This condition usually presents as a painless neck mass but may progress into cancer if not treated immediately. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is helping Jerry access the care he needs and is asking for your help to fund his $1,479 procedure on March 11th. Jerry shared, "I’ve been praying to the Lord to heal my condition. Gladly, he sent you as an answer to my prayers. I may not be able to return the favor, but I’ll continuously pray that the Lord bless you more. Thank you so much, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for helping me!”
Vacity is a 14-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the second of five children raised by a single mother. Vacity had been sick in school and was exhibiting symptoms such as fever, rapid heartbeat, increased appetite with weight loss, and fatigue. She was found to have too much thyroid hormone in her body due to nodules that developed on her thyroid. While medications have helped her condition, she needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Her mother was recently in a motorbike accident, which is making it difficult for her to work and raise the money needed to fund Vacity's surgery. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) is helping Vacity to receive the surgery she needs. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 22nd at AMHF's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Vacity and her family need help raising $936 to fully fund the procedure. Vacity shared, ”My family is needy. I would like to work hard in school so that I can be able to change our living style. Kindly help me so that I can be able to live a healthy life and be able to prosper in future.”
Kimberly is a 5-month-old baby girl. She lives in a small city in central Bolivia with her parents, who work in the mining industry, and three siblings. Kimberly was born with several defects in her heart, including a hole between the two upper chambers as well as a second hole between the two lower chambers. As a result of these conditions, her heart struggles to pump blood through her body. During surgery, doctors will be able to sew these holes shut so that her heart functions well and is stronger. Her surgery is scheduled for January 19th. Fortunately, the organization, Gift of Life International, is subsidizing part of Kimberly's medical care, but her family still needs help to fund the remaining $1,500. Kimberly's mother says, "Our family is very hopeful that this surgery will be a success!"
Kenenitu is a young child from Ethiopia. She is a beautiful baby who loves playing with other children. She developed bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy surgery was done at our medical partner's care center BKMCM. The condition and care has been challenging for Kenenitu and her mother who has been affected psychologically. Kenenitu's mother is a single mom with four children. Her brother stepped in to help raise the children as her husband has left without support. Before giving birth to Kenenitu, her mother used to make injera, an Ethiopian cuisine, for a living. Currently, she is not working. The family received logistical support from an NGO to arrive at the hospital and Kenenitu's mother is staying at another NGO in Addis Ababa for medical follow-up and accommodation. Due to their financial situation, the family cannot afford the medical bills for Kenenitu's treatment. Kenenitu's mother has struggled emotionally with her daughter's condition. She said, "I wondered what was going to happen to her. I used to cry a lot and I was not in my normal mental condition. But when I heard that she could be treated, my hope was restored and I felt better." Kenenitu was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Kenenitu is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on December 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kenenitu's procedure and care. After her recovery, Kenenitu will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Kenenitu's mother said, "After receiving treatment, I hope she will start making stool... I want to take her to school and educate her."