Thomas joined Watsi on April 3rd, 2015. Seven years ago, Thomas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Thomas' most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Marc, a bright teenager with big goals from Haiti, to fund surgery that will repair the birth defect in his heart.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 12 countries.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 12 countries.
Marc is a 16-year-old boy who lives in an urban neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, with his parents and four younger siblings. He is in his first year of high school and would like to eventually become either an engineer or a teacher. Marc was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The birth defect means there's a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which often leaves Marc weak and short of breath. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. There is not a local pediatric cardiac surgical team in Haiti, but our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to accompany Marc to the Dominican Republic. There, on May 25th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole in his heart. "I have been waiting for this chance for many years," Marc said, "and I am very happy the time is almost here!" The Rotarian-based organization Gift of Life International is contributing $5,000 toward Marc's surgery. His family needs to raise $1,500 to help cover remaining medical costs and travel for Marc.
Florence is a loving mother of seven. She and her husband work as small-scale farmers and live in a grass-thatched home with their family. Her husband also takes on masonry work to help earn more income. Over a decade ago, Florence began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swelling on her neck. After she gave birth to her last-born child, she visited a local health center where doctors determined she was experiencing a pregnancy-related condition that would heal soon. However, Florence’s symptoms never improved, and the swelling increased over time. When Florence learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), and their successful thyroid removal treatments, she visited AMH care center for review. Doctors diagnosed her condition as a multinodular goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Florence will need surgery to address her symptoms and ensure she can finally heal. Fortunately, Florence will undergo a thyroidectomy on January 10th at AMH’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to fund Florence’s procedure. Florence shared, “I would like to have my strength back again. My children need my efforts as a mother.”
Phy is a widower and has nine children and five grandchildren. Four of his children are married and the other five are still single. His wife passed away a long time ago due to an unknown illness, so he lives with his first son. In his free time, Phy enjoys drinking tea and talking with his friends. Phy was in a motor vehicle crash a month ago, where he fell and injured his left shoulder. After the accident, he went to a nearby hospital for medical treatment but his left shoulder is still in pain. He cannot use his arm and cannot work. Now he has traveled two hours to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for a diagnosis and treatment. At CSC, he was diagnosed with a left shoulder dislocation and now needs $412 for surgery to heal his left shoulder. He hopes after surgery, his left shoulder will have no pain, no more infection, and that he will be able to work with his hand again.
Mary is a farmer and the single mother of three children who are now grown. She lives in her parents’ home in Central Kenya. Mary farms on a small piece of land given to her by her parents, growing food crops for home use. She has no source of income and relies on her kids for upkeep and support. However, all her children do not have stable jobs. Her parents are elderly and don’t work either, so she is worried about how to fund the care she needs. Mary first started experiencing pain in her stomach at the beginning of October. Mary's pain has gradually increased and her stomach began swelling making her uncomfortable. She went to a health facility in Central Kenya for a check-up and review. She has been diagnosed with cancer of the ovaries. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. AMH is requesting $1,260 to fund Mary's surgery. On November 24th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Mary will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Mary says, "I feel uncomfortable with a swollen stomach and I am in pain. I know this surgery will go a long way to help heal the issue and make me well again.”
Elisante is a three-week old baby and the second born in a family of two children. Elisante’s father is a dressmaker and his mother takes care of their home and family. They do not earn enough to be able to afford Elisante’s needed treatment and need support. Elisante 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. Fortunately, Elisante's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 3rd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Elisante's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he'll will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Elisante’s mother says, “Please help my son get this treatment so that he may be able to walk. I fear that when people will see his leg they might talk badly of my son.”
Anderson is an 8-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He likes math and science in school, and would like to grow up to be an engineer. Anderson has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Anderson will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On November 26th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8,000 to help pay for surgery. Anderson'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 Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Anderson's family overseas. Anderson shared: "I am excited to have this surgery so that I won't have to worry about my heart any longer!"
Phally is a 41-year-old vegetable farmer. She is the oldest in a family of five children, including two sisters and two brothers. Phally lives with one of her sisters. When she is at home, she likes to watch movies on TV. Over ten years ago, Phally had an ear infection that caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Phally experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Phally receive treatment. On October 28th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure at CSC's care center. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Now, CSC is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Phally shared, "I hope my ear infections and pain will stop. I want to return to the rice field to earn money and be able to hear people well."
Srey Pin is an 18-month-old baby girl and an only child in her family. Her father works in construction and her mother stays home. She enjoys playing with toys and likes her mother's milk and rice. In June 2021, Srey Pin was accidentally burned by a car engine on both her palms. After the accident, her mother took to a local hospital where she was given medication. However, burn scar contractures have developed, tightening the skin around her burns. It is difficult for her to use her hand and her motor skill development has been delayed. When Srey Pin's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On September 15th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her to use her hand again. Now, they needs help to fund this $477 procedure. Srey Pin's parents shared that they hope that her hand will be better and she will be able to use it as she grows.
Naw Dah is a 40-year-old woman who lives with her husband, four daughters and three sons in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Six of her children attend school in the camp, while Naw Dah looks after her youngest daughter at home. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, her husband has had difficulty finding work outside of the camp for the past few months. The family survives on money they receive through a food card each month from an organization called The Border Consortium. Since 2016, Naw Dah has suffered from frequent, painful urinary tract infections. After she received an x-ray at a local hospital in April 2020, she was referred for further treatment and diagnosed with kidney stones. She received treatment in September 2020, but at follow-up appointments, the doctor told her that she still had fragments of the kidney stone, and she returned for multiple x-rays and oral medications. During her most recent follow-up in August 2021, the doctor told her that the stones are now 6mm in size and scheduled her for another ureteroscopy. She is unable to pay for surgery and was referred our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing treatment. On September 3rd, she will undergo a ureteroscopy and now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Naw Dah shared, "I am a bit scared as I already underwent treatment twice, but I really want to get better. So I put my trust in God and I will go through this pain again so that I will be free from this pain in the future."
Sreyleak is a 14-year-old student. Her parents are food sellers, and she has one brother and one sister, both of whom are in grade school. When Sreyleak is not at school or working, she likes to read books, exercise, and help her parents with their work. One month ago, Sreyleak had a severe ear infection that caused an abnormal skin growth to develop behind the eardrum. For this reason, Sreyleak experiences persistent uncomfortable symptoms and it is now difficult for her to communicate with her family and friends. Sreyleak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 2nd, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear so that the surgeons can remove the growth. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sreyleak shares, "I hope that painful feeling can stop so that I can do my schoolwork in comfort, and enjoy playing with my friends."
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."