Vitor joined Watsi on December 26th, 2017. Two years ago, Vitor joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Vitor's most recent donation traveled 11,000 miles to support Thu Zar, a 21-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund surgery to remove a large tumor.
Vitor has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 10 countries.
Vitor has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 10 countries.
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."
Gabriel is a friendly and social 12-year-old boy, living in a remote Maasai community in Tanzania. Unlike his five siblings, Gabriel does not attend school because of a condition on his right leg. He is unable to walk the long distance required to get to school, and instead, he stays home. He used to help his parents tend to their livestock, but this has gotten more difficult. Gabriel was diagnosed with right genu valgus, a condition which often results from contaminated drinking water. His right leg bows inward, so that both of his knees touch. Because of pain and difficulty walking, Gabriel can no longer herd cattle or fetch water, or assist his parents in other ways. Gabriel needs surgery to correct his leg, so that he will be able to walk more easily and return to school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Gabriel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Gabriel's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Gabriel says: "I have wanted to join school, but I can’t walk every day to and from school with my leg."
Darensky is a 10-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and grandparents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the third grade and likes building things and making crafts. Darensky has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus and tracheal ring. Two holes exists between two major blood vessels near his heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs, leaving him weak and oxygen-deprived. The treatment that Darensky needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to United States to undergo surgery. Many years ago he had one hole closed so this is the second surgery he needs, and his family has been waiting for this moment for a long time. Fortunately, on March 10th, Darensky will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the remaining hole that leaks blood between his two main blood vessels at the same time. During the surgery, he will also have a muscular blockage removed from his trachea that affects his ability to breathe. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $12,000 to help pay for surgery. Darensky's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Darensky's family overseas. HIs mother told us: "I am very happy to know that after this surgery my son will finally be able to run and play normally!"
James is a bright young student and his family shared that he has been through a lot surgically and medically. His teacher has been worried recently since he has been missing classes and when in school he keeps to himself and does not want to play or interact with other students. James successfully survived chemo treatment after he was diagnosed with a sacrococcygeal mass that was malignant, but still needs treatment for cryptorchidism - a condition in which the testicles remain undescended. If left untreated, James has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. James will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 6th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. James' mother shared, “Our kid fought through chemo successfully, we are happy about that. But his problems keep recurring, and it’s affecting his studies. He needs another surgery but he is strong. All shall be well.”
Clarkson is a 9-year-old jovial and social boy. He's the fourth and last born in his family. Together his family lives in a two-roomed mud house in a village in rural Kenya. Clarkson was accompanied to our clinic by his mother. His mother shared that at the age of 2, Clarkson suffered from malaria and went to get an injection. The injection is assumed to have been the cause of his condition. Now he walks with discomfort and cannot play with friends. His mother shared that his friends make fun of how he walks which causes him to have lower self-esteem. Clarkson's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Clarkson's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk like other friends, be in less pain, and even play football (which he is excited for!). His family is not financially able to fund the surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Clarkson says, “I would love my feet to be corrected so I can walk confidently.”
Saray is a beautiful baby girl who lives in Colombia. Her parents moved from Venezuela two years ago seeking for a better place to raise a family. Even though Saray is only one year old, she is already really sympathetic and enthusiastic, she loves celebrating everything. Saray has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes as she grows older. Fortunately, Saray's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel where they can offer life-changing treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Saray's clubfoot repair. After treatment, She will be able to walk, wear shoes, and play like any other kid. "Thank you so much, being in a foreign country and finding out that our little girl needs surgery is really stressful for us. I was really sad because in this moment we can't pay for the surgery but finding out that there are people that can help me with this really gives me hope that my little girl will be okay."
Musa is a beautiful, 5-month-old baby boy with a twin sister named Neema. His parents are small-scale farmers whose maize and vegetable crops, alongside their few goats, provide food and milk for their families. Musa is experiencing clubfoot in both of his feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, he has difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Musa's mother traveled to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for her son's treatment. On August 10th, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Musa to walk easily. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Musa’s mother says, "I was in shock when I realized my baby had a disability. We are a bit calmer to know his feet can be corrected but the cost is too high for us to afford. We don’t want him to grow up being disabled, please help our son."
Shem is a high school graduate from Kenya who hopes to pursue arts and design in college. He currently lives with his mother in Nairobi. He is the older sibling, and his younger sibling is still in high school. Shem's father left the family when Shem was young, and Shem is not working currently, so their mother supports the whole family through washing clothes and working other temporary jobs. About a year ago, Shem started experiencing pain and swelling and was diagnosed with a left inguinal hernia. Fortunately, he will finally undergo hernia repair surgery on July 2nd at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $425 to fund Shem's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live with more comfort and confidence. Shem shared his current challenges and hopes for the future, "I want to pursue arts and design but I am facing several challenges including this constant stomach pains. I am forced to be on my own most of the time, which is affecting how I interact with other people. My hopes are up since the doctors recommended surgery as a remedy for my pains.”
Caren is a 17-year-old student and the oldest in a family of four children. She is a social girl who enjoys singing and reading books. In school, her best subjects are biology, chemistry and physics, and she hopes to be a doctor one day. Caren's father used to own a fish shop, but unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his business closed. Caren was diagnosed with genu valgus, which means that her legs bow inwards and her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones which often comes from contaminated drinking water. As a result of this condition, she has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Caren. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 8th and treatment will hopefully restore Caren's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Caren shared, "my legs hurt when I walk and the pain is usually too much during the evening and the morning hours. Each day they keep bending please help correct my legs."
Brandon is a one-week-old baby and has one older sibling. Brandon's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables, and his father also has a motorbike that he uses to carry passengers to make a living to be able to support his family. Brandon was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Brandon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Brandon's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. This procedure will hopefully spare Brandon from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Brandon’s mother says, "Please help treat our baby, we don’t have anywhere to ask for help and we cannot afford the cost."
Belhat is a 6-year-old boy from Ethiopia who loves to watch kids programs on TV. Belhat has one older sister. His mom works as a nurse, while his dad is a labourer. Both parents make a very humble income to pay for rent and for basic needs. Belhat was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Belhat is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 3rd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His mom shared, “I hope he will heal and become a doctor himself and treat others in need of medical care.”
Tibasiimwa is a 63-year-old farmer and a married father to six children. He has one son and five daughters, who are all married and are small scale farmers. He used to earn a living from farming, but his condition doesn’t allow him to do cultivation work anymore. His wife operates the banana and coffee farm together with his son and daughter-in-law, which is how their family earns a living. For five years, Tibasiimwa has had a left reducible inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him weakness and pain and prevents him from working. Fortunately, on April 1st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $230 to fund Tibasiimwa's surgery. Once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Tibasiimwa shared, “my only hope of being relieved from this condition is by undergoing surgery. With your support, I really hope that it will be possible and then I will get back to my farming.”