Peter Koomen
Peter's Story

Peter joined Watsi on July 30th, 2015. 48 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Peter's most recent donation supported Jordy, a four-year-old boy from Haiti, for life-saving heart surgery.


Peter has funded healthcare for 7 patients in 5 countries.

All patients funded by Peter

Meet Justine, a 15-year-old boy who lives in Tanzania with his mother, father, and five siblings. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us, “Justine started feeling mild pain in his left knee when he was seven years old.” Justine has knocked knees, a condition in which his knees are angled towards each other. This condition is especially common in regions of northern Tanzania where an excess of naturally-occurring fluoride in the water causes curvature in the bones. By fifth grade, Justine was no longer able to walk the long distance to his school, and he had to drop out. AMHF explains, “While he was in school, Justine enjoyed science and history classes. He also liked to play soccer.” However, because of his difficulty walking, Justine can now only interact with his peers through cards and board games. With the school fees for their other five children, Justine’s parents--both small-scale farmers--are unable to pay the costs of the surgical repair Justine needs. They have taken Justine to various hospitals, but he has only ever received multivitamins and pain medication. For $940, Justine will receive surgery to correct his knocked knees, as well as two weeks of physical therapy. The procedure will realign his bones and joints, improving his ability to walk. Justine will be able to travel long distances like the one to school. Justine shares with us, “I have always admired my science teacher. When I am able to go back to school, I’ll study hard so that in the future I can become a teacher.”

Fully funded

“Marcos is the only child of two very loving parents,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). The baby boy from Guatemala “loves to jump up and down and play with a little basket he found at his house,” WK shares. However, Marcos often experiences low energy levels due to acute pediatric malnutrition. Acute malnutrition occurs when the body does not intake as many essential nutrients as it needs over an extended period of time—causing a nutritional deficit. Among children, this imbalance can stunt mental and physical development. At this point, “Marco has very low height and weight for his age,” WK says. In addition, Marcos has crossed eyes (strabismus) and chronic diarrhea—further limiting his absorption of essential nutrients. Throughout early childhood, maintaining a balanced diet is crucial to experiencing healthy growth. WK explains that a nutritious diet allows young children to have “healthy physical and brain development, a strong immune system and ordinary energy levels.” Conversely, malnutrition can weaken overall immunity, increasing the risk of other illnesses such as pneumonia. Marcos’ mother does not make enough money, nor possess the nutritive knowledge, to facilitate the improvement of her son’s health. She remarks, “It is difficult to buy the things Marcos needs in a sufficient quantity to ensure he is healthy. We just don’t have the money… I feel like I have been waiting for help.” With $535 in Watsi funding, however, Marcos will receive 90 days of micronutrient support to treat his acute malnutrition. These nutrient-rich food supplements will be introduced into his diet in incremental amounts to allow his body to safely adjust to the changes. In addition, Marcos will be given deworming medication to protect him from future infections. With Guatemala having the fourth-highest rate of malnutrition in the world, education is crucial to preventing this condition in the future. Therefore, Marcos’ parents will work with a nutritionist to learn about the importance of nutrition and ensure that Marcos reaches important milestones throughout his treatment. By restoring a nutritional balance to Marcos’ diet, WK states that he will “grow better both physically and mentally. His energy levels will increase and his immune system will strengthen—preventing illnesses and infections throughout his life.” His mother shares, “I want to do all I can to help my baby!”

Fully funded