Tom Espen PedersenUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Tom's Story

Tom joined Watsi on August 11th, 2016. Seven years ago, Tom joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tom's most recent donation traveled 6,200 miles to support Antonio, a hardworking father from Philippines, to fund surgery to alleviate pain and prevent further complications.

Impact

Tom has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 13 countries.

Patients funded by Tom

Naw Paw is a 40 year-old woman who lives with her husband and her three daughters in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Province, Thailand. Naw Paw is originally from across the border in Karen State, Burma. Her family fled to the refugee camp in 2011 due to conflict happening between armed groups in her area. In the camp, Naw Paw’s family receives a cash card from the Border Consortium to purchase food. Naw Paw used to sell Mohhinga (a Burmese noodle) nearby school to cover for their basic needs. However, she stopped selling Mohhinga when she got this pregnant because she couldn’t handle the work well. Naw Paw’s family is struggling to make ends meet and feel lucky they receive free basic healthcare in the camp through Malteser International. Her husband is unemployed. All of her 3 children are students. During her free time, she loves to play with her children and listen to the music in her phone. Sometimes she will read books and help her daughters with their homework. Naw Paw is currently expecting her fourth child. Since Naw Paw got pregnant she is taking antenatal care regularly at the camp hospital. On January 18th, Naw Paw went back for the follow-up in the camp hospital and had an ultrasound which revealed that her baby is in the wrong position laying sideways and her doctors recommended that she deliver via a caesarean section. This way doctors can ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Naw Paw undergo a C-section on January 29th. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Naw Paw's family needs your support. Naw Paw said, “After I deliver my baby and recover from surgical wound, I will sell the Mohhinga (Burmese noodle) again to cover more of the financial needs for our family.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

James is 13 years old teenager. He hails from Loseit, Longido district. James belongs to a midsized family comprising of both parents and four siblings, all of whom are being raised by their parents. James’ parents are farmers who rely on small-scale agriculture and livestock for sustenance. The family’s financial stability is often supplemented by selling cattle, providing the necessary funds to cover home expenses. Despite the family’s modest means, James is a dedicated student pursuing his primary education. In addition to his studies, he actively assists his siblings in cattle grazing activities at home. However, he faces a unique challenge as he was born with a congenital condition called clubfoot – his left foot is twisted inward. This condition makes walking uncomfortable for him, occasionally leading to school absences due to the pain associated with walking. Unfortunately, seeking medical treatment for James has been a challenge for his parents. Limited access to quality healthcare and financial constraints have hindered their ability to take him to a well-equipped hospital for the necessary treatment. Recognizing the severity of James’ condition, his father engaged with their village leader to address the issue. Together, they sought a solution to facilitate the required treatment for James. With contributions from his family, James, accompanied by the village leader, travelled to Arusha City in search of treatment. Fortunately, James's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Kafika House. There, the team will begin clubfoot treatment on December 29th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund James's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his mobility will improve significantly. James’s guardian says: “I hope this will make it easy for him to attend school and help his family. I also hope his parents will be at ease after he gets treatment.”

$935raised
Fully funded

Recheal is a 20-year-old from Kenya. She is studying in secondary school but has been unable to attend school for the last three months due to her condition. Recheal is the sixth born in a family of eleven children. Her parents are small-scale farmers, growing maize and beans for their family’s home use. Recheal does not have medical coverage, and her parents had to sell cattle and maize to raise Ksh 120,000.00 ($783) to cover her initial surgery costs. Recheal needs to undergo urgent surgery, and her family is requesting financial assistance. Recheal has been diagnosed with an abdominal bile leak that is causing her discomfort and pain. Her doctors have recommended surgery to ease the pain and enable her to resume her studies. She first experienced painful stomach swelling in August 2023. She visited a local health center and was treated for worms, which relieved her of pain for a while, but it recurred with time. She then visited our medical partner’s hospital for review. At the beginning of November, she received a CT scan that showed a liver cyst that required surgery. She underwent a laparotomy to remove the cyst on November 23rd. Four days later, the doctors identified a bile leakage that needed to be rectified. She is now scheduled for emergency surgery on November 28th to fix the fatal condition. African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $1,074 to fund this surgery. Recheal said, “I have missed school for three months now. This procedure will help ease stomach pain and enable me to return to school.”

$1,074raised
Fully funded

Sospeter is a toddler from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of three children. He is being raised by a single mother who is the breadwinner. His mother makes and sells readymade food at construction sites. Income from this venture is inconsistent and their family does not have medical coverage. In December 2022, Sospeter sustained hot water burns on his stomach and thigh. He was taken to the nearest district hospital after the accident, where he was treated for burns and later discharged back home. Burn contractures and a massive keloid have developed on his abdomen. He often itches the area and feels very uncomfortable. His mother has been unable to take him to a hospital due to a lack of funds. In September 2023, a mobile team visited their area; they reviewed him and advised them to visit Kijabe Hospital for review. His mother pooled resources and visited the plastic surgery clinic. Surgery was recommended, but the family is financially constrained and unable to afford the proposed cost of the treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Sospeter receive treatment. On October 13th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to relieve him of the itchiness and discomfort associated with the wound; thus, he will be able to live a normal and quality life. Now, their family needs help to fund his procedure and care. Sospeter's mother says, “My child is in pain. Look at the way he cannot stop crying and scratching himself. It hurts to see him this uncomfortable. Please help.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

10 year old Dennis is the third child in a family of four children, all of whom study at a local primary school. Dennis' father - who is from Uganda - and his mother - who is from Kenya - separated several years ago. Now Dennis and his siblings live with their mother in Marakwet West, Kenya, where Dennis' mother is a casual laborer, working on local farms. On weekends and holidays, Dennis and his siblings assist their mother in her work, so as to earn additional money for the family. While helping a neighbor cut animal feed into small pieces, Dennis' hand was injured by a chaff cutter. When Dennis was brought to the hospital, it was determined that several of the fingers on his right hand had been damaged. Two of the fingers had to be amputated right away, while the third finger subsequently developed gangrene, and also needed to be amputated. While Dennis has recovered from his injuries, the wound on his hand has never healed completely. The surgeon advised the family that Dennis requires skin grafting, in order to replace the skin that he lost when his hand was injured, and to ensure the total healing of the wound. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help. They are requesting $1,089 to fund Dennis' skin grafting procedure, which is scheduled for May 19th, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. This procedure will enable Dennis to fully recover, so that he can return to school, and resume the life of a 10 year old boy. Dennis's mother said: "It is so sad that my son has lost his fingers, but I am grateful to God that he is still alive. I am looking forward to seeing him get well so that he may continue with his education and become successful in life. Kindly help him so that he may recover well."

$1,089raised
Fully funded