thomas joined Watsi on April 20th, 2017. Five years ago, thomas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. thomas' most recent donation supported Melodie, a sweet baby girl from Haiti, to fund surgery prep and transportation overseas to treat her heart defect.
thomas has funded healthcare for 63 patients in 10 countries.
thomas has funded healthcare for 63 patients in 10 countries.
Melodie is an 11-month-old baby from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and two older sisters. Her father is a school principal, and her mother is a homemaker. Melodie has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. There is a hole between the two lower chambers of Melodie's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Melodie also has Down Syndrome. Since the care she needs is not available in Haiti, Melodie will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On April 18th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Melodie's heart using a patch. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for the surgery. Melodie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Melodie's family overseas. Melodie's mother shared: "Our family has been very scared about whether our daughter will have surgery in time. We are very happy to know that the date is almost here!"
Rin is a 47-year-old farmer. Rin and his wife have three children, one son, two daughters, and one grandchild. His daughters are married, his son still lives at home and is a cook at a local restaurant. In 2019, Rin was hit by a car while on his motorcycle and fractured his right tibia and fibula. He was treated for his fracture at a local hospital, with external fixation of the bones to repair his fracture. A year later, the external fixation was removed, he had a fever and active infection, and his bones did not heal properly. On the advice of his neighbor, he visited Children's Surgical Centre in June and was given antibiotics for a month to clear up the infection prior to any surgery. He was not able to return until December due to the coronavirus lockdown and provincial restrictions for travel. He's unable to put weight on his leg and must use crutches. He feels unwell most of the time and has swelling and pain. His leg has not healed properly - it is bowed and the bone is freely moveable. Right now he cannot work on his farm or make money to feed his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On December 14th, Rin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Proper correction and alignment of his bones will help him return to full function and to farming to support his family. "I hope after surgery my leg will finally heal, and I will be able to walk again. I want to work on my farm to feed my family and make sure my grandchild will go to school."
K is a 46-year-old homemaker from Burma. K lives with her husband, son and two daughters in a refugee camp. K and her husband are small scale vegetable farmers. K's eldest daughter is a nurse in the refugee camp's hospital, while her other daughter and son are students. In her free time, K enjoys cleaning her house and weaving traditional Karen shirts. K has a cataract in her left eye that causes blurred vision. K's challenged vision has prevented her from weaving, and causes her to walk slowly so she does not get injured. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund K's lens replacement surgery on February 16th. After recovery, K will be able to see clearly again. K shared, "After surgery, when I can see again, I hope to go back to weaving and helping with all the household chores.”
Vicheka is the eldest of two children in her family and loves her younger sister who is three years old. Their family lives in Preah Vihear near the Thai border of Cambodia. Her father is a soldier and her mother is a potato farmer. At school, she is fond of math and Khmer literature and would like to be a teacher when she is older. She likes reading books, painting, playing with her little sister, and taking walks with her parents. When Vicheka was five, she was diagnosed with scoliosis of the spine—a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. She has uneven shoulders, a bump in her lower back, difficulty standing up straight, and shortness of breath. It has become difficult for her to breathe, she tires easily, and she is having difficulty walking. This can be very difficult for young girls, they are often hidden at home because other children make fun of the way they look. A neighbor told her parents about our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre, so they traveled over 10 hours for a diagnosis and surgery. Surgeons plan to put in expanding rods along her spine. The expanding rods will allow her to grow and keep her spine from curving further, which could cause her more health problems if left untreated. Their family needs $1,500 for the surgery, which will cover medications, implants, and post-operative care. Vicheka said, "I hope the doctors can fix my spine so I can play with my friends and my back will be straight. I want to continue in school but it is hard for me to keep up, and I miss school."
Jane is a 49-year-old woman and a mother to three children between 23 and 27 years of age. Her husband works as a casual laborer, tending to farms to make a living. One of her sons is in college, while her other children do not currently have jobs. Their family lives on a shared piece of land in their ancestral home. Since early 2020, Jane has been experiencing constant bleeding. In March 2021, her symptoms worsened and she visited a government hospital for further evaluation. She had a cervical biopsy and was diagnosed with stage IA cervical cancer. Her doctors have recommended a hysterectomy, or a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, to prevent the cancer from spreading. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jane receive treatment. On December 17th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Jane will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Now, Jane needs help raising $1,260 to fund her procedure and care. Jane shared, "I hear this cancer spreads if not treated. I am scared and in fear that it will spread and affect other body parts. This disease has to be stopped soon."
Dennis is a nine-year-old student. He's the youngest of four children in his family and is in grade six at school. Sadly, his mother passed away several years ago and his father was unable to take care of him. He now lives with a neighbor, who is his guardian. He enjoys playing football and other games in school, although his condition makes it difficult. Dennis was born with clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the feet are twisted out of shape causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. He experiences pain and difficulty walking, and cannot wear shoes. He is unable to play games, like football, which he enjoys. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dennis receive treatment. On November 22nd, he will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to walk well, wear shoes, play with friends and continue with his studies. Now, they need help raising $1,286 to fund his procedure and care. Dennis shared, "I would love to have my feet corrected so that I can walk well and play with my friends."
Joshua is a very jovial 3-year-old boy. He's the firstborn in a family of two children. His father, who is the breadwinner of the family works to sell property. Since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, there has been low income and he gets just enough for their family's basic needs. His mother had a printing shop that she had to shut down last year. Joshua was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, he has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Joshua will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 12th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joshua’s father says, “I would like Joshua to enroll to school without any health issues hindering his studies.”
Sitha is a 40-year-old car mechanic. He's been married for four years and lives in the city with his wife. In addition to repairing cars, Sitha works in a garment factory. In his free time, he enjoys playing football, listening to music, and fishing. Two years ago, Sitha was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left 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. He is unable to lift his left arm and he hasn't been able to work. Sitha traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) to receive treatment. On September 9th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. Now, CSC is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sitha shared, "I really hope I can regain full function of my left arm and be independent again."
Deth is a 37-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He lives in the Kampong Cham province with his wife and two children. His wife works on a farm alongside him, while his children are both in primary school. They also have another son who recently became a monk. Deth works seasonally, and when he is not working he likes to spend a lot of time playing soccer, growing vegetables, and watching movies. One year ago, Deth had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Deth experiences hearing loss, pain and ear discharge. He cannot communicate clearly with others. Deth traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 17th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations and relieve Deth's pain. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and in-patient care. Deth said, "I am hopeful that my ear will get better soon, so I can work in peace and enjoy talking to my family."
Johnson is a charming and playful toddler and the only child of his young parents. They are small scale farmers of maize, vegetable, sunflowers, and beans. It is through their harvest that the family is able to get food and earn money for other basic commodities. The little boy was diagnosed with genu varus, a condition typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, often stemming from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Johnson's legs bow outward at the knee. He has difficulty walking and experiences pain after playing or running around for longer periods of time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Johnson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Johnson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Johnson’s mother shares, "My child is having a hard time walking due to his legs being deformed. I would love for him to walk well like other children but the cost is too high for us to afford help us."
Ku is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Ku's mother weaves shirts that she sells, and Ku's father helps weave, too. Ku is a primary school student, while one of his sisters is in nursing school, and his youngest sister is too young to go to school. On June 6th, Ku and two of his friends were playing in a tamarind tree when they all fell out of the tree. Ku injured his left arm in the fall and his father carried him to the camp hospital for an exam. The medic there told Ku's father that his elbow might be broken. After they bandaged his arm, Ku visited another hospital for an x-ray and was diagnosed with a left elbow fracture. Ku is in pain and cannot bend his arm or lift anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 9th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Ku will no longer be in pain and he will be able to go back to school. He will regain full mobility in his arm. Ku's father shared, "Ku is an active boy who loves school and reading a lot. He always says that he wants to become a health worker to look after his family and others when he grows up. I want him to recover and go back to school soon."
William is a hardworking motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He earns $2.50 daily and lives in a one-room house in Naivasha, costing about $24 a month. His parents are elderly and live nearby on a quarter of an acre piece of land. William suffered femur and distal tibia fractures and is unable to walk and cannot work. Currently, the hospital has admitted him to the respiratory ward since he developed difficulties in breathing. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 20th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. These surgeries will enable the bones to heal and he will be able to walk again normally. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. William says, “I don’t have anyone to depend on, I survive on my own through this motorbike taxi business. But with these fractures, I cannot walk or work at all. I need the surgery to normalize my life and be independent again.”