Tom joined Watsi on May 6th, 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 supported Sopheak, a 31-year-old man from Cambodia, to fund a tendon lengthening procedure.
Tom has funded healthcare for 62 patients in 11 countries.
Tom has funded healthcare for 62 patients in 11 countries.
Sopheak is a 31-year-old married man who lives with his wife and his parents. For work, he grows vegetables at home that his wife sells at the market. He also helps with chores around the house. He loves to read, play classical Khmer music, or watch movies on his computer in his free time. When he was ten years old, Sopheak contracted polio and since then, he has experienced difficulty walking. Over time, this has led to muscle atrophy and a weakening of the tendons in both legs. It is difficult for him to stand for extended periods of time, resulting in loss of work and income. Sopheak traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. On August 30th, doctors plan to perform a tendon lengthening procedure on his left foot. This procedure will increase the flexibility of Sopheak's ankle, and once he has fully recovered, he will be able to walk more easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $541 procedure. Sopheak shared, "I am excited to get healthy and walk more, so that I can also work more often to support my parents, and I hope to start my own family."
Raul is a little soccer fan from Venezuela. He was born in Caracas and his family moved to Medellín last January seeking better opportunities. Raul has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Regardless of his condition, he loves soccer, and even if it’s hard for him, he loves to play. He's also already has a creative mind and loves playing with legos. Raul is very cheerful and social, and loves watching other kids playing around him. Fortunately, Raul'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 October 5th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Raul's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily, run and chase after balls, and even play soccer. His mother told us: “I just hope that my son can walk easier, and be a normal child. I hope you can operate for him and see if finally some day we can take him to a soccer academy without any limitations.”
Lah is a 50-year-old woman from Thailand who lives with her husband and her daughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Lah is a homemaker, and her daughter is a middle school student. Her husband cannot work since he was in an accident six years ago. Her neighbor pays for her daughter’s school fees and in return, Lah shares vegetables that she grows with her neighbors. Her family receives about $35 per month on a cash card, but this income is not enough to cover their daily needs. In her free time, Lah loves praying at home and she enjoys going to church every Sunday. Starting from 2018, Lah has been experiencing dizziness, back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and lower abdomen pain every day. If she sits for a longer period of time, she has difficulty standing up due to the back pain. Lah cannot walk longer distances because of the pain in her lower abdomen and back. Lah has been diagnosed with myoma uteri, and is advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy. If left untreated, Lah's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Lah is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on June 16th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she is fully recovered, Lah will no longer experience pain in her back and abdomen and will be able to sit and walk without difficulty. Lah said, “I am so happy that my condition is treatable. I will be able to live with my family for a longer time. Now that I know donors may help pay for my treatment, I would like to thank them in advance for helping me. I want to live long, and look after my daughter and my husband. I prayed and God has answered my prayers, so I am very thankful to God and your organization who helped find donors for me.”
Pascalina is a charming and friendly four-year-old girl. She is the youngest child in a family of four children, and her mother is currently pregnant and ready to welcome a new baby. Last year, Pascalina stayed home with her aunt while her mother went to sell vegetables at the market. Her aunt had a pot of porridge on the charcoal stove and when Pascalina ran into the house, she tripped over the pot sustaining burns. Her wounds have healed, but the skin around her elbow has contracted limiting her ability to straighten and use her left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Pascalina receive treatment. On May 21st, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Pascalina’s mother shared, "the accident has left my daughter with a deformed left hand which she is having difficult using. Please help us."
Stephanie is a seven-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her aunt, uncle, and three cousins in a rural area in far southwestern Haiti. She enjoys going to school and church. Stephanie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects, including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Stephanie will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On April 9th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Stephanie's heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Stephanie'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 Stephanie's family overseas. Stephanie's aunt shared, "we have been waiting a very long time for this surgery and are relieved it can finally happen!"
Fulgence is a 3-year-old boy and the fifth born child in a family of six children. Fulgence is a charming, friendly, and playful child. His parents are small scale farmers who grow maize, vegetables, and sunflowers. They depend entirely on what they harvest for their food and daily living. In 2019, Fulgence dipped his right hand in a pot of hot cooking oil, sustaining severe burns on his palm. His mother had been making mandazi, a morning snack, and left the hot oil unattended in a different room after she was done. Due to the family's income, Fulgence's parents were only able to take him to a local dispensary for treatment, where he had the burn dressed and continued with home treatments afterwards. His wounds eventually healed with contractures, which limit him from holding items comfortably. When Fulgence's mother heard about the plastic surgeons working at our medical partner's care center, she decided to seek treatment help for her son. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Fulgence receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery, which will help him to be able to use his right palm with ease. Now, he needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Fulgence’s mother shared, “The Watsi program has been of great help to me and my family through the funding of my daughter’s treatment cost, which we couldn’t afford. I am kindly asking for help for my son as well who is unable to hold things using his right hand. Please help him.”
Navy is a 49-year-old rice seller. She's been married for 15 years and has 2 daughters who are in school. Navy sells rice in front of a factory, but has been unable to work for over a year. Her husband is currently unemployed. Four years ago, Navy started to have pain in her back and on both hips, and she was given steroids to ease the pain. Doctors have diagnosed her with avascular necrosis in both hips. Avascular necrosis, or osteonecrosis, is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Navy cannot walk and is confined to a wheelchair. She is in constant pain, and is depressed because she cannot work to support her family. Fortunately, Navy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Navy of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 5th, and Navy needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Navy shared, "I hope that I'll feel better soon, and will be able to walk again without pain. I am anxious to return to work to help my family."
Khaing is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and a three-year-old son in a village in Tak Province. Originally from Karen State, Burma, they moved to their current home three years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband is a day laborer and she is homemaker. Ten years ago, Khaing started feeling like her nose was blocked and that she could not breathe well. She also had a runny nose and saw a small mass in her nostril while looking at her reflection in the mirror. At the time, Khaing did not go to see a doctor because she could not afford to pay for treatment, and she thought that she would feel better over time. However, four years ago she noticed that the mass had grown. Khaing went to her local hospital in Burma, where the doctor confirmed she had a mass in her nostril and gave her medication for a week. She did not go back to her follow-up appointment as she had run out of money. She then tried to treat herself with traditional medicine unsuccessfully as the mass continued to increase in size. In the beginning of May 2020, Khaing developed a severe headache and pain in her nose. The area around her nose also became swollen. She went to Mae Tao Clinic for treatment, where the medic found large masses in both of her nasal cavities. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, she received an x-ray of her nose and the doctor told her that the masses were large and surrounded by a lot of pus. After a CT scan, the doctor diagnosed her with a nasal polyp and scheduled her for surgery on December 28th, 2020. Currently, the area around her nose is swollen and painful. Her nostrils feel itchy, her nose is blocked, and has to breathe through her mouth. She still has a headache, though since she received pain medication from the doctor at MSH, this has been less severe. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 28th, Khaing will undergo an endoscopic sinus surgery. Once recovered, she will be able to breathe normally again and her quality of life will significantly improve. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Khaing shared, "I really want to have surgery and feel better. I am not scared because I believe that the surgery will help me be free from headaches and breathe well again."
Agnes is a housewife from Kenya and a mother of 2 children aged 2 and 10 years old. Agnes' husband is a stonemason who earns a daily wage, and his income is dependent on the availability of work. Because she does not work, their family depends solely on him for income and to pay medical bills, which is only enough to cover their basic needs. Agnes has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. She needs to undergo a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Agnes. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 2nd. After treatment, Agnes will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Agnes shared, “My family is my greatest motivation, I need to get this surgery to be able to raise my young kids and take care of my husband."
Jenipher is a 48-year-old mother of three from Kenya. She is married and lives in Umoja area in Nairobi County. In August 2020, Jenipher started experiencing heavy bleeding. She visited a hospital in Umoja, where the doctor suggested that the bleeding may be a result of menopause. She was put on medication for hormonal imbalance and hematinic for blood cell production. Unfortunately, the bleeding continued, so she was referred by a friend to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Nazareth Hospital. There, Jenipher had an ultrasound, which unfortunately showed that she had a cervical mass. The gynaecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. However, this procedure is very costly for Jenipher and her family. Currently, they depend on her husband’s income from his small business as a carpenter. Since she was let go from her job as a school secretary due to the school's bankruptcy, Jenipher has tried her hand in several small businesses. Lately, she is unable to do much because the bleeding leaves her feeling very drained and uncomfortable. She hopes to get better and help her 20-year-old daughter start a boutique business that can supplement their family’s income. If left untreated, Jenipher's bleeding will continue and may lead to severe anaemia. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $755 to fund Jenipher's surgery. On October 30th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Jenipher will be able to resume her daily activities free of fatigue and pain. Jenipher shared, “I am hopeful that surgery will help me get better so that my daughter and I can start a small boutique business to enable us to take care of my grandchild.”
Sara is a 27-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. Sara and his wife were married five years ago and they have one two-year-old son. Sara and his wife are both construction workers. He enjoys taking care of his son, doing housework, and listening to the radio. Earlier this month, Sara was shocked by electricity when working on the rooftop of a house. It caused electricity burns on both of his hands. He first went to a provincial government hospital for treatment but left when the only option they presented to him was to amputate both hands. He is now unable to use his hands. When Sara learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 29th, surgeons at CSC will perform a debridement procedure to to help him preserve and heal both hands. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Sara said, "I hope I can regain the use of my hands as soon as possible. My wife and I are worried so much about the loss of my hands because I will not be able to support my family without them."
Sifa is a baby from Tanzania. Sifa is a three months old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of four children. Sifa's parents come from the central part of Tanzania where most people depend on farming for their living. His parents own a small piece of land from which they are able to grow maize and sunflowers. Their income is not much and barely enough to support their family. Sifa 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, Sifa 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 Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Sifa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24th. This procedure will hopefully spare Sifa from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Sifa’s mother says, “Please help my son."