Thomas joined Watsi on April 3rd, 2015. Six years ago, Thomas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Thomas' most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Allan, a future doctor from Kenya, to fund a life-changing surgery.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Allan is 17-year-old student and an aspiring doctor. He is the fifth born in a family of six children. He shared that he sadly lost his father in 2011 and his mother is elderly. He depends on his older siblings, but they do not have stable jobs. Their family lives in their ancestral home and does small-scale farming to grow food to eat. Allan has a urethral stricture and is currently on dialysis. He feels unwell and his condition has affected his studies. He has visited several healthcare facilities over the past year in search of treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Allan to receive treatment. On July 1, he will undergo an urethroplasty, or urethra repair. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,144 procedure. Allan shared, "I want to be a doctor and I am determined to do so. I even opted to sit for my exams despite the pain and my condition. I hope this sickness does not stop my ambitions.”
Seng Ly is a 65-year-old retired policeman. He has a daughter, two sons, and three grandchildren. He lives with his wife, his youngest daughter, and his grandchildren. His daughter works in the garment industry. Seng Ly retired from his work two years ago due to poor vision, so he stays home to look after his grandchildren. When not helping to take care of his grandchildren, he likes to listen to the news on the radio. Two years ago, Seng Ly developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him blurry vision, photophobia, inability to see in dim light. When Seng Ly learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there with his daughter seeking treatment. On March 29th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Seng Ly shared with us: "I hope after surgery I can see well. I can bring my grandchildren to school, and can teach them at home. I hope I'll be able to go outside and be able to see."
Wit is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Wit goes to junior kindergarten, while his parents own a small shop in the camp. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and coloring. He's also already really interested in fixing and building things. Since he was a year old, Wit has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain in his scrotum and in his stomach. Due to the pain, he cannot run and play with his friends and he sometimes he misses school. To control the pain, he takes pain medication three times a day. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Wit to receive treatment. On June 1st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Wit's surgery. Wit's mother shared, "he tells me he wants to become a doctor [in the future], but he also says that he wants to become a mechanic or a builder. He will ask me to buy him tools and things to fix. He will try to fix his [father’s] motorcycle and bicycle.”
Saray is a 56-year-old mother of six. She is a widow, with three sons, three daughters, and ten grandchildren. She is a rice farmer and lives with her youngest daughter, who is a garment worker, and her elderly mother. Her husband passed away five years ago from hypertension. She likes to watch Khmer movies on the TV and shared that her general health is OK, but she is worried about her vision. One year ago, Saray developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photophobia, blurred vision, and poor night vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Saray learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On February 4th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I hope after surgery I can see better. I can return to the rice field, take care of my mother, and my grandchildren," she shared.
Sao is a 59-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He has been proudly married for 35 years and together they have two sons and a daughter. His children are all married and live separately from him. Sao now has four delightful grandchildren with whom he he enjoys spending time. His wife stays home to cook and care for him. In his free time, he likes to exercise, help with house chores, listen to the radio, and care for his chickens. In February 2020, Sao fell off a motorcycle and fractured his right femur. He went for a Khmer traditional treatment, but his leg did not heal well. The fracture is still not healing well, he needs crutches to walk, and he is in constant pain. Surgeons put Sao's right leg in traction for 5 days to reduce the fracture, and plan to conduct an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery to repair the bone. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 18th, Sao will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him walk easily again, and return to helping his family around the house and working. Sao shared, "I hope my right leg will be fixed and I will no longer be in pain. I want to be able to walk again without crutches."
Antony is a 36-year-old motorbike taxi operator. He is married and has three children. Antony is the sole breadwinner of the family. In his line of work, his income depends on the availability of customers and is somewhat inconsistent. He lives with his family in a two-roomed rental house. On February 9th, Antony was riding a friend to a funeral on a motorbike, when he got into an accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. His bike lost control when he tried to avoid an oncoming vehicle that was speeding on the wrong side of the road. Antony hit a ditch on the side of the road and sustained multiple injuries. He is in pain and is not able to use his left hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 5th, Antony will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm normally again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Anthony shared, “I am the sole breadwinner and my family is looking upon me for survival. I cannot work without the use of my hand, and my hand needs surgery to heal. I am unable to get the money to raise the amount needed for my care."
Hai is a 60-year-old farmer. She has two daughters and one son. Her husband died 20 years ago, so Hai lives with one of her children. When she isn't working, Hai enjoys having to time to play with her grandchildren. Hai has nasal polyps in each nostril that cause bad odor, discharge, and pain. She has been using medications she purchases at a pharmacy to manage these symptoms but her condition has not improved. Fortunately, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) are able to perform a bilateral polypectomy to alleviate these symptoms permanently. She needs help to raise $343 to fund the surgery. Hai said, "I really hope after the surgery my nose will be better, my headaches will be reduced, and the infection will go away. When I am healed, I will help my children with their work."
Oem is a 60-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He is married and has four daughters, two sons, and eight grandchildren. His wife is also a rice farmer. In his free time, Oem enjoys listening to the monks praying on the radio. Five years ago, Oem developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him blurred vision, mild pain, tearing, irritation, and photophobia. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Oem learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 22nd, doctors will perform phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Oem said, "I hope my surgery is successful so I can see everything clearly and can help take care of my grandchildren."
Heang is a 70-year-old lotus farmer from Cambodia. She is married with two sons, one daughter, and 11 grandchildren. Her husband passed away four years ago from hypertension. She lives with her son who is a construction worker. Ten years ago, Heang developed a pterygium in right eye, causing her pain, headaches, irritation, burning, and discomfort. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. Her symptoms have gotten worse in the past year. When Heang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for 30 minutes by tuk tuk with her son seeking treatment. Heang needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for July 3rd. Heang shared, "I hope after surgery the irritation stops so I can go outside easily and take care of myself well."
Yar is a 18-year-old girl from Thailand. She lives with her parents, three younger sisters and three younger brothers in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Yar and her parents are all too ill to work and are homemakers, while her siblings are students. Her family relies on the monthly food allowance they receive from an organization to get by. They also grow vegetables for themselves to supplement this income. Yar completed grade nine, but felt too ill to return to school this year. In her free time, she likes to weave traditional Karen bags for her siblings and help her mother with household chores. One day in early January 2020, Yar started to experience neck pain, fevers, and chills. When she went to the refugee camp’s hospital, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), she was diagnosed with tonsillitis and was given oral paink medication and antibiotics. During her follow-up appointment, the medic gave her more of the same medications. After her follow-up appointment, Yar felt a small growth with her tongue inside her bottom left jaw behind her front teeth. She told the medic about this at her next appointment, but it was not checked out and she received more oral medication each week until the beginning of June 2020. During this time, the mass increased in size. In June, she was referred to Umphang Hospital, which then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for surgery. IRC brought Yar to MSH, where she received a physical examination, a CT-scan, and a biopsy of the mass. The CT result indicated that the mass was benign. In July, when she went back to MSH for her follow-up appointment, the doctor removed the mass in her mouth as well as five of her lower front teeth during surgery. Since the surgery, Yar has experienced swelling where the mass was removed. Daily, she experiences an achy pain in her lower left jaw, her neck and her back. The mass has also returned and is increasing in size. IRC referred Yar to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing treatment in Chiang Mai Hospital. After reviewing a CT scan to confirm her diagnosis, the doctor in Chiang Mai recommended she move forward with surgery to remove the tumor. Now, she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 3rd. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Yar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery but I believe that I will be recovered after that so I am happy."
Arabella is a 15-month-old baby from Kenya. Arabella’s mom is a stay-at-home mom and does a bit of farming at home. Her father is a caterer in a nearby school. Arabella underwent a colostomy, in which the end of her colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Arabella's case, her colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $619 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Arabella. The surgery is scheduled to take place on March 19th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. “Please help us. I look forward to see my daughter well,” says Arabella’s mother.
On May 28th 2019, Min was playing tag with his friend in front of his house, when he decided to climb up a tree. Unfortunately, the tree was slippery due to the rainy season, and Min slipped and fell out of the tree. At first, he was able to stand on his right leg, but he was not able to walk. When Min’s mother heard the news, she immediately came to see him. In the morning, his mother and grandmother rented a car and brought him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). The staff at MTC then sent him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an X-ray, which indicated that his left femur was broken. After they received the results of his X-ray, MTC referred Min to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for help in accessing the treatment he needed. On May 31st, Min underwent surgery to place a metal rod into his leg. He was discharged from the hospital on June 5th. Within the past two months, Min returned to MSH for three follow-up visits. At his most recent follow-up, he was told his prognosis was good, and he was scheduled for surgery to remove the metal rod on January 2nd, 2020. “I feel normal again,” he said. “I’m no longer in pain. I can walk, sit, and take a shower by myself again. Before, I couldn’t do anything. I could only lay on my back and watch as people around me had to do everything. After my second surgery I want to work with my older brother in the factory.”