Thomas joined Watsi on September 25th, 2013. Seven years ago, Thomas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Thomas' most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Amani, a baby boy from Tanzania, to fund hydrocephalus surgery.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 120 patients in 13 countries.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 120 patients in 13 countries.
Amani is a beautiful eight-month-old baby boy and the last born child in a family of four children. Amani's parents are small scale farmers who grow maize, bean, potatoes and vegetables which they mainly use for their own food. The father also works as a night guard to be able to get money to support his family. Amani 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, Amani has been experiencing fevers and an impact on his eyes. Without treatment, Amani will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Amani that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Amani's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Amani will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Amani’s mother says, "It’s not been easy for us ever since we had our baby due to his health issues, he needs treatment but we cannot afford the cost. Help us if you can.”
Pendaeli is a 10-year-old student and the youngest child in a family of seven children. All of his siblings are grown and have moved to other cities in search of jobs. Pendaeli is being raised by his widowed mother. She is a small-scale farmer growing maize and vegetables for their family's food and to sell for an income. She also seeks out a variety of other jobs, like doing laundry for neighbors. Pendaeli has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping him receive treatment. He traveled to AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 11th. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Now, Pendaeli's family needs $935 to fund the procedure. Pendaeli’s mother shared, "finding money to take my son for treatment has been a big challenge and the cost is too high for me to afford. Please help."
Chaw is a 35-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two children in Burma. Her husband is a fisherman, who earns 10,000 kyat (approx. 10 USD) per day selling his catch at the market. However, she shared that since the coup d'état in February, he cannot work because he is afraid of being taken away. Her husband has tried to find other work, but nobody wants to hire him because they also have the same problem. About a year ago, Chaw was diagnosed with diabetes. She could not always afford to pay for medication, and only able to purchase it occasionally. One day, while she was doing household chores, she accidentally injured her left foot with a knife. The wound worsened, until she sought treatment at a local clinic, where it was recommended that she seek treatment at a hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Chaw to receive treatment. Chaw visited BCMF's care center where a doctor examined her foot. While examining her, the doctor diagnosed her with a diabetes-related cellulitis ulcer and recommended surgery. Currently, the skin around Chaw's ulcer is red, she has a fever and experiences severe pain in her left foot, especially at night. On May 11th, she will undergo a wound debridement procedure, and now she needs help to fund the $694 procedure. Chaw shared, "our family has low income during these difficult times and we cannot pay for treatment. Our two children are staying with their grandmother because my husband has to take care of me while I am admitted at the hospital."
Shazma is a 2-year-old and the last born in a family of three children. She is a friendly and cheerful girl who already loves playing! Shazma's mother was laid off from her work at a horticulture farm due to the pandemic, and her father works as a cook at a local guest house. The parents used to support each other on payment of bills but now Shazma's father is the only earner while her mother takes care of the children at home. Shazma was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus which causes her legs to bend outward and results in difficulty walking. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shazma on April 16th. Treatment will ensure Shazma's mobility as she grows, allow her to participate in all she wants to do, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Shazma’s mother shared, "My daughter is in need of treatment to repair her legs. She currently struggles a lot to walk but the cost of treatment is not something we cannot afford. Kindly help our daughter if it’s possible."
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
Esther is a 13-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the first born in a family of two children. Currently, Esther is a sixth grade student. She likes reading and is very active at home, especially with helping her mother with household chores. Esther's father is a farmer, while her mother is a homemaker and takes care of their family. Esther was born a healthy child. However, when she turned one year of age, her family noticed un unusual bowing in her legs. Since then, her condition has worsened. She often feels pain while walking, and cannot walk well or carry heavy loads. This affects her self-esteem, and in turn her studies as well. Esther has a condition called genu valgus, or knock knees. Last year with the help of Watsi supporters, she underwent corrective surgery on her left side, which has healed and she is walking well. Now, she is scheduled to undergo the same surgery on her right side to completely correct her legs from the bowing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Esther receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a corrective foot surgery on February 15th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,224, and she and her family need help raising money. Once Esther is fully recovered, she will be able to walk, continue with her education, and help her mother again. Esther will also be able to socialize and play with other girls more comfortably. Esther's Aunt Fridah shared, "On behalf of the family, we are extremely grateful for the support you rendered to our daughter. May the almighty God bless you. We continue to plead for more support to ensure that she is completely healed and continue with her life like other girls."
Hamisi is a four-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of four children. Hamisi’s parents are subsistence farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their food and living. Their income is very limited, since they have to sell some of their harvests in order to be able to buy other basic commodities and support their family. Hamisi was born with clubfoot of both of his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty with walking, playing, and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Hamisi traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Hamisi's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily, wear shoes, and go about normal life when he grows up. Hamisi’s mother shared, “Living with a disability comes with a lot of hardship, which is not something I would like my son to go through. Please help correct his feet.”
Periya is a baby boy from Tanzania. He is the youngest in a family of three children. Periya was born at home because the hospital is very far from where they live. His mother had no problems when giving birth, but she was caught by surprise when she saw that her baby's right foot was not normal. At first, she thought that massaging Periya's foot would bring it back to normal, but as time went by, there was still no change. Though her husband did not think it necessary, Periya's mother kept asking relatives where she could get her son treated, and she was eventually directed to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC-The Plaster House. There, Periya was diagnosed with clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. However, the treatment he needs is costly for their family. Periya's father sells traditional herbal medicines, while his mother is a homemaker and mostly herds cattle. They are not able to afford the treatment and appeal for financial help. On December 15th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery on Periya. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Periya's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily and his quality of life will significantly improve. Periya’s mother shared, “I would like for my baby's foot to be straightened so that he can stand and walk properly when the time comes.”
Vireak is an 18-year-old student. He is the elder brother to two younger sisters. Both of Vireak's parents work in construction. In his free time, Vireak enjoys reading books, exercising, listening to music, and helping his family with cooking and taking care of his younger sisters. Vireak has been diagnosed with lumbar scoliosis. He has a curved spine causing back pain and has difficulty walking and sitting. On November 12th, surgeons at the Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) will perform an orthopedic repair surgery on Vireak to alleviate his scoliosis pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his spinal surgery. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to life as normal. Vireak shared, "I hope after my surgery my back gets better and I can have a straight spine and be free of discomfort."
Mo is 22-year-old student from Thailand. Mo lives with his father in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. In the camp, Mo finished high school and is now completing his post-high school education. Their household receives 480 baht (approx. $16 USD) each month as part of their food support from an organization called The Border Consortium. However, this amount is not enough to cover their daily needs. Mo's father also works as a seasonal agricultural day laborer in a nearby village to earn an extra 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) each month. However this amount is still not enough and they struggle to make ends meet despite having free basic health care and education in their camp. Mo was recently diagnosed with a mass in his brain and hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in his brain. Watsi supporters are helping to fund his brain mass removal surgery, but without immediate surgery to treat his hydrocephalus and alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, he is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Mo, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in his brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 9th, and, once completed, will greatly improve Mo's quality of life. "I dream of becoming a great medic after I finish my post-high school education, but for now I am in the care of the [hospital’s] medical team," said Mo.
In 2018, Dickens’ mother gave birth to him on her way to the hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, they were reviewed then discharged home on the same day. But, the next day Dickens’ mother noticed that his stomach had started to swell. She rushed him to the nearby facility and Dickens was diagnosed with anorectal malformation. They were then referred to another facility in Kisumu where a colostomy was put. When it was time for Dickens' second surgery, his mother took him to the same facility where the first surgery was done, but nothing was done. Dickens’ mother kept on visiting the facility to seek treatment for her son, and still nothing was done. She shared that a few months down the line, a friend learnt about Dickens' condition and he advised them to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Bethany Kids Hospital. Upon arrival, Dickens was examined and emergency surgery was scheduled for the next day. Just before Dickens was born, his father passed away. Both of his parents were casual laborers and would do any work that they came across to provide for their family of five. After his birth, his mother has not been able to look for work and relies on her parents-in-law. She now has to stay at home and take care of Dickens because of his medical condition. Dickens’ grandfather is a farmer and mostly sells his produce to earn a living. With Dickens surgery planned, the family is not able to raise any money to cater for the cost and his mother is appealing for financial help. Dickens’ mother shared, “It really hurts whenever I see my son crying out because of the pain he experiences.”
Ye lives with his wife and daughter on the Thai-Burma border. He used to work as a carpenter but had to stop working two years ago when his health deteriorated. His wife is a homemaker and his daughter works as a vendor selling mobile phones. Her monthly income of 10,000 baht (approx. 335 USD) is just enough to cover their family's daily needs. In the beginning of 2018, Ye started to experience swelling in his hands and feet, pain in his lower back, and difficulty passing urine. At first he thought that it was caused by overworking and would disappear over time. Six months later, when he still felt unwell, Ye finally decided to go see a doctor. He went to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where the doctor conducted tests and concluded that he had high blood pressure. The doctor also sent him to another hospital for an ultrasound because at that time the ultrasound machine was broken at MSH. When Ye returned to MSH with his ultrasound results, the doctor diagnosed him with stones in both of his kidneys. He was told to drink lots of water and was provided with oral medication. When Ye returned for his follow-up appointment, he received another ultrasound and more oral medication. As his condition went on, he received a catheter in both of his kidneys while admitted at the hospital. Ye kept returning regularly for his follow-up appointments. Up until 2020, he had the catheter replaced a number of times and also asked the doctor twice if he could receive surgery. However, both times the doctor told him that he would have to wait because there were too many patients on the waiting list. Eventually in the beginning of 2020, Ye was scheduled to receive surgery. When he was admitted in the middle of March 2020, he first received treatment for a urinary tract infection before he received surgery to remove the stone from his right kidney. After surgery, Ye had difficulty breathing and was placed in the intensive care unit for four days. By the time he was discharged, he was left with a 127,000 baht (approx. 4,233 USD) hospital bill. Ye paid what he could by selling all their jewelry and using up their saving. However, most of his bill was paid by borrowing money from his relatives in Burma. Before he was discharged, the doctor told him that he will need to receive laser treatment to breakup the stone in his left kidney. However, if the procedure was not successful he would need surgery to remove the stone. His daughter was no longer able to pay for his laser treatment so a nurse at MSH told him to ask for help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). When Ye went to the clinic and told the medic that they cannot afford to pay for his laser treatment, the medic referred him to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment and we now are raising $1500 to support his care. “I am very depressed, and I feel stressed about my health condition. I have used up all my savings for my treatment. Now I have to rely on my daughter’s income and I feel really feel bad as she works hard," said Ye.