Ramona joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Two years ago, Ramona joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ramona's most recent donation traveled 4,700 miles to support Foster, a 70-year-old farmer and grandfather from Malawi, to fund hernia repair surgery.
Ramona has funded healthcare for 1167 patients in 17 countries.
Ramona has funded healthcare for 1167 patients in 17 countries.
Foster is a 70-year-old father of nine, from Makwenda Village in Malawi. He lives with his wife and grandchildren. To support his family, he solely depends on farming where he grows maize, groundnuts, and soya beans. Foster is a village headman and he is a member of the Church of African Presbytery. Foster was well until 2020 when he noticed a swelling on the right side of his groin. The swelling was very painful and made passing stool and urine very difficult. The swelling would disappear and reappear after a while, especially when it is cold, and when he coughs or strains himself. Foster decided to seek medical help at a health center in his area where he was referred to Nkhoma Hospital, but at the time surgeries were limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was told to come back another time. As the condition persisted, Foster went to seek medical help at Dedza District Hospital where he has been visiting up to now and had been given pain medication. Last week, Foster visited Nkhoma Hospital once again, and he presented that the swelling has now been appearing on both sides. After assessment in the surgical clinic, Foster was diagnosed with Bilateral Inguinal Hernia. The doctor advised that he needs to undergo Hernia Repair surgical procedure and this was scheduled for October 5th. This hernia condition has impacted Foster’s life negatively. Since the condition surfaced, he experiences pain that hinders him from doing his daily activities and he fails to work on his farm. Additionally, he cannot walk a long distance or ride his bike as the swelling appears when he strains himself. Treatment will be a welcome development in Foster’s life. He will be able to work on his farm and continue taking care of his family as he is the sole breadwinner. In addition to that, treatment will prevent Foster from developing complications that a hernia can cause, such as enlargement, incarceration, small bowel obstruction, and strangulation of the hernia, which can be fatal. Foster shared that he does not have enough money to pay for his surgery and other expenses so the medical team referred him to Watsi and our medical partner African Mission healthcare. He has been able to contribute $15 to his care and our medical partner is requesting $500 to cover the cost of Foster's surgery. Foster says, “I was afraid that this condition will start affecting my duties as a village headman, I am thankful that there is hope for me through my donors.”
Samuel is a 38 year old casual laborer and single father of one son, who is six years old. As Samuel's income is modest, both he and his son live with Samuel's parents in Malawi. Samuel enjoyed good health until April 2022. He was visiting relatives at a distance from his home, when he developed a cough and lost his voice. He was treated for his cough, but in June, he noticed a small, painful swelling on the right side of his neck. Although he went to a local hospital, nothing was done, and the swelling continued to grow, causing Samuel more pain, difficulty swallowing, and occasional breathlessness. After visiting numerous hospitals, Samuel finally went to Partners in Hope Medical Center, where tests revealed the existence of a goiter on his thyroid gland. As the goiter was fast growing, the surgeons informed Samuel that he would need to have a thyroidectomy, to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Samuel is scheduled to have surgery on October 4th, at Partners in Hope Medical Center. After the procedure, Samuel will be able to return to his work, and to caring for his child, which he has been unable to do since falling ill. Samuel and his family are seeking $1,015 to help fund Samuel's care. “I wish to get better and look after my child,” said Samuel while looking worried.
Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”
Abigael is a bright seven-year-old from Kenya. She is the firstborn in a family of two children. Her mother is a single mom who works to support her family by doing a variety of work on other people’s farms. Abigael attends school, and one of her favorite ways to spend time is playing with her friends, both at school and at home. Abigael was born with clubfoot on her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Abigael's mother noticed the condition and took her to the nearest hospital when she was two weeks old. She underwent a series of casting there; however, over time, her clubfoot became progressively worse rather than improving. Fortunately, Abigael and her family traveled to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital, to seek treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Abigael's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to put on shoes, walk comfortably, play with her friends freely, and continue with her education uninterrupted. Abigael’s mom shares, “I request support for my daughter's clubfoot to be corrected so that she can be able to put on her shoes and walk like other children.”
Abdara is a sweet four-month-old Venezuelan girl who was born in Colombia. Abdara's mother moved to Medellin, Colombia around four years ago in search of a better life. Abdara lives with her mother and her four aunts. Abdara's Aunt Gabriela is the sole provider for their family and she works hard to meet all of their daily needs. Abdara has been diagnosed with cereberal cysts that need to be removed. Fortunately, she will undergo surgery on July 13th and our medical partner, Clinica Noel, is raising $785 to fund Abdara's medical care. Her mother shared, "Please help my little princess. I just hope she has a better future than I. Everyday I pray for a miracle, not being able to pay for her treatment is always in my mind. I feel guilty but then I remember that I'm trying my best and continue fighting in this new country to work and move forward."
Erick is a four year old boy, living with his parents and five siblings. He is a charming and playful fellow, who loves football. Erick was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, a condition which causes his legs to bow outward, making it difficult for him to walk, and causing him pain. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, has stepped up to help Erick access the corrective surgery he needs. They are requesting $880 to fund this procedure, which is scheduled to take place on June 7th at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, and which should restore Erick's mobility. After he heals, he will be able to engage in a variety of activities, and the risk of future complications will be greatly diminished. Erick’s father says: “We have hope that our son could have his legs corrected here.”
Phearun is an 18-month-old toddler. He has three siblings - two older sisters, and one older brother. His parents are farmers in Kampot province, about three hours from the capital of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. He enjoys playing with toys with his siblings, taking long naps on his mother's lap, and drinking milk. Phearun was born with polydactyly of his right hand. This means that he was born with an extra digit on his hand, but is otherwise healthy. As he has grown, it is difficult for him to use his hand, and this may affect the function of the other fingers as he becomes more active. Fortunately, on October 18th, surgeons will perform a polydactyly repair procedure to remove the extra digit. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $299 to fund this procedure. After surgery, the appearance of his hand will improve and he can develop normally. Phearun's mother said: "I hope my son will be able to use his hand more easily and will not be ashamed when he goes to school."
Sebastiana, who is eight years old, lives with her mother and four siblings in Tanzania. Because she is separated from her husband, Sebastiana's mother works many different jobs in order to support her children. One day, when their mother was away, Sebastiana and her siblings were busy helping out with household chores. Sebastiana got into an accident, and hot water spilled all over her arm. She received treatment for her burns - which healed - but they have left her with scars that limit the use of her arm. Sebastiana and her mother traveled a long way to meet with doctors from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. As a result of their visit, Sebastiana is now scheduled to undergo contracture release surgery, and the amputation of her left thumb, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre on October 13th. After her surgery, Sebastiana should regain full use of her hand and arm, which will be a big relief to her mother. Now we need your help to fund the $1,088 required for the surgery. Sebastiana’s mother says: “When we were leaving home, she was so happy knowing that she is going to get treatment.”
Naanyo is a nine year old girl who lives with a small and loving family, consisting of her parents and two siblings. When she is not in school, she enjoys watching television and helping her mother to cook, wash and fetch water. She told us that also has fun playing with her school friends, especially when she pretends to be a police woman. When Naanyo was two years old, she was in an accident that resulted in burns on her left hand. She was treated at a local dispensary, and was sent home. However, after the burns healed, Naanyo developed burn scar contractures, which make it difficult for her to move her hand. Her parents were unaware that the contractures could be treated, until on a recent visit to a doctor, they were informed that surgical intervention could resolve Naanyo's condition. The doctor helped the family travel to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where Naanyo was assessed and scheduled for surgery, which will take place on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Naanyo access the care that she needs, despite the fact that her parents can't afford the $874 required for the surgery. They are appealing to you to help cover the cost of this procedure, which will make such a difference in Naanyo's life. Naanyo’s mother says: "We did not know that our child’s condition is treatable, but it is better being late than never.”
Ethan is a playful 4-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves to play with his toys, write letters and draw shapes. His father works as a part-time primary school teacher, while his mother is a full-time mom. Ethan was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Ethan undergo treatment. He is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on October 22nd. A portion of the cost of his treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising $434 to cover the remaining cost of Ethan's procedure and care. After his recovery, Ethan will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. "We are financially incapable to finance our son's needed treatment. Despite his young age, he already knows his condition. He is shy to go outside to play with other kids, and tries to hide his colostomy bag," Ethan's mother shared tearfully. "With this free surgery, Ethan will have a chance to grow normally. I'm thankful to WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for this life-changing opportunity for Ethan," she added.
Srey Pin is an energetic 3-year-old toddler. She has two older brothers, who are 15 and 10 years old. They are students at a public school. Srey Pin is too young to attend school, so she stays at home with her parents, who are farmers. She enjoys being with her brothers, running around the house, eating fried chicken, and drinking fresh milk! Srey Pin was born with polydactyly of her right hand. This means that she has an extra thumb. Thumb duplication happens before a baby is born. When a baby's hands are first forming, they are shaped like mittens. Then the fingers split. An extra split can result in thumb duplication. Although in some cultures an extra thumb is considered lucky, Srey Pin's mother would like it removed so that Srey Pin will not have self-esteem issues about her extra thumb and it won't get in the way of her using her hand to everyday tasks. On October 20th, surgeons will perform a polydactyly repair procedure to remove the extra digit. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $299 to fund this procedure. After surgery, her right hand will look like her left hand and Srey Pin can look forward to a full, healthy life. Her mother said: "I hope Srey Pin can easily use her hand and children will not make fun of her when she goes to school."
Shedrack is two years old, and lives in Tanzania with his parents and one sibling. His mother stays at home to care for the children, while his father is a small scale farmer, whose earnings cover the family's basic needs. Five months ago, when Shedrack was in the kitchen with his mother, he pushed over a pot of boiling water, burning his left arm and left leg. Shedrack's mother rushed him to a local dispensary, where they were sent on to the hospital. As the family lives in a remote area, Shedrack's treatment required extensive travel. And, while the burns ultimately healed, Shedrack developed contractures, which limit his ability to straighten his leg, or to use the fingers on his left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Shedrack receive treatment. On October 13th, surgeons at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre will perform burn contracture release surgery, which will enable Shedrack to walk easily, and use his fingers again. Now, he needs your help to fund this $874 procedure. Shedrack’s mother says: “The burns were so bad that I thought I was going to lose my son. I am glad that now I am going to be able to help finish his treatment and all thanks to you.”