United States • Born on October 27th
Zack joined Watsi on November 25th, 2013. Eight years ago, Zack joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Zack's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Liza, a 4-year-old from Cambodia, to treat her hearing loss.
Zack has funded healthcare for 109 patients in 13 countries.
Zack has funded healthcare for 109 patients in 13 countries.
Liza is a 4-year old girl who loves playing with her brother and eating fried eggs with rice. Her dad is a fisherman, and mother cares for her and her 1-year old brother at home. When she was an infant, Liza had an ear infection which caused a cholesteatoma - abnormal skin growth - to develop in the middle ear behind her ear drum. This has caused Liza to experience difficulty hearing and subsequently a speech delay. Liza's family traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to receive treatment. On March 6th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her both ears, during which ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $926 to fund this procedure. This support will cover medications, supplies, and inpatient care for Liza. Liza's parents are constantly worried about her, and they hope that this treatment will allow her to communicate and hear when she starts school next year.
Hana is a cute and happy baby who loves playing with toys and interacting with the people around her. Her favorite foods are porridge with bread and pasta. She is the only child of her parents. Her mother used to sell candles at church gates, and her father is in the military, though he currently has no contact with the family. Last year, Hana started refusing her mother’s milk, and her abdomen began to swell. Her mother was extremely concerned about her baby's condition and immediately took Hana to the clinic. Hana was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's Disease, a condition in which missing nerve cells in the large intestine cause intestinal blockage. Further referrals led her to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, who will help Hana and her mother with a treatment plan. Now, African Mission Healthcare is asking for $1,500 to help fund Hana's Hirschsprung's pull-through surgery scheduled for March 16th. Hana's mother said, “After her surgery, I want her to be well and to grow healthy. I will send her to school. I will try my best to give her a better life, and I don’t want her to suffer as I did. I hope she will be wise and independent in her future.”
Emmanuel is a 39-year-old father of two from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife and children and works in sales at an electronics store. He has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. There is a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart, which causes blood to leak out without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Because the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Emmanuel will fly to the United States to undergo cardiac surgery on February 27th. Doctors will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital is contributing $10,000 to help pay for this surgery. His family now needs $1,500 to help fund costs of the surgery preparations, including labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments, and travel expenses. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance will accompany Emmanuel overseas and ensure he safely undergoes treatment. Emmanuel says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can focus on taking care of my family without worrying about my health."
Luz is a sweet baby from Bolivia, where she lives with her parents and two older brothers in a small mountain village. Her parents work as farmers to support their family. Luz, in addition to being diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was born with a ventricular septal defect, a heart condition where a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through the hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance who is expanding their work in Bolivia, is helping Luz receive treatment. On January 19th, Luz will undergo surgery where doctors will sew a patch over the hole, allowing for blood to flow completely through her heart and reach her lungs, obtaining oxygen and, ultimately, allowing her to grow as a healthy baby girl. Luz's family needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. From Luz's mother: "Our family is all praying that after the surgery our daughter will be stronger and healthier."
Anthonie is a student from Haiti. He lives with his aunt and uncle and their family in a small town in northern Haiti. He enjoys going to school and church. Anthonie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These prevent blood from flowing normally through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. The care Anthonie needs is not available in Haiti so he needs to travel for surgery. He will fly to the Cayman Islands and on January 9th will undergo cardiac surgery. During surgery, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole to close it, and remove the muscular blockage in his heart. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is also contributing $16,000 to pay for his treatment. Anthonie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up care. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also pays for obtaining his passport, and for the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Anthonie's family overseas. Anthonie's aunt says, "Anthonie has been very sick for a long time, we are all praying that this is the miracle that will make him better!"
Rosario is a 64-year-old woman from the Philippines. She is a post-stroke patient and currently lives with her daughter, who works as a call center agent to provide for their basic needs. Unfortunately, her income isn't enough to cover Rosario's medical expenses. In 2012, Rosario began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain in her back and the upper abdominal area. She consulted a doctor and was diagnosed with gallstones. She was prescribed medications to alleviate her symptoms, but due to financial limitations, she wasn't able to have follow-up check-ups with her doctor. Consequently, her treatment was delayed and her symptoms worsened. Fortunately, she came to Our Lady of Peace Hospital, our partner care facility. After a thorough assessment and a series of laboratory tests, it was determined that Rosario needs to have surgery to treat her condition. Rosario has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Rosario is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on December 2nd. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Rosario's surgery and care. Rosario shared: "Without your support, I might have just endured my illness and might not be able to get treatment. We're incapable of paying for my hospital bills. So, thank you so much Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for the opportunity to finally be treated."
Chanrong is a 29-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He is married with two children. His wife also works as a farmer. In addition to growing their rice crop, they also grow vegetables and feed animals. During his free time, he enjoys listening to music, reading books, watching TV, and playing with his one-year-old and five-year-old children. In 2014, Chanrong was involved in a motorbike accident. This left him with a serious injury to his left shoulder and arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in a loss of function and sensation. Over time, he has lost the ability to flex or extend his elbow, wrist, and fingers due to nerve damage. He has also lost almost all sensation in his arm, leaving him with only a burning sensation. Fortunately, Chanrong traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the country where the treatment he needs is available. On August 1st, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. The goal of this surgery is to improve functioning in his hand and arm. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this life-changing procedure. Chanrong says, "I hope after surgery my left arm is able to move and I can use it to support my family on our farm."
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Samwel, a very social and hardworking Kenyan father of eight children, is an active maize farmer who likes spending most of his time on his farm. He works hard to meet the needs of his family. His wife takes care of their home and helps him in his daily farming activities. Samwel lives with his family in a semi-permanent house in their farm. His elder children are married, and they also work hard to meet their own families' basic needs. Samwel presented to the emergency department with cuts on his left wrist joint and on his knees after an assault with a machete by a person known to him. This was brought up by family conflicts due to land disputes. Doctors diagnosed that he had multiple tendon injuries with nerve injuries in his wrist and an open fracture of his left distal femur in his leg. He is in pain and cannot walk with ease. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him heal and get active again. On September 5th, Samwel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Samwel will no longer experience pain. He will go back to his family and continue with his farm activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Samwel says, “I have so much pain, but I am happy to be alive. I hope to get treated, go back home and be with my family.”
Brian is an 11-year-old boy, living with his grandmother and two younger siblings. Brian's mother left when they were young and his grandmother has been raising them. She practices small scale farming on her land, in an effort to provide for the family. About a month ago, Brian came to his grandmother and told her that he was different from the other boys he knows. Brian's grandmother brought him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, which means that he has an undescended testicle. His grandmother was told that Brian would need surgery to correct this condition. Without surgery, he risks infection, strangulation, cancer, and the possibility of infertility, down the road. Brian will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 16th at Nazareth Hospital, and African Mission Healthcare Foundation is raising $483 to cover the total cost of Brian's procedure and care. After surgery, Brian will continue to be the active young man that he has always been, helping his grandmother to take care of his younger siblings, and secure in the knowledge that he is just like all of the other boys he knows. “My daughter left me with these children to struggle with them. And since they are my grandchildren, I love them and would not like any of them feeling unwell; especially Brian because he helps me a lot. I plead for support so that he can be treated and be well to continue assisting me and also be like the other boys,” said Brian's grandmother.
Lekitony is a kind 13-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of nine children. He and his family are from a Maasai community in a remote village where people mainly practice livestock keeping to support themselves. He is very hardworking and helps his parents look after the cattle in search of pasture and water. Lekitony was diagnosed with right genu valgum, meaning his right leg is bowed inward, causing his knees to touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, often stemming from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Lekitony. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Lekitony's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Lekitony shares, “When I run, my knees knock and I fall. Also, most of the time my knees hurt.”
Rose is a retried woman who used to work as a junior officer at the county government in Machakos in Kenya. Her husband is also retired, and they both now spend their time farming at their ancestral home to provide food for their family. Together, they have one daughter who is currently attending secondary school. Their family does not have a stable source of income. Rose was involved in a motorbike accident two weeks ago, and she was rushed to a nearby facility. There, she was treated for pain and discharged, but she later developed a blister on her right leg which burst and worsened into a wound. After attempting to clean the wound at home with no improvement, one of Rose's relatives advised her to visit Kijabe Hospital. On June 21st, she visited the facility and underwent two debridement surgeries where they removed damaged and infected tissue in her leg. However, her wound still needs care, as well as skin graft surgery. Due to financial constraints, Rose has not been able to pay for her medical coverage since she retired. She accrued a bill that she has been unable to clear, and as a result, she cannot afford her third procedure. Rose currently experiences pain due to her injury, and she is unable to use her right leg or walk. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Rose receive treatment. On July 4th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to get rid of the infection and help her walk again. Now, Rose needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Rose shares, “I haven’t been able to walk since the accident. The leg was so swollen and infected. I am scared I might lose my leg if not treated.”