Tony joined Watsi on July 30th, 2016. One year ago, Tony joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tony's most recent donation supported Kimberly, a 5-month-old baby girl from Bolivia, to fund surgery to heal her heart condition.
Tony has funded healthcare for 27 patients in 11 countries.
Tony has funded healthcare for 27 patients in 11 countries.
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!"
Zeblom is a four-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves toys, playing football with his brother, and enjoys going to school. His twin brother is currently suffering from pneumonia and his parents are struggling to pay for medical treatment for both of them. His mother is currently not working as she is taking care of her kids, while Zeblom's father cuts wood for a living — his income is limited to providing basic needs for his family. They have not yet managed to get proper treatment for Zeblom due to these financial constraints. Zeblom was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of cancer and future infertility. Fortunately, Zeblom is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Zeblom's mother says, “After he goes through his surgery, I want to start working again and educate him. I hope he will be healthy like other children.“
Hnin is a determined 5-year-old girl from Burma. In her free time, she likes to draw pictures. Hnin lives with her grandmother and brother in Mon State. She goes to kindergarten, her brother goes to primary school, and her grandmother is a washerwoman. Hnin's parents, who work as day laborers in Thailand, also send them money every month to help support basic needs. Hnin was born with club foot of her left leg. With the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), she underwent casting at Mawlawmyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) to straighten her foot. Hnin's family was told to bring her back when she was five years old as she would need another surgery to fully correct her clubfoot. Currently, Hnin still has a cast on her left leg. When she walks, she walks on the side of her left foot. Because of this, she cannot play on the playground or keep up with her friends. Without treatment, Hnin's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of surgery for Hnin, which is scheduled to take place on November 18th. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Hnin said, “My left leg is so heavy with the cast, but I am not scared to have the operation on my leg. I want to have surgery."
Shem is a 14-year-old student from Kenya who is studying in class seven. He is the youngest in his family of eleven. Shem's parents practice small-scale farming of maize, and his older siblings work labor jobs to help provide for the family. A few weeks ago, Shem was injured playing football and fractured his lower tibia and fibula. He is experiencing pain and cannot use his leg, which is preventing him from being able to go to school, play with friends, and help his family at home. Shem needs to undergo surgery to heal, and his family requests assistance with the surgery costs. Happily, Shem was able to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for assistance. On November 1st, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Upon recovery, Shem will be able to use his leg again, allowing him to attend school and participate in activities with friends and at home. AMH is requesting $1,145 to help fund this procedure. Shem shared, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties, especially going to school. I really look forward to getting well so that I can fully depend on myself as before."
Stevenson is a 26-year-old man from Haiti. He lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince with his parents and several siblings. Stevenson had been attending university, studying for a business degree, when poor health forced him to leave school. When he was a child, Stevenson developed rheumatic fever, which has resulted in rheumatic mitral valve prolapse. This condition has meant that one of Stevenson's heart valves is unable to pump sufficient blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Thanks to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Stevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 27th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will perform surgery to remove the damaged valve, and implant an artificial one. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Stevenson's surgery. But Stevenson's family also needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers, who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Stevenson shared, "I feel very lucky to have this chance to finally have my heart healed!"
Hassan is a hardworking 37-year-old from Kenya who works as a casual laborer. He lives in a single-room rental house that costs about $10 per month. On July 25th, Hassan was working as a night guard when he was attacked by unknown people. During the attack, his left leg was hit with a sharp object. He was eventually taken to a nearby health facility for emergency treatment, where he received stitches and was discharged with pain medication. However, his condition did not improve, and he was still unable to walk. Community health workers in the area took Hassan to a nearby hospital, where an X-ray revealed a transverse patella fracture with some displacement. A doctor at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, recommends that he undergo fracture repair surgery. Hassan shares that income from casual labor jobs in Kenya is inconsistent and is not enough to pay for the proposed procedure. He also does not have medical insurance and would need to pay for the surgery in cash. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 26th, Hassan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Hassan says, “I am struggling to walk as a result of the fracture. I am unable to get any manual work to earn a living because I cannot use my legs. Surviving without a job is an issue. I need this surgery to be able to work.”
Kwan is a 17-year-old boy who enjoys watching TV and learning Mandarin online during his free time. Although he is originally from Burma, he lives with his parents, two brothers, and both of his grandmothers in a village in Thailand. They moved to Thailand about five years ago in search of safer living conditions. Both of Kwan’s grandmothers are retired, and his father is unable to work due to being ill. His mother and older brother support their family by working as day laborers. Kwan and his younger brother both attend a local migrant school, where Kwan is a 10th grade student. In September of 2017, Kwan broke his left forearm while playing basketball with his friends. He was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment, and he underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his left forearm at their medical care center, Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). Following surgery, doctors told Kwan that the steel rod would need to be removed a year after surgery. However, he was not scheduled for an appointment to remove the rod, and he was not told why it needed to be removed. Initially, this did not seem like an issue since Kwan regained movement in his fingers, was able to move his arm more comfortably, and was able to help his mother with household chores. Since he was not in pain and his family did not have enough money to pay for the procedure, Kwan was not brought back to MSH to have the rod removed. However, he began working as an agricultural day laborer in 2020 when his studies were moved online due to the outbreak of COVID-19. He began to experience pain in the area where the rod was located when carrying anything even slightly heavy. Due to financial constraints and a fear of being arrested for traveling to the clinic without documentation because of an increase in main road checkpoints, Kwan kept his pain a secret. However, he eventually sought medical attention at MSH after the pain progressed. There, a doctor confirmed that his arm had healed well and the rod needed to be removed. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Kwan receive treatment. On July 27th, doctors will perform rod removal surgery. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Kwan and his family need your support. He mentions that after he recovers from surgery, he wants to find work as a day laborer. He wants to help his family earn more money so his mother no longer has to do hard labor. His mother says, “I don’t know what to say, but in our heart, we are so thankful to the donors for helping Kwan with his first, as well as this second, surgery. We will never forget this help for the rest of our lives.”
Nada is a 3-year-old girl and the youngest born into a family of three. She is a friendly and playful girl. Nada's parents are farmers of maize, beans, and vegetables. They rely entirely on what they harvest for food and sell off any surplus for income for their family. Nada's father also does small jobs on the side to generate extra income. Nada was diagnosed with acquired bilateral genu varus. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Nada has a hard time walking and complains of pain after a long day of play or when it gets cold. She is sometimes unable to stand due to severe pain in her knees when she wakes up in the morning. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nada. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 21st. Treatment will hopefully restore Nada's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Nada’s father says, “My family and I cannot afford to get our daughter treated. We need your help to ensure that she is well and is not in constant pain.”
Mercy is a hard working 46-year-old mom who lives with her two grown children. Because she is long separated from her husband, Mercy has taken care of their children by herself, doing whatever work she can find to support her family. Currently, her daughter is unemployed, while her son works doing jobs for a small hotel in their village. In May, Mercy was injured by a neighbor after a disagreement. She sustained an open fracture of her tibia/fibula, resulting in pain and difficulty walking. Mercy requires surgery to heal the fracture, to prevent an infection of the bone in her leg, and to avert other complications which might cause her to lose the use of her leg. Fortunately Mercy went to Nazareth Hospital, where a surgeon reviewed her case, and advised her to have surgery. However, Mercy and her children cannot raise the required fee for her medical care. Surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On May 26th, Mercy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at Nazareth Hospital. After treatment, Mercy will be able to walk and to work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mercy said: “I use my legs and my strength to work and make ends meet. My leg is very important for me. I am pleading for assistance so that I may have surgery and be well again so that I can resume my work to support my family.”
Sreyda is a 26-year-old grocery seller with five siblings. She currently lives with her parents and her sister. Sreyda enjoys watching movies and spending time chatting with her relatives. Three years ago, Sreyda had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. This has now caused Sreyda to experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. Sreyda traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 19th, Sreyda will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear where ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Sreyda and her family raise $926 to cover her procedure, medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sreyda says, "I'm really hoping all of the ear discharge will stop and my hearing will improve."
Shisena is a fun-loving 8-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents and four older brothers and sisters in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Shisena likes playing with her older siblings and listening to music. She goes to a special school program that she enjoys very much. Shisena was born with Down Syndrome and a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole exists between two major blood vessels near the heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Shisena undergo the cardiac surgery she needs for a healthy life ahead. During the procedure, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole with a small device. HCA is contributing $5,000 to make her treatment possible and needs to raise $1,500 to fully cover her medical care. Shisena's mom told us, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this miracle possible for our daughter!"
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.’’