Larry joined Watsi on August 26th, 2013. Six years ago, Larry joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Larry's most recent donation traveled 2,600 miles to support Israel, a curious baby and animal lover from Colombia, to fund a polydactyly procedure so he can learn to walk.
Larry has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 12 countries.
Larry has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 12 countries.
Israel is a one-year-old baby from Colombia who loves animals. His mother came to Colombia from Venezuela to seek better opportunities, where she fell in love with a Colombian man who became Israel's father. Israel loves to play with cars and his dog. Even though he doesn't speak a lot yet, he is constantly looking for a phone to call his grandmother. Israel was born with polydactyly of both feet. This means that he has an extra toe on each foot, which prevents him from wearing shoes and walking normally. On August 17th, surgeons from our medical partner will perform a polydactyly repair procedure to remove the extra digits. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $799 to fund this procedure. After surgery, Israel will be able to start wearing shoes and learn to walk and run. His mother offered advice for other mothers in a similar situation to stay hopeful: “The only thing that worried me was to know if he was going to be able to walk normally and wear shoes. I would tell a mother whose son was just diagnosed with polydactyly to just calm down and let the doctors help her, fortunately, this is not a complex pathology and the treatment already exists.”
Robson is a friendly and calm baby. He is the youngest sibling of the family, and they all live in an urban settlement in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Robson's mother is a takes care of their family and home while his father used to be a cook, but was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While his mother was outside washing clothes, Robson was in his grandmother’s grass-thatched house in their village. Suddenly, a mattress caught fire, causing burns on Robson's face and fingers. The burns led to contractures on the fingers, so that Robson is unable to hold things and use his fingers well. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Robson receive treatment. On July 17th, surgeons from the care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $840 to help fund this procedure. “I hope and pray that with the assistance accorded to my son, he will be able to hold things and start crawling with support as he learns to walk,” Robson’s mother told us.
Enock is a talkative 16-year-old student and the fourth child in a family of five. He just completed his primary school education and he is currently waiting to begin his secondary studies in July. His parents are farmers in his village where they plant maize and beans in their small farm for their family to eat. His elder siblings did not finish school due to insufficient finances at home to proceed with their education. His father has epilepsy and this has affected the family's daily activities and general production of resources for the family. They don’t have a permanent house but live in a mud house with grass as its roof. Two days ago, Enock went to get medical assistance after falling from a tree while he was cutting down tree branches. He had pain in his left hand and doctors observed that he had a left distal humerus comminuted fracture. Because he had so much pain, Enock was admitted to receive pain medications. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him to fully heal. On May 25th, Enock will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Enock will be free from the pain, he will be able to use his hand again, and resume school and helping out at home. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Enock says, “My hope is to get treated, and be well again.”
Beatrice is a three-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of five children. She is an outgoing and friendly girl who loves to play with other children. Beatrice and her siblings are being raised by their mother, who sells vegetables and fruits to make a living. She also practices small scale farming and the family grows most of the food they need at home. Beatrice went to play with a neighbor's child who is around the same age. While at her neighbor’s house, a fire had been started to prepare food. As the children were playing, Beatrice accidentally fell onto the fire. She has open wounds and a contracture behind her knee. She is at risk of infection and is not able to move her leg freely. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Beatrice receive treatment. On May 4th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her walk easily again. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Beatrice’s mother shared, "my daughter cannot stand nor walk due to the contracture. She used to walk and go out playing with other children which is something she can’t do any more. Please help my daughter."
Lucas is a playful four-month-old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of five children from his mother. His parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables for their food and they also keep livestock for a living, which allows them to get milk. Given the remoteness of their village, they shared that life is very difficult; meeting basic needs and access to health services are big challenges. Lucas has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lucas traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Lucas's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Lucas’s father shared, "we have no means of raising money to afford our son’s treatment cost. We will be very grateful if you can help correct his feet."
Teresia is a homemaker with five children between ages six and 26. Her husband is a casual laborer who depends on manual jobs to earn a living for their family. They live together in Thika, a town in south-central Kenya, in a three roomed rental house. In 2017, Teresia began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty swallowing. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and she needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. She has made several trips to different healthcare facilities that have exhausted her savings. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Teresia receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 19th at AMH's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. The procedure will cost $686, and she and her family need help raising money. Teresia shared, “I have had treatment but I keep feeling unwell. This time I am hopeful all will be well, but first I need this surgery."
Rosina is a 24-year-old teacher from Cambodia. She was married two years ago and has a one-year-old daughter. Her husband is also a teacher. Rosina and her family live with her parents. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and reading. When she was 5 years old, Rosina fractured her right elbow. She followed Khmer traditional medicine, and it proved to be an effective treatment for her elbow until last year. Then, Rosina started experiencing numbness on her right forearm, as well as muscle atrophy on her palm. Doctors diagnosed her with an old fracture of right elbow and compression of the ulnar nerve. Rosina will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. Fortunately, she is scheduled to undergo a corrective nerve and tendon procedure on February 4th. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $541 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to use her arm normally again. Rosina shared, "I hope that the numbness of my right hand will disappear, and I will have no pain. I would like to be able to return to my day-to-day activities soon."
Meakea is a 20-year-old construction worker with one brother and one sister. Meakea is the middle child in his family. His brother is also a construction worker and his sister works in a factory. Their parents are farmers. In his free time Meakea enjoys listening to music, playing games on his phone, meeting up with friends, and playing football. On December 4th, Meakea was electrocuted at work and sustained electric burns on his hands and feet. After the accident he went to a provincial hospital for 10 days for treatment. He still has bad wounds on his hands and feet. It is difficult for him to use his hands and he is in pain. When Meakea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On December 23rd, surgeons at CSC will perform a debridement procedure to help him recover on both hands and both feet. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Meakea said, "I hope after my surgery my hands and feet are stronger and healed so I can be finally free of pain."
Sakum is a 20-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has one younger sister and three younger brothers. In his free time, Sakum likes to play games, play football, watch TV, and do housework. About a month ago, Sakum developed a cholesteatoma, an abnormal skin growth in the middle ear behind the eardrum. He went to a local hospital for treatment, but his symptoms did not improve. He started to experience hearing loss, tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing in the ear), and headaches. He worried that his ear problems would become more and more serious. Thus, he visited our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. ENT surgeons at CSC will perform a mastoidectomy, a surgical procedure that will remove the diseased cells of the cholesteatoma. The treatment will allow Sakum's hearing to gradually improve. The surgery is scheduled for March 23, and CSC is requesting $842 to fund the procedure.
Uon is a 33-year-old factory worker from Cambodia who is married with three sons. She likes to watch Khmer dramas and listen to classical music in her free time. Two years ago, Uon developed a pterygium, a growth of pink, fleshy tissue, in each eye. This caused Uon to experience blurred vision, redness, and burning. Due to these symptoms, she does not feel comfortable enough to work or go anywhere on her own. Uon traveled for three hours with her aunt to reach our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. She is scheduled to undergo eye surgery to remove the pterygium from both eyes on May 31. To fund the treatment, CSC is requesting $148 to cover the total cost of her procedure.
Elisa is a 36-year-old farmer from Malawi. She lives with her aunt, and both of them work together to look after their farm. Elisa leads a busy life. She spends her days tending the garden, cooking, and washing. At night, she attends a school for adults. When Elisa has free time, she loves catching up with her friends. Elisa has been diagnosed with a case of uterine fibroids. This has caused her considerable pain and discomfort for the last five months. Doctors have now recommended that Elisa undergo a hysterectomy to remove the fibroids. Her surgery is scheduled for May 30. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is asking for donations to the amount of $650 to cover Elisa's surgery. Elisa shares that she is looking forward to her operation so she can get back to her farm and her studies.
Roberto is ten years old and lives in the outskirts of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with his mother and two sisters. He is in the fourth grade and would like to be a pilot when he grows up. Roberto was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sickly and weak. Although Roberto is not Haitian, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is collaborating with their partners in the Dominican Republic to offer treatment to Dominican children. He will undergo cardiac surgery at our medical partner's care center. First, Roberto will undergo a full cardiac assessment on February 13. This assessment will include physical exams, labs, and an overnight stay at the hospital. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund these procedures. Funding for Roberto also covers the cost of medications and social support for him and him family. Gift of Life International is contributing $7,000 to cover additional costs associated with Roberto's surgical care. "I want to say thank you to everyone who is helping me to get my heart fixed," says Roberto.