Eric joined Watsi on April 3rd, 2015. Seven years ago, Eric joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Eric's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Marc, a bright teenager with big goals from Haiti, to fund surgery that will repair the birth defect in his heart.
Eric has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 11 countries.
Eric has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 11 countries.
Marc is a 16-year-old boy who lives in an urban neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, with his parents and four younger siblings. He is in his first year of high school and would like to eventually become either an engineer or a teacher. Marc was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The birth defect means there's a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which often leaves Marc weak and short of breath. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. There is not a local pediatric cardiac surgical team in Haiti, but our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to accompany Marc to the Dominican Republic. There, on May 25th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole in his heart. "I have been waiting for this chance for many years," Marc said, "and I am very happy the time is almost here!" The Rotarian-based organization Gift of Life International is contributing $5,000 toward Marc's surgery. His family needs to raise $1,500 to help cover remaining medical costs and travel for Marc.
Tricia is a one month old baby girl. She is being raised by a single young mother who completed high school and is planning to attend beauty college to become a hairdresser. Tricia and her mother live with Tricia's elderly grandmother who is a small-scale farmer in a one-acre ancestral home. Tricia and her mother do not have active medical insurance and have been dependent on support from relatives since her birth. Tricia has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Tricia's head started swelling at birth and has been increasing in size over time causing her family to worry. Due to complications, Tricia was referred to our medical partner's care center Bethany Kids Hospital for a neurosurgical review. Doctors diagnosed Tricia with hydranencephaly; a central nervous system disorder that requires Tricia to undergo surgery to eliminate the risk of severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Tricia's mother raise the $720 to cover the cost of the surgery scheduled for March 3rd. This procedure will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve Tricia's quality of life. With proper treatment, Tricia will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Tricia's mother says, “I am a new mother learning to raise a sick baby by myself. I have been left with all the responsibilities. I have hopes that this surgery will help with the increasing size of my baby’s head which is giving me worries.”
Ezekiel is a two-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves learning the alphabet and playing with cars. Ezekiel's mother is a stay-at-home mom and his father works at a fast food restaurant earning just enough to sustain the family's daily needs. Ezekiel was born with a congenital abnormality that causes intestinal blockage and requires a series of corrective procedures. Ezekiel's parents shared that they "prayed long and hard for a miracle" to get their child the healthcare he needs. Fortunately, Ezekiel is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 2nd and our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping his parents raise $1,279 to cover the cost of Ezekiel's procedure and care. After his recovery, Ezekiel will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of further health complications. Ezekiel's mother shared, "First and foremost, we are eternally grateful to everyone who has made a difference in our son's life. Second, we are excited and hopeful that after this treatment Ezekiel will be healthy and active just like the other children his age."
Benzaqueen is a 4-month-old baby and the youngest child in her family of two children. Her mother works casual jobs, such as plowing and helping people with chores, while her father is a laborer and works primarily at construction sites. The family shared that they do not have national health insurance and need assistance raising funds for Benzaqueen’s surgery. Benzaqueen was born with spina bifida, a neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Her family was referred to a few local hospitals before learning about the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Upon examination at AMH's care center, doctors determined that surgery is needed, as Benzaqueen is at risk of developing lower-limb paralysis, tethered cord syndrome, infection, and possible developmental delays without treatment. Fortunately, on February 2nd, Benzaqueen will undergo spina bifida closure surgery at the hospital. This procedure will address any developmental risks and help her grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,151 to fund her procedure. Benzaqueen’s mother shared, “We had already given up the quest for our daughter’s treatment until we were told to come to the hospital. We now believe that she will be treated.”
Margaret's smile lights up the room. She is a 41-year-old small scale farmer who is married and has one child. Her husband worked as a taxi driver, but, unfortunately, he lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Three years ago, Margaret began experiencing troubling symptoms including difficulty swallowing, throat soreness and voice changes. Over time, her symptoms worsened, so she visited a local hospital for further evaluation. She was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter, or an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. A thyroidectomy was recommended to treat her condition. If left untreated, the goiter will continue to grow, which could lead to troubling complications like difficulty breathing, heart problems, thyrotoxicosis, or trachea obstruction. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Margaret receive treatment. On December 28th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she and her family need help raising $657 to fund her procedure and care. Margaret shared, "this problem has affected my daily work and life for a long time, and now I worry I am becoming a bother even to my husband. I am therefore kindly asking for assistance to have this surgery so that I can regain my health."
Orens is an 11 month old baby boy from Haiti. Orens is loved and cared for by his mother and father who want to see him healthy. Orens has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Orens has a larger head that was noticed by his family when was around 3 months old. Without treatment, Orens will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Orens at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on November 30th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Orens's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Orens will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Orens mother shared that she has travelled a long way from her home with Orens. She is happy and relieved to finally have hope for her child.
Daw Tin is a 59-year-old farmer from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and daughter-in-law in Mon State. She and her husband are tenant farmers, but since she hurt her right toe, she cannot work. In her free time, she enjoys growing flowers and vegetables. Seven years ago, Daw Tin was diagnosed with diabetes but was unable to access regular treatment for her condition. One month ago, she noticed that she had a blood blister on the big toe of her right foot. Her toe was also achy, and she decided that she would prick the blister with a needle to drain it. Over the next couple of days, the drained blister turned into an ulcer. Currently, Daw Tin’s right big toe is swollen and discoloured, and she is in pain. She cannot farm and she cannot help with household chores. At night, she cannot sleep because she is constantly worried about her right foot and their financial problems. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Daw Tin receive treatment. On October 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help her go back to work and stop her from being in pain. Now, Daw Tin needs help to fund this $694 procedure. “I want to have my own farm in the future,” said Daw Tin. “Thank you so much to the donors.”
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Barkot is a nine-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia who loves to play with his parents and with toys. He is his parents' first child. Barkot's father is a salesperson in an electronics shop. The family lives in a rented house, and other relatives help support the family's needs. Barkot underwent a colostomy, where a piece of the colon was diverted to an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may require closure. Barkot's colostomy will require closure in order to restore his bowel function and to prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,009 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Barkot. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 14th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Barkot’s father shared, “Barkot’s mother is not working now. When Barkot finishes the surgery and when he can make a stool normally, we hope she will start working. We hope psychologically we will be stable just like before. We hope he can socialize now. We feared socializing with Barkot because of facing stigma and discrimination. We feared people might pick on him when he grows up and we hid him from others to protect him.”
Lucy is a 31-year-old preschool teacher and a mother of two children. Her husband is a boda boda taxi driver who earns about two dollars a day, and the family lives together in their ancestral home. In June 2021, Lucy sustained a vertebral fracture and was admitted to the hospital for observation and spinal decompression. She underwent spine surgery and was discharged back home. At a follow-up appointment, doctors noticed that she was having difficulties breathing and walking, and that her surgical wound was infected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Lucy receive treatment for the infection. On July 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help her heal and prevent sepsis. Now, Lucy needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Lucy shared, “I am unable to walk and even stopped working due to my condition. I need the surgery to be able to recover and get back to normal.”
Allan is 17-year-old student and an aspiring doctor. He is the fifth born in a family of six children. He shared that he sadly lost his father in 2011 and his mother is elderly. He depends on his older siblings, but they do not have stable jobs. Their family lives in their ancestral home and does small-scale farming to grow food to eat. Allan has a urethral stricture and is currently on dialysis. He feels unwell and his condition has affected his studies. He has visited several healthcare facilities over the past year in search of treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Allan to receive treatment. On July 1, he will undergo an urethroplasty, or urethra repair. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,144 procedure. Allan shared, "I want to be a doctor and I am determined to do so. I even opted to sit for my exams despite the pain and my condition. I hope this sickness does not stop my ambitions.”
Lo is a 41-year-old rice farmer and married with one son and one daughter. Lo's daughter is in 7th grade, and her son has just finished school and works as a farmer. In her free time, Lo enjoys watching TV, sewing, cooking, and taking care of her children. On March 3rd, Lo slipped and fell, fracturing her left elbow. At first, she received traditional Khmer treatment in the form of a bamboo splint, but her arm did not heal. Now, it is difficult for her to use her arm and she experiences swelling and chronic pain when she attempts to move or flex it. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On May 27th, Lo will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help her use her arm easily again. Lo shared, "I am thankful that I can return home and be healed after surgery. This will allow me to farm again and feed the chickens."