Bruce joined Watsi on May 6th, 2014. Seven years ago, Bruce joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bruce's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Samir, a 9-year-old boy from Bolivia, to fund heart surgery.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 104 patients in 14 countries.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 104 patients in 14 countries.
Samir is a nine-year-old second grader who lives in La Paz, Bolivia with his mother, who works part-time at a snack food factory. Samir particularly enjoys learning about science and nature. Samir was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of passing through his heart completely, leaving him weak and short of breath. Samir needs surgical intervention to address this condition. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund the surgery that Samir needs. This procedure, during which doctors will close the hole in his heart with a patch, is scheduled to take place on March 8th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. After he has recovered, Samir should be able to grow into a strong and healthy young man. Samir's mother said: "I am very hopeful that my son's heart will be normal after the surgery so that I can stop worrying about him!"
Phearun is a 33-years-old gardener. His wife works in a hair and nail salon. Together they have an eight-year-old son in public school and a two-year-old son who stays home with family. In October 2022, his left wrist was deeply lacerated, and he lost sensation in his fingers. His family took him to a government hospital for care but was unable to manage the nerve injury. Fortunately, the hospital transferred him to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, where doctors determined the laceration to his hand cut his nerves and tendons. This type of injury can cause damage to the nerves that control motor function and requires immediate nerve repair surgery to minimize long-term damage. Phearun has pain, weakness, numbness, loss of feeling, and doctors are unable to feel the pulses in his wrist. Phearun traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. He will undergo an exploratory procedure to repair the lacerated nerves and tendons and needs help to pay for the $572 procedure. This will cover his hospitalization, operation, medications, and post-operative rehabilitation. Phearun's wife said: "We are hopeful after the surgery that my husband can use his hand again to work to support and feed our family."
Ann is a 34-year-old widow and a mother of two children, ages 13 and 8 years old. She does odd jobs at a nearby small hotel; though she shared that her medical condition makes it hard to work. Ann started having epigastric pains in 2015 and has being treated intermittently for ulcers. She said that sometimes all her income goes to treatment, and yet she doesn’t get well. Recently, the pain became worse, and she was taken to different hospitals over the weekend before being brought to Nazareth Hospital, where she was admitted. A scan showed Cholelithiasis, and since she has severe pain on and off, the Surgeon recommended she should go for Cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gall bladder) immediately. Unfortunately, her medical insurance (NHIF) did not approve her case, so she needs $788 to fund her surgery. If not treated, Ann will continue to experience the pain and may have complications like pancreatitis, blockage of the gall bladder with inflammation of the gall bladder. She is in severe pain already. “I am desperate, the doctor says I have to be operated on tomorrow but have no money to pay, and NHIF did not approve my application. Any support given, I will appreciate, at least to have my life back. I am the hope of my children who are still young,” said Ann quietly.
Narin is a nine-year-old student from Cambodia. He lives with his mother, who is a factory worker, and his father, who is a construction worker. Narin has two younger siblings, who he enjoys looking after. He also loves to play football with his friends. His favorite meal is fried chicken and orange juice! For the past year, Narin has been experiencing a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and snoring at night. His frequent illness also causes him to miss school. Narin was recently diagnosed with enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which will cause his symptoms to persist and possibly intensify over time if not treated. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $265 to fund a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for Narin, which is scheduled to take place on August 15th. During this procedure, surgeons will remove Narin’s tonsils and adenoids, hopefully relieving him of his symptoms and helping him live much more comfortably. Narin's mother says, "I hope he gets better after surgery so he can go school again."
Jeremy is a beautiful five-year-old boy from Kenya who has autism. To support their family, his mother manages their home and cares for her children, and his father currently works as a mechanic. His parents share that their income is just enough to sustain the basic needs of their family of six. On July 7th, Jeremy was playing with his brother when he fell and broke his leg. An X-ray scan showed that he has a fracture of his femur bone on his right leg. Since the incident, he has been experiencing severe pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On July 12th, Jeremy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow his injury to heal and help him walk again. Now, our medical partner is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Jeremy’s mother expressed, “I am desperate and worried...I am pleading for assistance so that soon he can be treated. I thank God in advance."
Chamnan is a 34-year-old merchant. He is married and is the proud dad to two daughters. In his free time, he enjoys playing football. About ten years ago, Chamnan had an ear infection that caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his right ear to perforate. As a result, Chamnan experiences ear discharge, pain, and ringing in his ear. It is difficult for him communicate clearly with others, which makes work difficult for him. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Chamnan receive treatment. On June 2nd, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure on his right ear, during which surgeons will close the perforation. Now, he needs help raising $487 to fund his procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Chamnan shared, "I hope my ear discharge stops and my hearing finally improves."
Happiness is a 15-year-old girl who lives with her widowed mother - a small scale farmer - and six siblings. She is in class six at school. Happiness has many academic strengths, and she is always among the top ten students in her class, where her best subjects are Swahili, mathematics, social studies and history. She hopes to learn English someday, and she would like to be a teacher when she completes her studies. Her father used to sell cattle for a living, but he passed away when she was six years old. Happiness was diagnosed with right genu varus, which causes her right leg to bow outward at the knee. This condition is often caused by contaminated drinking water. Initially, both of her legs were affected, but before her father died, he was able to find treatment for Happiness' left leg. Her right leg is now severely impacted, making walking painful. And, because she is self-conscious of her leg, Happiness always wears long dresses to keep it covered. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Happiness. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment should restore Happiness's mobility, alleviate her discomfort, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Happiness says “Walking is hard and painful for me. I would like to have normal legs so that I can walk well."
Nu is a 57-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two sons in a refugee camp. Her sons go to school. She and her husband raise chickens and grow vegetables both for their own consumption and for sale. She has cataracts and her vision is blurry. She is often worried that she might slip and fall due to her poor vision, and she has to walk slowly and carefully. Sometimes, she will have a headache and a stiff neck. Since her vision has become blurry, she can no longer read, which she shared she especially likes to do to read the Bible or the lyrics for new hymns. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Nu. On September 15th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Nu's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I go to church, I feel sad because I cannot participate, like reading passages from the Bible," she shared.
Samuth is a 71-year-old grandmother. She proudly shared that she has been married to her husband for almost 50 years, and he works as a tuk-tuk driver. Together, the couple has one son, three daughters, and several grandchildren. Samuth spends her days keeping the house, helping to care for her grandchildren, and listening to monks pray on the radio. For the past year, Samuth has had a dark lesion on her face. It has grown quickly over the past month. The lesion feels itchy, and she feels embarrassed to go outside. Her neighbor suggested that she visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for diagnosis and treatment. Samuth traveled to CSC's care center, where doctors diagnosed her with a likely basal cell carcinoma, which will need to be removed. Afterwards, a skin flap will be performed to repair the surgical incision site. On April 21st, surgeons will remove the lesion. Now, Samuth needs help to raise $273 to fund her procedure and care. Samuth shared, "I hope that the lesion will be removed and will not grow back."
Francis is a helpful and supportive son who lives with his single mother and eight siblings. His family lives together in a rental house. Together, he and his mother work tending farms to support their family. Francis has been a great source of support for his family, especially in helping his mother raise his siblings. However, Francis experiences frequent convulsions, or uncontrollable muscle contractions, preceded by dizziness, nausea, and headaches, which have affected his lifestyle and his family. Francis first experienced a convulsion at the end of 2020 after being hit in the head by a ball and losing consciousness while playing football with his colleagues. This marked the beginning of his health troubles. Although he has been seeking treatment at a local health center, he decided to seek out specialized care at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, once the intervals of his convulsions began to increase. After receiving a CT scan, it was revealed that Francis has a brain tumor, which is the cause of his convulsions. Fortunately, he is scheduled for a craniotomy for tumor resection. This procedure will help remove the tumor and stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund Francis's tumor removal surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, he will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Francis says, “My work is to tend farms so that I can help my mother and siblings. I sometimes experience many convulsions that are affecting my livelihood. I hope for treatment to end these discomforts.”
Nob is a 31-year-old loving husband and father. He and his wife have two sons, ages seven and three, and one daughter, who is 10 years old in the third grade. Nob's wife works in a garment factory. Last month, Nob was in a traffic accident where fractured his left femur. After the accident, he underwent surgery at a local clinic. Unfortunately, after two days, when doctors ordered an angiogram, they discovered that his femoral artery had ruptured in the accident. His left leg is pale and cold, and doctors have recommended an amputation to save the rest of his leg. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Nob receive treatment. On April 5th, he will undergo an amputation at CSC's care center. Now, he needs help raising $446 to fund his procedure and care. Nob shared, "I am thankful that I can use a prosthesis once I recover and return to work to support my family."
Bo is an eighth grader who lives in the school dormitory during the school year. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, cook, and garden. He recently had his arm is amputated to help treat his bone cancer condition, so he is no longer able to play guitar anymore. His parents and his siblings live on the Thai-Burma border. His brother and his mother are day labourers while his father is retired. In May 2021, Bo began to experience pain in the top of his left forearm, close to his shoulder. In June 2021, the top of his left forearm began to swell until it spread towards his shoulder. The swelling grew very large, encompassing his left shoulder and upper forearm. Bo was in a lot of pain and could not use his left arm. Doctors diagnosed him with bone cancer and amputated his left arm to help stop his cancer from spreading further. He has also undergone chemo treatment after his amputation and now his doctor wants to do an MRI to assess his prognosis and plan for any further treatment that may be needed to protect his health. An MRI is 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 Bo's MRI and care, scheduled for March 11th. Bo said, "Since I finished my surgery and finished chemo injection, I am able to continue my studies without any pain. I hope that I will be able to continue my studies until I gradate from school."