Thibauld joined Watsi on August 3rd, 2016. Six years ago, Thibauld joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Thibauld's most recent donation traveled 5,800 miles to support Paw, a Burmese refugee and mother from Thailand, to fund kidney surgery.
Thibauld has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 12 countries.
Thibauld has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 12 countries.
Paw is a 46-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province. Originally from the conflict area of Karen State, Burma, she and her family fled to the refugee camp due to conflict in their area. Today, her daughter goes to school in the camp, while her son stays home because he has an intellectual disability. In her free time, Paw enjoys gardening. Paw and her husband also raise chickens and grow vegetables to supplement their family's diet. Every month, their household receives 1,460 baht (approx. $49) on a cash card from an organization called The Border Consortium to support their day-to-day needs. Sometimes, Paw also receives pocket money from her other son, who works as a security guard in the refugee camp and lives with his wife and children. This amount is not enough to cover their daily needs, so they often have to purchase food on credit, which they pay back at the end of the month. They receive free basic health care at the hospital in the refugee camp, provided by Malteser International (MI) Thailand, but surgery there is not available. In early 2020, Paw started to experience pain in her lower abdomen. She also experienced severe back pain, dizziness and nausea when she ate. She went to the hospital in the refugee camp, where she was treated for a urinary tract infection (UTI). When the UTI kept returning, MI staff referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. Paw went to that hospital in February 2020, where she was diagnosed with a stone in her right kidney and acute pyelonephritis, a bacterial infection causing inflammation of the kidneys. She was admitted for five days and received treatment for the infection. Afterwards, she was referred to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment for the kidney stone. In July 2020, MI staff brought Paw to CMH, where she received various x-rays. Doctors confirmed her diagnosis, but also diagnosed her with severe hydronephrosis, or a buildup of urine, in her right kidney. She received a catheter to drain urine from her kidney, and was brought back to CMH every three months to change the catheter. The doctor also scheduled Paw to have the stone removed from her right kidney on October 31st. Our partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is asking for financial assistance to help Paw pay for this surgery. Currently, Paw experiences pain and has difficulty sleeping. Traveling to the hospital regularly is also difficult for her family. Paw thinks a lot about her future and shared: “In the future I want to buy and raise a pig and more chickens. I do not want to be resettled in another country because I love living near my siblings. If they [my siblings] are resettled, I might go with them."
Naima is a smiley and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She loves to breastfeed and play with her seven older siblings and her mother. Her dad is a retired driver and the community elder, and her mother stays home to care for the children. Because Naima's father has no source of income, their older children support them financially. Naima was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Naima developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications. As a result, she cannot make stool in a typical way. Her parents have been very troubled because of her condition and are asking for support. Naima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on September 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Naima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Naima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Naima's father says, “I hope my child will get the treatment and heal. Once she finishes her treatment, I hope she will be relieved from her pain and suffering and lead a healthy life.”
Naw Ta is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her retired husband in a refugee camp in Thailand. Originally from Burma, she and her husband fled to Thailand in 2010 due to conflict in their area. She now works selling snacks and sweets from her home. Naw Ta has developed cataracts in both eyes, causing her to experience blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about tripping on stones or the uneven road when walking. Because of this, she is not able to go places on her own. She also cannot sew clothing anymore or see the rice grains clearly when cooking. Fortunately, doctors will perform a lens replacement on September 1st. During this procedure, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, will remove Naw Ta's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ta's surgery. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again and return to doing her daily tasks without difficulty. Naw Ta shares, “I will be happy when I can see clearly again. I am grateful for having the chance to receive eye surgery.”
Nalin is a 16-month-old toddler and the only child in her family. Her father is a construction worker in the capital city of Phnom Penh and her mother stays home to watch her. Nalin likes to drink milk and play with toys. Her favorite thing in the world is to fall asleep in the arms of her mom. When Nalin was two months old, she was burned on her left fingers with hot porridge. Her mother took her to a children's hospital for burn treatment, but she developed severe contractures due to the burn. Nalin now has scarring and is unable to flex her fingers making it difficult to hold or grasp objects. When Nalin's mother learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On June 6th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery so Nalin can move her finger easily again. CSC is raising $495 to fund this life-altering procedure for Nalin. Nalin's mother shared, "I hope after surgery she can move her finger and get well soon."
Purity is an adorable seven-month-old baby who was born with spina bifida. She is the youngest of two children in her family. Her parents previously relied on casual labor to support their family, meaning they would pick up work wherever and whenever it was available. However, with jobs currently being so hard to find, they now do small-scale farming to provide for their family. Since she was born, Purity has had a swelling on her lower back. A few days after birth, her parents took her to a nearby facility, where she was examined three times without receiving any help. During the fourth visit, she was referred to another facility in the bigger city of Nakuru. There, she was diagnosed with spina bifida, a condition caused by the spine not properly closing around the spinal cord. After receiving a diagnosis, Purity was referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH), for treatment. Last week, Purity's family was finally able to gather enough money to bring her to BKKH for an evaluation. However, due to financial constraints, her family is unable to fund the procedure needed to help her condition. Without treatment, Purity is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is able to help. Purity is scheduled to undergo spina bifida closure surgery on July 7th. Now, AMH is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Purity's spinal surgery. This procedure will hopefully spare Purity from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Purity’s mother says, “I’m not happy to see my child with this condition. I would really like her to be treated and have a normal life.”
Haysam is a 2-year-old boy who told us that his favorite playmate is his older brother! Haysam’s father drives a school bus, and he shared that this provides for his family's needs but is insufficient to also cover Haysam’s medical treatment costs. Haysam was diagnosed with acquired left valgus, which means his leg curves outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Haysam walks with a limp. His parents have taken Haysam to different hospitals for treatment, but they were told he would grow out of the condition in time. However, over the last few months, his walking has become more challenging, and he becomes easily exhausted when walking. Haysam’s family was able to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for review and treatment. On June 24th, Haysam will undergo surgery to help restore his mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund this procedure. Haysam’s mother says, “When my son walks, people ask me what is wrong with his legs because you can see clearly, that he limps when walking. I need your help to get my son treated.”
Htun is a four year old boy living with 12 other children and a pastor and his wife who are helping to raise them in Tak Province, Thailand. Htun enjoys riding bicycles, watching cartoons, and playing with action figures. Towards the beginning of April, Htun began experiencing discomfort while walking and when he was sitting down. According to his guardian, whenever Htun begins to feel pain, he will point to where the pain is coming from and cry. Htun has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia, which will need to be treated with surgery. Fortunately, he was brought to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and he is now scheduled for hernia repair surgery on May 31st, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htun's hernia repair surgery, after which Htun will be able to live a full and healthy life ahead. "I want to support him as if he were my own child, and I want him to feel like we are his family," shared the pastor.
Klyn is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a small town in central Haiti with his parents, grandparents, and several other relatives. He likes school, especially science and math. Klyn was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The defect means there is a hole between the two upper chambers of Klyn's heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which leaves him often weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has arranged for Klyn and his mother to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery since this treatment is not available within Haiti. On May 24th, doctors will first attempt to use a catheter to close the opening between Klyn's upper cardiac chambers. If that's not possible, they will need to perform open-heart surgery and use a patch to close the hole in Klyn's heart. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 for Klyn's care. His family is raising $1,500 to help cover remaining costs of the procedure and related care, including travel expenses for Klyn. Klyn's mother says, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"
Navann is an adventurous 15-month-old girl. She is the youngest child in her family, with one three-year-old sister, and lives with her parents who make a living working as garment workers in a clothing factory. She likes to play with her older sister, and enjoys drinking milk, and eating any soup her mother makes. When Navann started learning to walk, at around 12 months, her mother noted that her left hip seemed shorter than her right hip. Navann was brought to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of her left hip, a condition where the "ball and socket" joint of the hip does not properly form in babies and young children. As a result, her gait is uneven and she has difficulty walking, which causes her to sometimes cry when trying to keep up with her sister. Navann needs surgery to repair her hip, and a SPICA cast to maintain proper hip position. If not treated, it can cause painful long term problems for her. Fortunately, Navann's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). There surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Navann of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Her treatment is scheduled for March 22nd. Navann and her family need help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Her mother said: "I hope that Navann will have a good result after surgery, and she will walk like other children."
Deborah is a nine-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, several siblings, and her grandparents. She enjoys singing and listening to music in her free time. Deborah has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, where a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through her body, leaving her feeling sick and weak. To receive treatment, Deborah will fly to Dominican Republic. On March 2nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in her heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Deborah's family needs help raising money to fund the costs of her surgery prep. The $1,500 prep bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Deborah's family overseas for her surgery. Deborah's father shared, "our family has been praying for years for this surgery to happen, and would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping!"
Meet Enock, a twelve-year-old playful boy in grade five. Enock is the youngest in a family of five. His father is an electrician while his mother does maize farming in their village to help support their family. Enock's family lives in a two-roomed iron sheet-built house in their small piece of land. Two months ago, Enock sustained a severe injury while he was playing with friends in school. He was taken to the nearest hospital where a cast was placed and was scheduled for follow-up. Seven weeks later, he was still having pain and he could not even move his leg. That is when his family sought a second opinion at our medical partner's care center Kapsowar Hospital. They visited the hospital and after X-ray imaging, a closed right femur fracture was revealed which needs surgery to heal. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 1st, Enock will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. With treatment, Enock will be able to walk again and play with friends at school. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Enock's father says, “He has so much pain, I feel sorry for him. I hope he gets treated and feels better and will be well again."
Mu lives with her four nieces and nephew in a refugee camp along the Thai/Burma border region. One of her nieces is a medic, the other a teacher, and the two youngest go to school with her nephew. Mu is unemployed and in her free time she enjoys gardening and reading the Bible. In 2019, Mu started to suffer from abdominal pain, back pain, and exhaustion. When she touched her lower abdomen, she could feel a mass. After the International Rescue Committee (IRC) helped her undergo medical investigations at multiple hospitals, she was diagnosed with bilateral endometriosis cysts and was told she has cysts outside of her uterus. Although she needed surgery, she was told she would have to wait because all surgeries had stopped due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Thailand. In September, she had an ultrasound which showed that she had one new cyst. The doctor said she would need surgery soon but Mu could not go back to Mae Sot Hospital for the next few months because more COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp caused a lockdown. When she was finally able to go to the hospital this month, doctors have scheduled her for surgery to remove her cysts. With Mu unable to pay for the procedure, IRC referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance to raise $1,500 that is needed for her treatment. "I felt like half of my worries disappeared when I heard that I could have surgery with the support of donors," said Mu. "I have waited so long to receive surgery and my condition is so painful. I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who is helping me."