Matthew joined Watsi on February 5th, 2015. Eight years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Dollores, a 59-year-old teacher from Philippines, to fund a breast mastectomy to treat cancer.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 12 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 12 countries.
Dollores is a hardworking 59-year-old woman from Philippines. She was an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, and then worked as a call center agent. Unfortunately, in October 2022, she was dismissed from her job due to being medically unfit. Now, she lives with her daughter and family, and the sole breadwinner is her son-in-law, who works in finance. In June 2022, Dollores noticed a mass on her right breast. At her initial examination, she was told that the mass was benign, but in a follow-up biopsy, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, or a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been recommended to remove the cancer and prevent it from metastasizing. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Dollores receive treatment. On January 7th, she will undergo a mastectomy at WSFP's care center. After treatment, Dollores will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. Dollores needs help raising $1,058 to cover the remaining cost of her procedure and care. Dollores shared tearfully, "your help brings relief to my heart and mind. This will ease my worries, especially about the medical bill. I believe that there's a reason why you're saving me, and that's for me to continue with my life. Thank you, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! I hope to give back the help that you've given me."
Pan is a 60-year-old husband and father from Cambodia. His wife is a farmer who grows rainy day rice. The couple has a son, who is a construction worker, and a daughter in the seventh grade. In his free time, he enjoys listening to the news on the radio or watching television. For several years, Pan has experienced hip pain from osteonecrosis, where blood flow to a bone is interrupted. He has had surgery on both hips in the past, but still experiences chronic pain. He is unable to help his wife on the farm and stays inside because he cannot walk without assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), are helping Pan receive treatment. He traveled two and a half hours to CSC's care center, where, on November 14th, surgeons plan to perform a right hip arthroplasty. During the procedure, the damaged bone and cartilage will be removed and replaced with prosthetic components. Now, Pan and his family need help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Pan shared, "I hope my right hip will have no pain after surgery, and I can walk and work for my family again."
Deborah's baby is a newborn - only a few days old. Deborah and her husband have two more children. Deoborah's husband is the breadwinner of the family, working as a small business operator while Deborah is a stay-at-home parent for their family. Her husband's income provides for their basic needs and school fees. Deborah's baby was born with clubfoot of his right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. His parents are greatly concerned about their baby’s condition. They are worried, but also holding hope that their newborn baby will be ok. Fortunately, the parents brought their newborn to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is raising $935 to fund the baby's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his leg will be aligned correctly and he will be able to walk easily as he grows. His father shared, “It has been so hard living in doubt for the past three days. I'm grateful my baby will now get help."
Vanna is a 38-year-old former construction worker from Cambodia. He is married and has a five-year-old son who has just started public school. His wife works in a local lamp factory. He enjoys reading the news, fishing, and playing football with friends In July of 2021, Vanna was in a motor vehicle accident in which he suffered loss of consciousness, trauma/paralysis to his right shoulder, and a fractured humerus. He had a fracture repair of his humerus done, and spent over a month in hospital. But he has also been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a 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. Vanna has no movement of his right shoulder due to trapezius nerve damage and cannot bend his elbow or move his fingers. He is unable to work to support his young family and is in chronic pain. Vanna traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On September 29th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to use his shoulder and arm again to find a job in construction. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Vanna said: "After surgery, I hope my right shoulder will have movement, I have no pain, and can work for my family again."
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!"
Elkana is a cheerful and friendly man from Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of seven. He attended school up until class seven but had to end his studies due to financial constraints. He now works as a farmer and has a small piece of land on which he plants maize and potatoes, primarily to feed him and his family. To earn money, he works as a casual laborer, working on people's farms, as well as doing work such as clearing bushes and carrying loads. Until now, his wife has worked alongside him, but she has stopped working because she is currently pregnant. On July 16th, Elkana was brought to our medical partner's care center after being involved in a road traffic accident involving a lorry, or large truck, and a tractor. This accident left many people injured, including Elkana. He experienced a fracture of his left femur and is now experiencing pain. He is also unable to walk or stand. Without treatment, he will not be able to return to work and provide for his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 19th, Elkana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery, he will be able to use his leg again, return to work, and continue providing for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Elkana shares, ”My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. Kindly help me so that I may lead a normal life once again.”
Paul is a 9-year-old student and is the firstborn in a family of three. Paul's mother had him while in high school and had to drop out of school and decided to get married. Currently, Paul is in the third grade and his best subject is science. He dreams of becoming a pilot when he completes his studies. Paul 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, Paul traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 21st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Paul's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to stand and walk easily and wear closed shoes. Paul can also go on to complete his studies and achieve his dream of being a pilot. Paul’s mother says, “Please help my son. We have traveled a long way to see if my son can have his feet treated.”
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.”
Phalla is a 62-year-old grocery seller. She has one daughter, three sons, and four grandchildren. Phalla lives with her youngest daughter who is a garment worker. She shared that her husband passed away a long time ago. Phalla likes to watch the news on TV and listen to monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, Phalla developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her tearing and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Phalla learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 25th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Phalla says, "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly. I would like to recognize everything well and get around on my own."
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!"
Vania is a hardworking 14-year-old student from Haiti. She lives in an urban area of the island nation's capital, Port-au-Prince, with her parents and three younger brothers. She enjoys studying, especially science and literature. Unfortunately, Vania has not been able to attend school for two years because of her heart condition. She suffered from rheumatic fever early in her childhood. The illness damaged one of the four valves in her heart, leaving her with a condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. Her heart cannot pump blood adequately through her body, which leaves her weak and short of breath. The good news is that surgery can help. Vania will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On May 16th, surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial valve in its place. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the procedure. But Vania's family also needs help to fund other medical and travel costs, which is where our Watsi donors come in. They are raising $1,500 to cover lab work and medicine for Vania, along with checkup and followup appointments. It also will help pay for her to get a passport and support social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Vania and her family overseas. Vania says, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can feel more normal and go back to school."
Dominic is an 11-year-old student in the second grade. He enjoys reading and playing with his friends in school. Dominic and his brother are twins, and they are the third-born children in their family. His father works as a mechanic in the village, while his mother works at home to take care of their family. Dominic was born with a condition that affects his feet and his ability to walk. He has difficulty walking, and often falls when he runs and plays with his friends in school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dominic receive treatment. On April 11th, he will undergo bilateral achilles tendon lengthening surgery, and serial casting for his knee. After surgery, he will be able to walk well and play with his friends easily. Now, he and his parents need help raising $1,224 to fund his procedure and care. Dominic's mother shared, "I will be happy to see him walking well like other children. Any support will be highly appreciated."