Tom Van den BercktUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Tom's Story

Tom joined Watsi on May 6th, 2016. Seven years ago, Tom joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tom's most recent donation supported Nant, a 47-year-old homemaker from Burma, for a cholecystectomy..

Impact

Tom has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 11 countries.

Patients funded by Tom

Benedister is a 45-year-old single mother and small-scale farmer from Kenya. She plants maize and millet for her family's consumption and for sale. Benedister has seven children between 11 and 23 years old. When she is done with her farm work, Benedister always looks for casual jobs in order to earn extra wages. She is very hardworking, as she is her family’s sole breadwinner. One day, while walking around her compound, Benedister fell and injured her right lower limb. She was unable to walk, so she was carried by some of her relatives to the hospital. Her pain was so intense that she was given some pain medication, then sent for an x-ray. The x-ray revealed that she had a bimalleolar fracture with a joint dislocation, which means that in addition to a bone being broken, the ligaments on the inside of her ankle were injured as well. She was treated, and then her ankle was immobilized with a bulky jones splint. She is not able to walk on her own and is in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 7th, Benedister will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Afterward, she will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Benedister says, “It’s really sad that I cannot walk without support. My children look up to me for all their needs and here I am now with a broken leg and cannot offer any help to them. Please help me get my bones fixed so that I will be able to work and live normally as before.”

$1,145raised
Fully funded

Zaw, who is 29 years old, lives with his wife and extended family members in Karen State, Burma. He and his wife are currently unemployed, although Zaw hopes to work as a second-hand motorbike seller. Zaw has had an irregular heartbeat since he was 10 years old. Although he visited a local clinic as a child, he was never provided a definitive diagnosis. By January 2022, he began to experience fatigue. His back and neck were stiff, and he lost his appetite. He also had difficulty sleeping, experienced a persistent cough and body aches, and his lips turned blue. After multiple hospital visits, Zaw was told he had a heart condition that required surgery. Unable to afford surgery in Burma, Zaw sought affordable care at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, he received a free echocardiogram, which revealed he had mitral valve regurgitation, atrial valve regurgitation, pulmonary valve regurgitation, and patent ductus arteriosus. He is now scheduled for a procedure at Kasemrad Prachachuen Hospital in Bangkok on April 18th to repair or replace three of his valves and address any other issues with his heart. Currently, Zaw continues to experience fatigue, thus he is unable to work. He experiences shortness of breath and a racing heartbeat, for which he requires oxygen therapy three times a day. He needs your help to raise the $1,500 to fund his life-changing surgery. Zaw said: “I want to be free from this disease as soon as possible. Thank you all for helping with my treatment cost.”

$942raised
$558to go

Perlisa is a 34-year-old, full-time mother of two sons and one daughter, living in the Philippines. Her partner is a construction worker, with only limited earnings to support the family. In 2020, Perlisa began to experience a broad constellation of symptoms, ranging from weight loss and extreme fatigue, to chest pain and shortness of breath, a bloated stomach and back pain. After undergoing an ultrasound, it was determined that Perlisa had a gallstone which needed to be surgically removed. Because of a lack of funds, Perlisa delayed her surgery, missed appointments with her doctors, and relied on medications to ease her symptoms. Ultimately, Perlisa found her way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and they will be able help Perlisa access the care that she needs. On September 10th, Perlisa will undergo surgery to have her gallbladder removed at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Without this procedure, Perlisa's symptoms could worsen, and she would be at risk for more health complications in the future. While a portion of the cost of Perlisa's procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, World Surgical Foundation Philippines is looking to raise the remaining $826 needed to cover the costs of Perlisa's surgery and care. "Ive been praying for so long to be treated for my illness. We're financially incapable to pay for my medical bills. This surgery is an answered prayer." Perlisa shared. "I'm eternally grateful to WATSI, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and all the doctors who helped me. May the Lord continue to bless you so that you may be able to help more people," she added.

$826raised
Fully funded