Rickard joined Watsi on September 3rd, 2015. Three years ago, Rickard joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Rickard's most recent donation traveled 4,500 miles to support Ma Zin, a 22-year-old woman from Burma, to fund life-saving cardiac surgery.
Rickard has funded healthcare for 47 patients in 10 countries.
Rickard has funded healthcare for 47 patients in 10 countries.
Ma Zin is a 22-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her older sister, who works as a seamstress in a factory. Her parents and older brother live in Burma as well. Her father is retired, while her mother works as a day laborer and homemaker. In 2019, Ma Zin began feeling tired very often. She also began having heart palpitations and occasionally difficulty breathing. She was examined by a doctor who gave her medication and referred her to a local hospital for a chest x-ray. The doctor diagnosed her with heart disease, and prescribed medication to treat her symptoms. However, in January of 2021, Ma Zin began experiencing greater fatigue and difficulty breathing. She quit her seamstress job due to her condition and visited a local hospital where she received an echocardiogram. She was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD) and surgery was recommended. Fortunately, our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Ma Zin receive treatment. On December 19th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect closure at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. In talking about her dreams for the future, Ma Zin shared, "I want to become a designer in the future. I want to recover quickly so that I can go back to work. After I recover, I will learn how to design clothes and sew them myself. I will work hard for my family. I would like to see my parents smile and be happy. I would also like to live with my family in my village."
Nerold is a 5-year-old boy from Haiti. He is cherished by his family who want to see him healthy and active as he grows. Nerold 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, Nerold underwent surgery but has been experiencing problems with a shunt he had placed 6 months ago. It began to malfunction causing him infection and severe pain from the increasing pressure in his head. Without treatment, Nerold will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Nerold 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 19th. This critical treatment will place a new shunt to drain the excess fluid from Nerold's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Nerold will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Nerold's mother shared that she was devastated when the original shunt stopped working. She is relieved that with this new surgery he will continue to have a chance for a happy life.
Malaso is a six-month-old baby girl and the youngest child in a family of three children. Her mother stays home with the children and her father is the sole breadwinner of their family. He sells maize and beans to provide for the family. A few days after Malaso was born, she was diagnosed with an anorectal malformation. She cannot pass stool and needs a needs a colostomy, or a procedure where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Malaso to receive treatment. On October 14th, she will undergo a colostomy at AMH's care center. Once complete, Malaso will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,152 to fund her procedure and care. Malaso’s father shared, "it has been hard for us to raise the transportation fees to the hospital for her treatment. It was a big blow for us financially when she developed a complication during her first surgery."
Roy is 1-year-old baby boy and the only child in his family. After he was born, his father stopped supporting Roy and his mother. Roy and his mother moved to his grandmother's home, and his grandmother sells farm products to sustain them. His mother is not able to work because Roy needs her attention, but sometimes she does some casual jobs when she can bring Roy along. The family does not have insurance and is asking for financial help. Two weeks after Roy was born, his mother noticed that his stomach was swollen and he was not passing stool. She rushed him to a nearby hospital for examination and Roy was urgently referred to another facility where he underwent a colostomy. His mother was informed that Roy was born with a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. The facility Roy was at stopped offering surgeries and so he was referred to our medical partner's care center Bethany Kids Hospital for surgery. Roy is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on September 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Roy's procedure and care. After his recovery, Roy will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Roy’s mother says, “I would like my child to grow up healthy as other kids so that I can be independent and provide for him.”
Levina is a bright 10-year-old student. She is very social and loves to study. She is especially gifted in science and math! She is the youngest child in a family of four children. Her mother stays at home to care for the family. Although her father does not have permanent work, he owns a chainsaw and seeks lumber jobs as they are available during timber seasons. Levina is experiencing clubfoot in her left foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, she has difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Due to the persistent pain of walking, she had to stop school to seek treatment for her left foot. Levina’s family traveled to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for her treatment. On August 13th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Levina to walk easily. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Levina’s mother shared, “We decided to stop her from going to school so that we can find treatment for her foot as it is troubling her so much in walking. Her treatment cost is too high for us to afford."
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."
Marilyn is a 10-month-old baby girl from a small town in Colombia. She lives with her mother, grandmother, three aunts and one uncle, who is a farmer. Marilyn has clubfoot, a condition in which her foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Marilyn's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 26th. Now, Clínica Noel is requesting $1,422 to fund Marilyn's life-changing procedure. After treatment, she will be able to start walking and running after her dreams as she grows. Her mother shared, "my biggest dream is for her to get well soon, to see her walking and running as a normal child, with no pain or anything."
Sarom is a 37-year-old farmer with a big family of two brothers and four sisters. Sarom is the second youngest, and Sarom and his younger sister still live at home with their parents. The other siblings are married and live elsewhere. In January 2021, Sarom fell down stairs and injured his left leg but did not go to a hospital. It is now difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. He can not flex his left knee or stand for long periods of time. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On May 17th, Sarom will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Sarom shared, "I hope this surgery will allow me to get better and return to work. I need to help support my family. Thank you for your help."
Kome is a 15-year-old student and his parents fish to earn a living for their family. In December of 2020, Kome's left leg became swollen and later ruptured exposing the bone. He has since developed a severely infected wound. He is in pain, unable to walk, and has since stopped walking to school. He was undergoing treatment and wound cleaning in his hometown, but unfortunately, his condition has worsened. After being examined by both general and orthopedic surgeons, he is now scheduled for surgery as an urgent case. Kome requires debridement and a possible sequescretomy to avoid amputation of his infected leg. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kome receive treatment. On April 2nd, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. After treatment, Kome will no longer be at risk for a severe bone infection and possible amputation. Now, Kome's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Kome's father shared, “Kome has not been going to school or playing because of the wound. The best we could do is the herbal treatment, but it seems it wasn’t working. He can lose the leg if it is not treated, and that is very sad.”
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Samuel is a young student from Kenya. He is the third child in a family of four. His mother is a widow who is raising the family on her own. His father passed away three years ago and his mother works as a manual laborer washing clothes for a living. Around November 2020, Samuel fell from a bridge and landed in water resulting in multiple fractures of his pelvis, elbow, and femur. These fractures have made him immobile and unable to use his limbs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 8th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and walk again. He will also not be in pain anymore. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,094 to fund this procedure. Samuel’s mother says, “My son cannot stop crying, and he is in so much pain. He cannot walk or use his hand. Kindly help Samuel walk again.”
Colling is a handsome eleven-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He has a twin brother whose name is Collins. Colling's father is the sole provider to the family through his small business of selling used car spare parts. Colling and his twin brother were born healthy babies, but at one month of age, his mother realized that he had an unusual swelling around his pelvis. Doctors at the regional hospital diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia, but told them to wait until he was six months old to seek treatment. As time went on, Colling's condition got worse, causing him a lot of pain and he would cry a lot. Colling's parents decided to seek treatment at a different hospital, but the cost of treatment was too high for them to afford. His mother says that due to the pain, Collings has not been able to crawl or move around with the same ease as his twin brother. Colling's parents are unable to afford the treatment that Colling needs and appeal for financial help. Fortunately, on January 18th, Colling will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $566 to fund Colling's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently, and he will be able to grow up healthy, and walk and play with his brother. Colling’s mother shared, “Please help my son, since this problem has made him lag behind compared to his twin brother.”