United States • Born on May 25th
Tom joined Watsi on February 26th, 2014. Eight years ago, Tom joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tom's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Myrcayela, a beautiful 9 year old girl from Haiti, to fund heart surgery.
Tom has funded healthcare for 127 patients in 13 countries.
Tom has funded healthcare for 127 patients in 13 countries.
Myrcayela, a nine year old fifth grader, lives with her parents and five siblings in a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Myrcayela was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus. In the womb, a ductus arteriosus is a normal part of a baby's blood flow system. If it doesn't close shortly after birth, however, a hole remains between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart. This is what happened with Myrcayela, resulting in oxygen poor blood circulating through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of the surgery that will correct Myrcayela's condition. This life changing procedure, during which doctors will plug the hole with a device to prevent leakage, is scheduled to take place on February 1st, at Clinica Corominas. Myrcayela's mother said: "Our family will pray every day for all the people who are helping our daughter!"
Dah is a 63-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her daughter, two sons, and a daughter-in-law in a village on the Thai-Burma border. They all make and sell traditional rice wine, and grow and sell vegetables on their small farm. In her free time, Dah enjoys watching television and working on her small farm. On the morning of February 3rd, one of her sons drove her and her other son to their farmland. The road was undulating and full of potholes. Suddenly, their motorbike slid and they all fell off. Both her sons were fine, but Dah broke her left femur. As a result, Dah cannot walk or move her left leg and is in a lot of pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Dah will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 3rd and will help her walk free of pain. Dah and her family need help raising $1,500 to funder her procedure and care. "I worry that I will not be able to walk like before", she said. "If I cannot walk I don't know how I will be able to work on our farmland."
Dennis is the first born in a family of four children. When he finished high school, he was reluctant to join college because of his condition. He currently is not able to work because he gets easily tired and cannot carry heavy loads. He joined college just recently but has been out of school for the past two months. Now that he is at home, he helps his mother who picks tea for a living. He does not have a health insurance coverage and cannot raise the required amount of money to cater for his hospital bill. In 2019 while he was sitting for his national school exams, Dennis experienced sharp pain in his esophagus. He took a glass of water, and the pain went away for a few weeks. The pain used to occur roughly two times in a month and a glass of water would help a lot. Late last year, the pain worsened. He was not in a position to swallow food. He went to a herbalist and was given some medication to use for some time. When the dose was over, the pain was still persistent, and he still could not swallow food normally. He was then referred to Kijabe Hospital by a friend where he was examined and given some medication to use. He didn't feel better and decided to go back to the herbalist for different medication but there was no change. Later he finally returned to Kijabe Hospital and scans and tests revealed that he has Achalasia. He is scheduled for a heller's myotomy which is a curative laparotomy surgery for his condition. Now he needs $1,074 to pay for the surgery. Dennis says, "I feel very sad. If I was healthy, I would be able to work well and be comfortable with myself.”
Alex is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents and three siblings in Tanzania. His parents are small scale farmers. Alex was brought to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre in October after having been involved in an accident in 2020, that resulted in burns and deformed toes on both of his feet. His condition makes it painful for Alex to wear shoes or to walk, and the surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, have advised Alex's parents that the optimal treatment would be the amputation of his toes. As small scale farmers, Alex's parents have struggled during the recent droughts in Tanzania. Therefore, they are looking to you to help fund the $1,088 for the surgery that Alex needs to resume a full and happy life, which is scheduled to take place on December 1st, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Alex’s father says: “Alex is having a hard time walking barefooted. I hope one day he is able to wear shoes and to walk without enduring pain.”
Brian is a 12 year old boy living with his parents and three older siblings. His father is a motorcycle taxi driver earning a living whenever he can from the limited work, while his mother stays at home to care for the children. When Brian was about nine months old, his parents noticed that he had general body weakness. He was diagnosed with rickets and additional medical conditions, which have caused a delay in many of his milestones as he continues to grow. Brian's physical coordination is limited, and he suffers from a profound hearing loss, for which his doctors have recommended hearing aids. But hearing aids are too expensive for his family to afford, so Brian currently attends a special school, which can accommodate his hearing loss. The doctors have assured Brian's parents that with hearing aids, Brian would be able to attend an ordinary school near their home. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,171 to cover the costs of the hearing aids and the fitting, which is scheduled to take place on June 17th at AIC Kijabe Hospital. With his hearing restored, Brian will be able to attend a regular school, and to interact more fully with the world around him. Brian's father says: “Brian is unable to pick up voices and this is affecting his studies. He shifted to a special school because of his condition. His doctors say that he can hear well if fitted with hearing aids. If he gets this medical attention, he can join his colleagues in a normal school.“
Ann is a 34-year-old widow and a mother of two children, ages 13 and 8 years old. She does odd jobs at a nearby small hotel; though she shared that her medical condition makes it hard to work. Ann started having epigastric pains in 2015 and has being treated intermittently for ulcers. She said that sometimes all her income goes to treatment, and yet she doesn’t get well. Recently, the pain became worse, and she was taken to different hospitals over the weekend before being brought to Nazareth Hospital, where she was admitted. A scan showed Cholelithiasis, and since she has severe pain on and off, the Surgeon recommended she should go for Cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gall bladder) immediately. Unfortunately, her medical insurance (NHIF) did not approve her case, so she needs $788 to fund her surgery. If not treated, Ann will continue to experience the pain and may have complications like pancreatitis, blockage of the gall bladder with inflammation of the gall bladder. She is in severe pain already. “I am desperate, the doctor says I have to be operated on tomorrow but have no money to pay, and NHIF did not approve my application. Any support given, I will appreciate, at least to have my life back. I am the hope of my children who are still young,” said Ann quietly.
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Shedrack is a social 12-year-old boy. He's is cheerful and fun, and is the last born in a family of three children. Shedrack joined school earlier this year and he can now recite all the vowels. He is in a special needs school due to cerebral palsy. Shedrack's parents are small-scale farmers of maize and vegetables which they use mainly for their own food for their family. They also buy maize from fellow farmers and resell at a small profit at their local market. Through this, they are able to get money to support their family. Shedrack has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Shedrack traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 26th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Shedrack's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and be active more easily. Shedrack’s mother says: “My son is a determined boy who despite his cerebral palsy condition does not want to be left behind by his age mates. With his feet bending, walking has started being challenging for him and is affecting his daily life activities.”
Vorn is a 56-year-old hardworking man. He and his wife are seasonal farmers. They have four sons who have all moved away and started families, but they still visit often. Vorn and his wife also have six grandchildren. When he is not working, he loves to visit his sons, see his grandchildren, go to restaurants with his friends and watch boxing matches on TV. Seven months ago, Vorn fell down a set of stairs and dislocated his right shoulder. He left the injury untreated for several months, and now his shoulder has become swollen, painful, and difficult to move. He traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where, on August 27th, doctors will perform a closed reduction to repair his shoulder. Once he has recovered, the swelling will go down and he will regain full mobility in his shoulder. He will be able to return to work comfortably. Now, he needs help raising $412 to fund the procedure. Vorn shared, "I hope that I can get back to my job and work without any pain, and help my family around the house. I also want to be able to pick my grandchildren up with out any problem."
Vedastus is a two-year-old boy and the only child of his young parents. He's a friendly boy who is currently having a hard time walking because his legs bow outwards. Vedastus' mother works at a local food joint as a cook. Her income is not much, but enables her to support and care for her son. Vedastus' father is still in college studying, which leaves Vedastus' mother as the only parent with an income. Vedastus was diagnosed with fluorosis - genu varus, where his legs bowing outwards so that his knees do not 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, Vedastus cannot walk well and he is in pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Vedastus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 2nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Vedastus's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Vedastus’s mother says "I am the only person working to be able to provide for our son. The father of my son is still studying and my income is not enough to care for Vedastus and afford his treatment cost. Please help us, he needs treatment for his leg because he is struggling to walk.”
Sophanha is a six-month-old baby who has an older brother and sister. His father and 20-year-old brother operate a coffee stand outside a factory, and his sister is a 17-year-old high school student. His mother stays home to take care of Sophanha right now. When he was born, Sophanha was diagnosed with Erb's palsy on his left arm and hand. This leads to weakness, loss of function and sensation so that the young boy is unable to lift his arm or use his hand. Sophanha traveled with his family to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 29th, he will undergo surgery that will help him be able to use his hand in the future as he grows up. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sophanha's mother shares, "I am glad my baby can get this surgery, and I hope he can use his arm soon and grow strong."
Hong is a 27-year-old man who works as a truck driver. He is married and has one son. In July 2020, Hong was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture of his left proximal ulna and his left femur. Now it is difficult for him to use his hand and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On June 18th, Hong will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him use the left hand easily again. Hong said "I hope I can use my hand better than before so I can return to work."