Did you miss us on NPR? Listen to Chase interviewed on Here and Now.
Bokeh Pictures is a full-service film and video production studio founded by a team of creative professionals from Silicon Valley giants like Google and Apple.
They enthusiastically donated their time and expertise to produce a 100% pro-bono video about why donors use Watsi.
Bokeh’s wildly talented crew captured the stories of three Watsi donors - Nadia, Sam, and Ana - on film. Watch the video to find out why they Watsi.
We are so grateful to Gather Restaurant in Berkeley for letting us take over their beautiful space (above), our friend and supporter Tabreez Verjee for graciously opening his office to us, and the Ghilardi Family for sharing their home (complete with coffee and grilled cheese sandwiches) with the Watsi and Bokeh teams.
Huge thanks also to Nadia Brunner-Velasquez, Sam Chaudhary, and Ana Maria Kelley for letting us film your stories, and to the dozens of our friends who came out to be extras in the video.
We dropped everything for Watsi. We quit our jobs, moved across the country, and worked hundred-hour weeks to prove that by connecting people, we could change the future of healthcare.
Three months ago, we had the opportunity to pitch Watsi to the titans of Silicon Valley at Y Combinator’s Demo Day. Today, we’re excited to announce that 14 of the world’s most innovative philanthropists have contributed $1.2 million in donations to fund Watsi’s operations.
Watsi’s founding donors include:
Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator.
Tencent, a company that fosters the development of service platforms and technologies to enrich the lives of internet users.
Y Combinator, the preeminent startup accelerator in Silicon Valley.
Ron Conway, the godfather of angel investing and one of the first investors in Google.
Vinod Khosla, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and an iconic venture capitalist.
Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, the venture philanthropy fund that seeded Kiva.
Joe Greenstein, the founder of Flixster and CEO of Rotten Tomatoes.
Eric Wu, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor.
Geoff Ralston, a partner at Y Combinator and founder of Yahoo! Mail.
Uprising, soon to be rising.
Jasmine Social Investments, a global social investment fund.
InnoSpring/TEEC Angel Fund, a global seed fund focusing on disruptive technology.
- Michael Sidgmore, Director of Institutional Investments at Mosaic and founder of NextGenEngage.
- Tabreez Verjee, a serial entrepreneur, investor, and seven-year Kiva board member.
100% of every donation on our website funds medical treatment. This round of funding will support our operations as we work toward financial sustainability, and will enable us to focus exclusively on our mission to fund medical care for people around the world.
Our team’s minds have been blown by the support we’ve received from people around the world. It’s because of all of you that Watsi has come this far. Now, we need your help to turn this $1.2 million into a movement that funds medical care for millions of people in need.
Seed the movement by funding a patient’s medical care on Watsi!
Microsoft, Parallels, and Swish team up to raise $13,575 for Watsi, funding medical care for 19 people
19 people will be receiving much needed medical care, thanks to a partnership between Microsoft, Parallels, and Swish. Earlier this year, Microsoft launched its Windows 8 Quickstart kit for iOS developers. The kit enables developers to test their web apps on Internet Explorer 10 and Windows 8 using their Macs with Parallels Desktop 8.
Microsoft placed 1,000 of the kits up for pre-order on Swish and asked developers to donate $25 to Watsi (or two of our favorite other non-profits, Code.org and Khan Academy) to secure a Quickstarter kit.
The kits sold out in a matter of hours, raising $13,575 for Watsi patients.
We’re so grateful for the support of the modern.IE team at Microsoft, as well as the teams at Swish and Parallels. Thanks for making Watsi patients the beneficiaries of this awesome campaign!
This is a guest post by Jon Fielder, the CEO of one of our medical partners, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. Jon’s leadership has made it possible for Watsi donors to fund medical care for more than 120 AMHF patients in Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
In Malawi, where Jon lives, AMHF patients are still waiting for access to surgical services.
June 15th, 2013
I hated being in this position.
A young HIV-infected man came to our hospital in Malawi because of an abscess on his back. Actually, the abscess had been “incised and drained” the week prior at another hospital. The health workers there had “closed” the wound; that is, they had shut it tight with stitches, sewing up the entire incision.
Infected wounds should not be closed. It’s just basic medicine. The wound must be left open to drain and requires daily cleaning and “packing” with sterile gauze. This instance was not the first time I had witnessed this mistake.
The infected material had been locked inside the young man’s back. Since it couldn’t go up and out, it went down and in—into the blood. From there the bacteria circulated around the body, causing kidney damage along the way, and landed in the ankle joint.
My colleague had removed the stitches on the back. I lengthened the incision, irrigated with saline, and packed the space tightly with clean gauze.
There are two important points to mention here.
Firstly, I am an internist, not a surgeon. Although I perform lumbar punctures, most deep cutting and sewing is best left to someone else. Still, I am often pressed into service for lack of an alternative. Recently I drained TB-laden fluid from around a young man’s heart.
Secondly, because of donations, our hospital is usually well-stocked with basics such as gloves, cotton, gauze, saline and medicine. Most Malawian clinics lack even these basic necessities.
While holding the patient’s legs, the brother pointed out the ankle or “zotupa,” was swelling. An inserted needle yielded infected material. I groaned. It was already late. This abscess would also need to be opened. By me. Right now. If it were left to fester, the bacteria would again simply dive back into the body and pop up somewhere else. Medicines alone cannot penetrate into such dense infected tissue.
In fact, this “abscess” appeared to be within the joint, requiring me to pierce the thickened, inflamed joint capsule, remove the infected material, irrigate, and pack. I had actually never done this procedure before with a scalpel. That night it was just me and a nursing assistant, doing the best we could.
The next morning, the client was better, but still far from being out of the woods. The kidney failure could kill him. If there was un-drained infection deep in the tissue, that could also end his life. If we could pull him through this illness, he realistically has a chance to live decades given the antiretroviral drugs now available.
I have two roles. The first is as a doctor in a nation of 15 million people which might have 250 physicians seeing patients on a daily basis. In this country, there are very few trained surgeons. It’s even difficult finding a place to perform an appendectomy, much less proper drainage of an abscess in an HIV-infected client. Anyone who can afford to gets on a plane for somewhere else.
My second role is CEO of the African Mission Healthcare Foundation, one of the Watsi medical partners. AMHF represents a number of mission hospitals with strong surgical programs. None of those are in Malawi.
So, I get to see poor patients with both basic and complex surgical conditions receive quality care in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia thanks to the generosity of Watsi donors.
But while in Malawi, I just have to wait, hope, and pray that quality surgical options will someday be readily accessible to the people of the country where I actually live and work.
Skyscope Creative is a video production agency that helps innovative leaders tell their stories.
We spent a sunny afternoon filming with Skyscope at Dolores Park in San Francisco. We were blown away by how awesome they were. Not only did they donate their time to capture Watsi’s story on film and edit it into this video, but they were genuinely fun to work with. Check out more of Skyscope’s work on their website.
We use Rails, Slim, SASS, and Angular.js, hosted on Heroku, to raise money for people that can’t afford the medical care they need. If you’re familiar with these technologies and want to join a passionate team that’s working to change the world, please send your portfolio/github/resume to email@example.com.
More about us:
Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/WxPBHB
Photo by Lisa Wiseman.
Our friends at Alvy Brooks created a beautiful, limited-edition poster featuring Y Combinator’s motto and committed 100% of the profits to Watsi patients.
The result: $10,530 raised to fund ife-changing medical care for 12 patients in 7 countries.
Thank you to Alvy Brooks and everyone who bought a poster for making this possible!
Lisa Wiseman is an incredibly talented photographer who generously donated her time and talents to capturing photos of the Watsi team during Y Combinator.
Being photographed by Lisa is like spending time with a good friend. When we saw the results of our goofy afternoon with her, we were blown away by her work. We highly recommend snatching her up if you have the chance!