Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Dawiskenley from Haiti raised $1,500 to fund prep and travel for cardiac surgery.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Dawiskenley's treatment was fully funded on June 16, 2022.

Photo of Dawiskenley post-operation

July 14, 2022

Dawiskenley underwent life-saving cardiac surgery.

Dawiskenley’s heart surgery was a success! During surgery, the infected areas near Dawiskenley’s heart valve were removed, and his valve was repaired. His doctors shared that he should now be able to live a full and healthy life with no further danger from his condition.

His uncle shared: “We would like to say thank you to everyone who healed Dawiskenley’s heart!”

Dawiskenley's heart surgery was a success! During surgery, the infected areas near Dawiskenley's heart valve were removed, and his valve was...

Read more
May 20, 2022

Dawiskenley is a toddler from Haiti who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousins in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Dawiskenley’s mother and father live nearby and visit him regularly. Dawiskenley enjoys going to preschool and playing with his cousins. Dawiskenley has a cardiac condition called tricuspid endocarditis, one of the four valves of his heart has been infected and can no longer pump blood properly.

The treatment that Dawiskenley needs is not available in Haiti, so he needs to fly to the Cayman Islands to undergo heart surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will attempt to repair the damaged valve so that it can pump blood more normally.

Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Our medical partners, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,500 to help Dawiskenley’s family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker who will accompany Dawiskenley’s family overseas to support his treatment and care.

Dawiskenley’s uncle shared, “Our family is very grateful that so many people want to help Dawiskenley become healthy!”

Dawiskenley is a toddler from Haiti who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousins in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Dawiskenley's mother and...

Read more

Dawiskenley's Timeline

  • May 20, 2022

    Dawiskenley was submitted by Owen Robinson, Executive Director at Haiti Cardiac Alliance.

  • May 23, 2022

    Dawiskenley's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 25, 2022

    Dawiskenley received treatment at Health City Cayman Islands in Cayman Islands. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • June 16, 2022

    Dawiskenley's treatment was fully funded.

  • July 14, 2022

    Dawiskenley's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 26 donors

Funded by 26 donors

Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,980 for Dawiskenley's treatment
Subsidies fund $480 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

When a hole exists in the heart, a physician can hear a buzzing noise, or murmur, in the child's chest as blood passes through the hole at high velocity. The child's parents might notice that their son or daughter cannot keep up with other children in daily activities. In severe cases, the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream can lead to dramatic symptoms, such as blue lips and tongue, clubbed fingers and toes, and heart failure. The patients treated by Haiti Cardiac Alliance tend to fall into two categories. They are either born with some type of hole or defect in the heart, or they develop valve disease as a result of an untreated strep throat infection (rheumatic fever). Patients with rheumatic valve disease experience swelling of the abdomen and extremities, as the heart tries to circulate blood through the body despite the valve's dysfunction.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Virtually all of the conditions treated at Haiti Cardiac Alliance will eventually lead to death without surgery, the majority of them within one to two years. In the meantime, patients experience heart failure as their hearts struggle to compensate for the presence of leaks or other defects. In most conditions, the heart becomes fatigued, limiting the child's ability to be active, go to school, and participate in daily life.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Families in Haiti often have complex cultural mechanisms for understanding cardiac illnesses and their causes, sometimes involving voudou or other religious belief systems. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of Haitian families in our medical partner's program also engage with the medical explanations and treatment of these conditions. Parents are willing and cooperative participants in their child's treatment.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

The patient is first referred to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), by a pediatrician or another medical practitioner who detects symptoms that might be cardiac in nature. HCA staff then perform an echocardiogram to diagnose the cardiac condition. If surgery is required, the child joins a triaged waitlist to be placed for surgery with partner hospitals. It can sometimes take 6-12 months to move through this waitlist. During this period, HCA provides periodic cardiac checkups, changing the patient's triage position as appropriate. The child and his/her guardian then travel to the hospital with an HCA social worker. Typically, the child spends 4-5 days in or near the hospital prior to surgery for testing and examinations. After surgery, he or she spends several more days as an inpatient prior to being discharged. When the child is strong enough to travel, usually after several more weeks, he/she returns home to Haiti. HCA provides regular cardiac checkups for at least five years postoperatively before the final discharge from their program.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

These treatments are almost always life-saving in nature. These cardiac conditions are not survivable over the long-term without surgery. Within weeks after surgery, the patient should notice a difference in energy level. Many patients also undergo a growth spurt and/or gain significant weight after a surgery.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

The risk of death during or shortly after an open-heart surgical procedure is about 3%. Other risks, though rare, include stroke and post-operative infection. In a small percentage of cases, the material used to patch the hole "blows," and a follow-up surgery is necessary to re-patch the defect.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Patients come to Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) from the entirety of Haiti. This can involve three days of travel in buses, pickup trucks, or even on horseback. There is no cardiac surgery of any kind available in Haiti outside of the HCA treatment network.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

In general, patients are treated with medications to prevent heart failure until they are ready to travel. Patients may also seek care from traditional healers, who may use liquids and powders derived from local plants and roots.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Budensiano is a small-scale farmer from Uganda. She has six children who are all grown up with families of their own. Budensiano shared that her husband passed away twenty years ago and left her with their home, which is near our medical partner’s hospital. Currently, Budensiano cannot continue her work as a farmer due to aging and her medical condition. Over thirty years ago, Budensiano began to experience troubling symptoms, including neck swelling. Although the swelling was initially small and painless, it increased over time. Recently, Budensiano began experiencing worrisome challenges, such as airway obstruction and difficulty eating. She can no longer work or easily climb the hill nearby. She visited our medical partner’s hospital, where the doctors conducted some tests. Upon review, Budensiano’s condition was diagnosed as a non-toxic nodular goiter. If left untreated, there is a risk it will become cancerous or completely inhibit her ability to eat. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Budensiano receive treatment. On October 15th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy, in which surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $333 to fund this procedure. Budensiano shared, “I have hope again that I can live the remaining part of my life in a normal condition through surgery. I pray for a successful surgery so that I can once more be able to take good care of myself.”

16% funded

$277to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.