Tom joined Watsi on August 11th, 2016. Five years ago, Tom joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tom's most recent donation traveled 6,600 miles to support Sarai, a sweet and friendly girl from Bolivia, to fund life-changing cardiac surgery to heal a condition she has had since birth.
Tom has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 13 countries.
Tom has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 13 countries.
Sarai is a sweet and friendly three-year-old girl from Bolivia who has Down syndrome. She lives in a small indigenous community in the mountains of central Bolivia with her parents, who are both farmers, and her five siblings. She is a friendly little girl who loves making new friends and blowing kisses to everyone she meets! Sarai was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Sarai is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 28th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Sarai's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Sarai and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Sarai's mother shares, "Our family is all praying that our daughter will become healthy and strong after this surgery!"
Nedjee is a 17-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three siblings in a neighborhood outside of the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Nedjee has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that Nedjee needs for her birth condition is not available within her country. Fortunately, Nedjee will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 25th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Nedjee's family is requesting assistance to cover the costs of Nedjee's surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing the funds needed to cover the cost of surgery. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover the surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Nedjee and her family overseas. Nedjee's mother shared, "Our family is all praying that this surgery will go well and that our daughter's heart will be stronger afterward."
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Bariki is six-year-old boy and the only child of her single mother. He's a charming, friendly, and social kid. Bariki is now old enough to start school because most of his age mates joined class one this year. Bariki couldn’t join the school because he was born with a disability of the legs making walking for him impossible. He was born with a right clubfoot and the left had a congenital deformity of the knee. Currently he has to pull himself around to be able to move from one place to another. Bariki’s mother depends on small-scale farming to be able to feed her child. She lives and farms on her parents’ land. Last year through our medical partner's outreach program they got to know Bariki and the need for him to have treatment to help him have a chance to walk. He went through treatment of manipulation and casting to correct his clubfoot, and this was successful. He has been to an orthopedic clinic trying to see whether his knee joint could be corrected to help him straighten his leg and stand but his knee cannot be released. To help Bariki have a chance to walk with ease he needs amputation above the knee so that when he is healed, he can use a prosthetic leg that will help him walk. Bariki’s mother shared, “I will be so happy if my son can be treated and be able to stand and walk instead of him crawling.”
Dav is a 25-year-old construction worker. Dav's wife is a garment worker and together they have a one-year-old son, who they adore. In January, Dav was in a motorcycle accident, causing trauma to his right shoulder. Dav was treated at a local clinic, where surgeons placed screws and plates to repair his broken arm, but he has experienced paralysis from extensive nerve damage. Dav has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury that impacts the nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Dav is unable to lift his right arm, abduct his shoulder, or have any sensation in his fingers. Dav cannot work to support his family so Dav, his wife, and child live with Dav's parents. Dav traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the country where this treatment is available. On March 7th, Dav will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, the nerves that have been damaged will be able to regenerate, allowing Dav to have use of his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Dav raise $696 to fund this procedure. Dav is hopeful that with this care, he can use his arm again to lift up his son and return to work to support his family.
Myo Myint is a 34-year-old woman who is married with two sons and a daughter. Myo Myint, her husband, and her oldest son work as day laborers, but since April 2020, they have had difficulty finding work due to COVID-19. She proudly shared that her younger son and daughter are both students. In her free time, Myo Myint likes to listen to the news on the radio and walk around to collect sticks and branches that she uses for her cooking. Myo Myint has been experiencing difficulty with her vision in her right eye. She can only read for a few minutes before her eye begins to hurt and her vision becomes doubled. She visited a local hospital, where the doctor determined she has a cataract in her right eye and recommended lens replacement surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Myo Myint receive treatment. On March 1st, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Myo Myint's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Myo Myint shared, "I want to see clearly and find extra money to support my children to finish their education."
Naika is a fifth-grade student who lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Hait with her parents and five siblings. She is a very good student and likes literature and history. Naika was born with a hole between the two upper chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole leaving her weak and short of breath. Our Medical Partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is raising funds so she can have the life-saving surgery that she needs to grow up healthy. During surgery, doctors will use a catheter probe to insert a device into the hole that will block it and prevent blood from leaking through. She is scheduled to undergo surgery at Clinica Corominas on February 14th. Naika's mother shared: "We are hopeful that Naika will be able to live more normally once the hole in her heart is fixed!"
Jane is a strong 34-year-old woman from Zambezi in Kiambu County. She is married with 3 children. Jane began having abdominal pains and vomiting about four years ago. She visited various hospitals and was treated for ulcers but her symptoms persisted. At one point she was told she had an issue with her liver and was sent to a specialist. Jane had extensive lab tests done and several scans which showed she has cholelithiasis or gallstones. These are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that form in the gallbladder. She came to Nazareth Hospital and consulted the surgeon who recommended laparotomy to finally remove the gallstones. Jane’s husband, who runs a small shop to fend for his family, has registered with the national health insurance program but their coverage has not yet been approved. On seeing his wife’s worsening pain and discomfort he decided he couldn’t wait any longer and came to the hospital to find out about the estimated cost of surgery so that he can organize a community fundraiser (Harambee). The family members are not able to raise the money required on their own and need support. Jane says, “I hope to be treated and get relieved of these symptoms so that my family can stop being in a constant state of worry and uncertainty.”
Taw is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his family in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. Everyone in his family works as a farmer and he's a student in the eighth grade. In September 2021, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 cases around his area and his school was closed. Since then, he helps out his family on the farm. Occasionally, he also helps out in their village to earn pocket money. On November 21st, Taw was riding a motorbike on a small dirt road to his family's fields. He was driving quickly, when suddenly another motorbike appeared driving straight towards him. He tried to move to the side of the road to let the other driver pass, but his motorbike slipped and his left ankle hit a stone beside the road, breaking his ankle in the process. At first he was in a lot of pain, but now the pain has lessened thanks to medication he is taking. However, the area around his left ankle hurts if he tries to move his left foot. Currently, Taw cannot put pressure on his left ankle and has to use crutches to do anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for November 26th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Taw will be able to walk again and he will no longer be in pain. Taw said, "I want to get better. My teacher told me that my school will reopen soon. Thank you so much to the donors and the organization who are willing to help me. Without your help, my family could never come up with enough money to pay for my treatment."
Dennis is a talkative and inquisitive 20-year-old man. He is the second born child in a family of five children. He lives with his mother in a small village where most of the residents work on farms or do casual jobs whenever they can find them. He completed his secondary education in 2018, but his mother could not afford to send him to college. To make a living, he works on farms. Dennis dreams of being a teacher and in a position to support his mother and siblings. In October 2021, Dennis was admitted to a local hospital after being involved in a motorcycle accident when the brakes on his bike failed. He fractured his left hand in the accident and urgently needs surgical treatment. He experiences pain in his hand and he cannot move his fingers. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), are helping Dennis receive treatment for his injury. On October 28th, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help restore normal movement in his fingers and alleviate his pain. Now, AMH is requesting $941 to fund Dennis's procedure and care. Dennis shared, "my hope is to get the hand treated so that I can resume my daily duties of providing for my family and my siblings, especially during this difficult time."
Davis is a bright young student from a village in Kenya. He's a six-year-old playful boy and the fourth-born in a family of six. His family lives in a two-roomed iron-built house on their inherited small farm. His father is a farmer who plants maize and his mother is a housewife. Davis' parents do not have any other source of income and only depend on farming. Due to this, they are having a difficult time financially, especially amid the pandemic. Unfortunately, on September 27th, Davis sustained a severe injury to his right lower limb after falling from a Sheller machine (a machine for shelling maize cobs) after trying to climb it. After hearing his cries, his father brought him to our medical partner's care center. The doctors reviewed him and an X-Ray revealed a fracture to his right femur. Davis was admitted to the hospital for skin traction to stabilize his fracture and realign the normal position of the bone. Due to the severity of the injury, Davis is in a lot of pain and couldn't walk nor sit properly. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On October 1st, Davis will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. AMH is requesting $1,145 to help fund this procedure. After successful treatment, Davis will be able to walk and resume his normal life and playful activities. Davis' father says, “He has so much pain, I feel sorry for him. I hope he gets treated and feels better and will be well again.”
Naw Lah is a 24-year-old woman who lives in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. She is 40 weeks pregnant with her first child. She recently went into labor and was brought to our medical partner's care center by Malteser International (MI) Thailand staff. The doctor there initially expected her to deliver the baby vaginally, but when labor stopped progressing, the obstetrician suspected that her baby was in distress. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Naw Law to deliver her baby safely. On August 25th, she will undergo an emergency C-Section at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care.