Richard joined Watsi on December 4th, 2014. Eight years ago, Richard joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Richard's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Karim, a bright 10-year-old boy from Bolivia, to fund life-saving cardiac surgery.
Richard has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 12 countries.
Richard has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 12 countries.
Karim is a 10-year-old boy living in La Paz. He is in the fourth grade and really likes his math and science classes. Karim was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. During surgery, doctors will sew the hole closed and remove the blockage from his valve so that blood can flow more normally. Karim's family needs $1500 to pay for his surgery. Karim's mother shared: "Our family will be praying for everyone who is helping Karim to get his surgery!"
Gebre is a ten-year-old boy who lives with his family in Ethiopia. He loves playing football with his friends, and eating injera (a traditional Ethiopian food.) Gebre's father is a farmer, but as he is currently unwell, he can no longer work and maintain his family financially. Instead, Gebre’s two older brothers support the family. One brother works as a teacher, while the other brother manages the family farm. However, the area of Ethiopia where the family lives is significantly affected by war and poor climate, and their whole community currently needs support the government and from local NGOs for survival and basic needs. Gebre was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. In November 2022, Gebre had a colostomy, to prepare him for the additional procedures he will need to resolve his condition. Gebre is now scheduled to undergo surgery on December 6th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gebre's procedure and care. After his recovery, Gebre will no longer experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Gebre's brother says: “I hope my brother gets as normal as other boys. I hope he will be educated and have a bright future.”
Lynemandy is a 28 year old woman from Haiti, who is studying for a business degree at a local university. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Lynemandy has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which is a result of a bout of rheumatic fever that she suffered as a child. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged as a result of this illness, and in 2018, Lynemandy underwent surgery to repair the damaged valve. The valve functioned well for four years, but now it needs to be replaced so she can live healthy in the future. The care she needs is unfortunately not available within Haiti, so Lynemandy will need to travel to undergo cardiac surgery in the United States on November 17th. Her surgery, during which a new valve will be implanted, is being funded by Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital. Now Lynemandy and her family need to raise $1,500 to cover the costs of pre and post operative treatment, and for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Lynemandy when she travels to the United States. Lynemandy said: "I am very grateful to everyone who is working so hard to keep me alive and healthy."
Myo is 13-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents in a village in Karen State. His mother is a homemaker and she is currently eight months pregnant. His father is a subsistence farmer but he also works as a day laborer to earn money. Myo is in grade six and he enjoys playing football in his free time. Two years ago, Myo was playing football with his friends. While playing, his friend tried to kick the ball but accidentally kicked him in his left forearm. Right away he was in a lot of pain, but his arm did not look broken. At first, the pain lessened, but gradually the pain worsened and his upper left forearm became swollen. Myo could also feel a mass under the swollen area of his left forearm. After he and his father were brought to Chiang Mai Hospital, the doctor thought he might have cancer in his left forearm. Doctors want Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Myo's MRI and care, scheduled for October 5th. "I have not been able to work nor save money since I need to accompany my son [Myo] while he gets treatment," said Myo's father. "So I want to say thank you to all the donors who have agreed to help my child.”
Cho is a 23-year-old woman from Thailand, living with her husband, son and her husband’s cousin in a refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province. Her husband works as a medic at the hospital in the refugee camp, and her husband’s cousin goes to school. Cho is a homemaker, and looks after her son. In her free time, Cho loves to play with her son, while on Saturdays, she likes to attend church. Cho is currently expecting her second child. At a recent antenatal visit, Cho's doctors told her that she would need to give birth via Caesarean section, due to complications she experienced when giving birth to her son. A C-section offers the best opportunity for a safe and healthy outcome for both Cho and her new baby. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Cho access the care that she needs. On September 8th, Cho will undergo a Caesarean section at Mae Sariang Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to fund this procedure and ensure a safe delivery. “I want to work as a teacher in the future again, when my children are old enough to go to school,” Cho said.
Gladys is a strong, hardworking mother from Kenya who is raising her five children on her own. Her oldest child is 14 years old, while her youngest is only three. To support her family, she works as a casual laborer plucking tea. She currently lives in a single-room rental house, which costs Ksh.1200 (~10 USD) per month. Gladys shares that her income is inconsistent and not enough to cover her needed medical treatment. She also does not have active medical coverage and currently has a large accrued bill due to her recent hospital admission. Recently, Gladys was involved in a road traffic accident that caused several fractures. One of the fractures she sustained in this accident was of her left tibia. As a result of this injury, she is currently unable to walk. In order to properly heal her fracture, she must undergo an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. She also has facial fractures, which will require another ORIF later the same week. However, undergoing an ORIF for her fractured tibia is the current priority. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Gladys will undergo fracture repair surgery so she can walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Gladys says, “I cannot walk and my face is in pain. I am the only breadwinner of the family, and I cannot work if my leg is broken. All my five children depend on me for upkeep and survival. I need this treatment to get back on my feet.”
Hannah is an elderly woman from a small village in southwestern Kenya. She is a widow and is currently living with one of her daughters since her fall. Before then, she was able to stay on her own and do a bit of farming in her shamba to sustain herself. Hannah recently had a fall and sustained a closed fracture of the femur of her right leg. The fracture was repaired three weeks ago, but the plate in her leg was dislodged after she tried to walk. Now it is difficult for her to walk and she is in severe pain. The surgeon recommended a repeat ORIF (open reduction and internal fixation) procedure to help her heal. Hannah's family is not in a position to raise money for this treatment, and the insurance coverage which paid for her first surgery will not pay for the care she now needs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 7th, Hannah will undergo an ORIF procedure. This procedure will help reduce her pain and she will be able to walk easily once she recovers. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund her procedure and medical care. “I used to stay on my own but now I am depending on my children, who are also busy with their families. I kindly request for help so that I can eventually be independent again,” said Hannah.
Haisam is an adorable 2-year-old and the youngest in his family of two kids. Haisam’s father sells charcoal, while his mother sells tea at a local marketplace. They shared that they work hard to provide and care for their children with this income. Haisam was born with bilateral clubfoot, a condition in which his foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, he experiences difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Haisam began treatment at the district hospital when he was two weeks old. However, only his left foot fully healed, and his right foot still needs further casting and treatment. Fortunately, Haisam and his family could travel to our medical partner’s care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 7th. Our medical partner is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. After treatment, Haisam will be able to walk well and be active as he grows up. Haisam’s mother says, “As years go by, life keeps getting tough, and I don’t see us saving enough to cover his treatment.”
John is a 12-year-old student living in a small village in northern Haiti. John lives with his parents, three brothers, and one sister, and before he fell ill, he loved to play soccer and to go to school. John has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means that one of his heart valves can no longer pump blood through his body. This condition is due to an infection John suffered earlier in childhood, and it has rendered him weak and left him in late-stage heart failure. The care John needs is not available in Haiti, so John will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On May 9th, he'll finally undergo the cardiac surgery he needs, during which surgeons will remove the severely damaged valve and implant a mechanical valve in its place. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $15,000 to pay for the surgery. However, John's family also needs help to fund all the pre and postoperative costs. The $1,500 they are seeking will cover laboratory tests, medicines, checkups and follow-up appointments. It will also help John to obtain a passport, and cover the costs of the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany John's family overseas for his treatment. John shared: "I am looking forward to being strong and healthy again once my heart is fixed."
Lani is a 61-year old widow who lives with her daughter in the Philippines. Her daughter works as part of a fast-food restaurant crew and is their sole source of income. Lani has been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. Because of her financial situation, even though she experienced shooting pains in her stomach, she saw a doctor only after a year, when the pain already extended to her back. Eventually, her condition got severe to the point that she could no longer stand up and walk due to her worsening symptoms. Now, if left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Lani is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Lani will no longer experience severe pain in her abdomen or other complications in the future. She shared, "I have had this disease for a long time, but I have been putting up with the pain for far too long because I really cannot afford medical treatment," Lani added, "I am eternally grateful to the World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for being able to provide assistance to individuals like me who simply cannot afford the procedures."
Deborah is a nine-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, several siblings, and her grandparents. She enjoys singing and listening to music in her free time. Deborah has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, where a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through her body, leaving her feeling sick and weak. To receive treatment, Deborah will fly to Dominican Republic. On March 2nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in her heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Deborah's family needs help raising money to fund the costs of her surgery prep. The $1,500 prep bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Deborah's family overseas for her surgery. Deborah's father shared, "our family has been praying for years for this surgery to happen, and would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping!"
Boe is a 59-year-old Burmese woman who lives with her husband and granddaughter in a refugee camp in Thailand. She and her husband used to work as day laborers, but unfortunately, they have not been able to leave the camp for work since April 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. Their family relies on a monthly cash card they receive from a local organization called The Border Consortium. On February 4th, Boe was buying snacks at a shop in the refugee camp. While she was standing in front of the shop on the road, a motorcycle ran her over, fracturing her left knee. Currently, Boe experiences pain in her leg and cannot put any weight on her left foot. Her left knee is swollen and she has to take pain medication to sleep at night. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Boe will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 8th. Once recovered, Boe will be able to walk again and will no longer experience pain. Now, Boe needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Boe shared, "I am very scared to have surgery but the doctor told me that I will not be able to walk again if I do not receive it. So I agree with the doctor's plan. I am happy to hear that there will be donors to pay for my treatment. Without donors I could never afford to receive surgery."