Thomas joined Watsi on December 25th, 2020. Seven months ago, Thomas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Thomas' most recent donation supported Erick, a 5-month-old baby from Bolivia, to fund heart surgery to close holes in his heart.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 15 patients in 6 countries.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 15 patients in 6 countries.
Erick lives in a neighborhood on the outskirts of La Paz with his mother and his grandparents, who help take care of him while his mother works in the market. He was born with three different holes in and near his heart; as a result, blood leaks through these holes, and his heart cannot deliver enough oxygen to his body. Thankfully, our medical care partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has been of great help and has helped Erick and his family receive the right medical attention. During his surgery, doctors will close all three holes to ensure oxygen-rich blood circulates throughout his body and he is able to grow into a strong young boy. On February 17th, Erick will undergo cardiac surgery at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría in Bolivia. His family needs financial assistance to cover the $1,500 cost of this life-saving procedure. His mother shared, "I almost gave up hope that my son could live, and I am so thankful to everyone who is giving him this chance!"
Chheng is a 50-year-old construction worker. He is married, and has one son and four daughters. While his son is married, his four daughters remain at home with Chheng and his wife, who works at a local clothing factory. Chheng was in a motor vehicle collision in March 2020. He fractured both his left tibia and left femur, and was treated at a government hospital. Hardware was placed to stabilize the bones and to help the fractures heal properly. Now, the hardware is exposed, and he has an infected wound, causing him constant pain. In addition, he can only walk with the help of crutches. Chheng is concerned that he will be unable to continue supporting his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On October 12th, Chheng will undergo a hardware removal procedure at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, which will cost $304. This procedure will help clear the infection and heal the wound on his leg, enabling him to return to work. Now he needs your help to fund the surgery. Chheng shared: "I hope after the hardware is gone, I will heal soon and can walk and work as before."
Meet Zephania, a jovial, 34 year old farmer, living in the highlands of Kenya with his wife and three children. Zephania has a small piece of land, on which he plants maize and potatoes, mainly for his family's consumption. He dropped out of high school early because his family could not afford to cover the necessary fees. He has been a casual laborer working on people's farms, clearing bushes and carrying loads, in order to earn a living. His wife is not working currently, as she is expecting a child. Zephania was involved in an accident while riding his motorbike. When he arrived at the hospital, he was unable to stand or to walk, and he complained of a lot of pain in his left leg. Upon examination, it was revealed that his leg had been shortened, and there was also some swelling of the limb. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On January 10th, Zephania will undergo a fracture repair procedure at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. As a result of this surgery, called an open reduction and internal fixation, Zephania will no longer be in pain; his leg will heal, and he will be able to return to work and to provide for his family. Now, African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Zephania says: "My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. I don’t want to see them struggle when I am living.”
Alexia is a first-year student nurse from the Philippines. Alexia's mother is a stay-at-home mom, and her father works as a ride operator abroad. Despite working hard, her father's income is only enough for the family's basic needs. In March, Alexia began to experience troubling symptoms, including severe abdominal pain radiating to her back. Alexia was brought to a nearby hospital to be treated. Upon having her ultrasound test, it showed that she was suffering from a gallstone. Alexia has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Alexia is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on September 5th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $820 to cover the cost of Alexia's surgery make her care possible. Alexia's mother shared, "We are financially incapable to pay for her medical bills. With this surgery, we don't have to worry about it anymore. I'd like to thank WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! We're so fortunate to be one of your beneficiaries."
Rozaleny is a 70-year-old woman from the Philippines. She lives with her husband, who is a tricycle driver. For the past few months, Rozaleny has been experiencing pain and difficulty sitting. After three months of enduring this pain and discomfort, she decided to seek medical care. She was diagnosed with external hemorrhoids and was advised to undergo surgery to prevent her condition from worsening. However, Rozaleny and her husband could not fund her needed treatment due to financial constraints. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Rozaleny receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy on July 30th at WSFP's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove her external hemorrhoids. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,137 to cover the cost of Rozaleny's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience pain and will avoid future complications. Rozaleny's husband shares, "This free surgery will really be a big help to us. We can't afford to pay for her treatment. We're eternally grateful to Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for all their help."
Swe lives with her parents and her son in a village in northern Burma. Her father is subsistence farmer, her mother owns a small weaving business where traditional Burmese blankets and sarongs are hand woven. Her son goes to school and Swe is a homemaker. In her free time, she enjoys visiting and talking to her friends in their village. In December 2021, Swe began to experience fatigue, sweatiness, vomiting and difficulty breathing. She also had a headache and a stiff neck. At first she could not travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but eventually went to Mandalay in August to seek help. At a hospital, she received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. She was told she would need surgery costing 15 million kyat (approx. $15,000 USD), but she could not afford to pay for it. She then went to Yangon with her son, in the hopes of finding another hospital that cost operate on her for less money. While in Yangon, her condition deteriorated and her son rushed her to a hospital. The doctor there confirmed her diagnosis and her need for surgery, but told her it would cost 20 million kyat (approx. $20,000 USD). When Swe told the doctor that she could not afford to pay such a large sum, the doctor referred her to an abbot, who in turn referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment. Currently, Swe cannot walk for more than 10 minutes or she feels very tired and short of breathe. She has a rapid heartbeat, dizziness and headache. She said, "I want to say thank you so much to BCMF and all the donors to help me with my treatment cost.”
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.“
Shem is a 14-year-old student from Kenya who is studying in class seven. He is the youngest in his family of eleven. Shem's parents practice small-scale farming of maize, and his older siblings work labor jobs to help provide for the family. A few weeks ago, Shem was injured playing football and fractured his lower tibia and fibula. He is experiencing pain and cannot use his leg, which is preventing him from being able to go to school, play with friends, and help his family at home. Shem needs to undergo surgery to heal, and his family requests assistance with the surgery costs. Happily, Shem was able to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for assistance. On November 1st, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Upon recovery, Shem will be able to use his leg again, allowing him to attend school and participate in activities with friends and at home. AMH is requesting $1,145 to help fund this procedure. Shem shared, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties, especially going to school. I really look forward to getting well so that I can fully depend on myself as before."
Leang is a 72-year-old retired rice farmer. She and her husband have two sons and four grandchildren. Now that they are retired, Leang and her husband live with their eldest son, who works as a tailor. Leang helps take care of her grandchildren, and she likes to listen to the monks pray and visit the community pagoda in her free time. One year ago, Leang developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her photophobia, blurry vision, and tearing. As a result, she has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so she cannot go places independently. When Leang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On May 13th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. CSC is requesting $253 to fund this procedure. Lean shared, "After surgery, I hope I can see clearly. I want to go outside again without problems and see my family's faces."
Nancy is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. Together with her elderly husband, they grow food crops for home use on their half-acre piece of land. She is a mother of eight children who are all adults. All her children don’t have a stable source of income at the moment. She needs care but does not have medical coverage and hasn't been able to raise the required amount for treatment. In early July this year, Nancy was tripped by her dog and fell on a stone, hurting the left side of her hip. She sustained a left sub-trochanteric fracture that is making her immobile. This is a fracture of the proximal femur located a few centimeters from the hip. She was taken to a nearby health facility and had an x-ray done after review. She was then referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for surgery. She is unable to walk and is currently using a wheelchair and although jovial and smiling, she is in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 30th, Nancy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of her pain and help her walk easily again. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Nancy says, “I am unable to walk. I am desperate, and also struggling to pay for my treatment. I need this treatment to be able to get out of this wheelchair.”
Klyn is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a small town in central Haiti with his parents, grandparents, and several other relatives. He likes school, especially science and math. Klyn was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The defect means there is a hole between the two upper chambers of Klyn's heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which leaves him often weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has arranged for Klyn and his mother to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery since this treatment is not available within Haiti. On May 24th, doctors will first attempt to use a catheter to close the opening between Klyn's upper cardiac chambers. If that's not possible, they will need to perform open-heart surgery and use a patch to close the hole in Klyn's heart. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 for Klyn's care. His family is raising $1,500 to help cover remaining costs of the procedure and related care, including travel expenses for Klyn. Klyn's mother says, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"
Wensly is a sweet two-year-old toddler from Haiti who loves to draw and to play with his toy trucks. He lives with his parents and older sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital city. Wensly was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Wensly is scheduled to fly to the Cayman Islands where he will undergo cardiac surgery at Health City Cayman Islands on September 19th. During this procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart to prevent blood from flowing through it. A portion of the cost of Wensly's treatment is being supported by Have a Heart Cayman. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Wensly and his family overseas. Wensly's mother shares, "Our family has been hoping for this surgery since our son was a baby, and we are so thankful it is almost here!"