Galen ThompsonUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Galen's Story

Galen joined Watsi on February 19th, 2015. Nine years ago, Galen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Galen's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Kay Thaw, a 29-year-old man from Burma, to fund eye surgery.

Impact

Galen has funded healthcare for 112 patients in 14 countries.

Patients funded by Galen

Kay Thaw is a 29-year-old day laborer from Burma. He lives with his parents, five younger brothers, two younger sisters, a brother-in-law, and a nephew in the Internally Displaced People (IDP) Camp, in Karen State, Burma. Kay Thaw and his family fled to the IDP camp a year ago due to the conflict happening around their village at that time. The combined income of Kay Thaw's family is not enough to cover their daily needs. They borrow money from neighbors and also receive food donations in the IDP camp. During his free time, Kay Thaw likes to play football and cane ball. He also enjoys reading religious books. Currently, Kay Thaw has blurred vision in both of his eyes. Often, his eyes become red, inflamed, itchy, and watery. He cannot see other people’s faces and has difficulty seeing at night. Kay Thaw was diagnosed with juvenile cataract in both eyes. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Kay Thaw. On May 17th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Kay Thaw's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Kay Thaw said, “I hope my vision goes back to normal so that I can see and work well. I am totally blind at night. I cannot see other people's faces even when they are beside me. I cannot read the prayers when I go to church. I am worried about my eyes. I cannot afford to pay for my treatment. Without your help, I do not know what I can do."

$783raised
$717to go

Samuel is a smart, playful boy aged one year and eight months old. He loves martial arts and can recite the entire alphabet. He loves to pray with his mother. Before he was born, a prophet told his mother that she would give birth to a son named Samuel. She was very happy to have a son as her older children are all girls. Samuel's mother cleans the street for a living. She carries her son on her back and cleans the street early in the morning. Sometime back, Samuel contracted pneumonia due to the cold mornings, and she stopped working for a while. She has recently resumed to help support her family. Her husband works as a day laborer, but he does not have consistent work. The family lives in a rented single-room mud house. Their income is minimal, and they struggle to meet their daily expenses. They receive government donated food on public holidays. An international organization supports one of her school-going daughters, paying for her education and donating some food every month. Samuel was born with a congenital condition called epispadias, where the urethra does not develop into a full tube, and the urine exits the body from an unusual site. As a result of this condition, Samuel experiences constant urinary leakage and is unable to urinate while standing like other boys. Samuel is scheduled for epispadias repair but his family is not able to meet the surgery costs. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Samuel receive treatment. On March 12th, surgeons at their care center BKMCM will perform an epispadias repair surgery so that Samuel can live more comfortably and confidently. Now, Samuel's family needs help to fund this $1,040 procedure. Samuel's mother says, "I love him so much that I pray every day that he will be fine after the surgery. I am worried that I might lose him during the surgery, but I want him to heal and become like other boys, so I consented to him having the surgery. I wish for him to become continent, and attend school someday."

$314raised
$726to go

John is a quiet 11-year-old boy from Kenya. John's story is a journey of compassion and the unwavering support of a dedicated well-wisher. His origin is drawn back in Tanzania, where he faced the disturbing reality of being disowned by his real parents due to his disability on his feet. John was left helpless in the unfamiliar surroundings of central Kenya. For the past seven years his guardian has stood by his side, offering not just a shelter but also a sense of belonging. John’s chapter started to change when a team of AIC Cure International doctors visited his neighborhood for a mobile clinic. He was reviewed and scheduled for surgery and underwent a successful surgery on his left foot and his left foot has healed well. John still has clubfoot of right foot. He is currently in the hospital to undergo right foot treatment, which involves serial casting to adjust the position of his foot to achieve the desired correction. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Surgeons from our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital are scheduled to now perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund John's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Once he heals, John aspires to go back to school and study and one day achieve his dream of becoming a doctor in future. John told us: “I am looking forward to seeing my foot corrected, walking properly, playing football with my friends and continuing with my studies like other children, and achieving my dream of becoming a doctor in future to also impact lives of children born like me."

$566raised
$720to go

Jecinta is a delightful 4-year-old girl from Kenya. She is playful and jovial. Born with a birth condition her journey began at Kiambu Hospital, where dedicated healthcare professionals initiated a treatment plan to address the condition. She was prescribed braces as part of her comprehensive care to correct her clubfeet. With the support of her mother, she embarked on a hopeful journey towards improved mobility and a future filled with possibilities. The braces played a role in maintaining the corrections achieved through casting and other interventions. However, along the way, and because of the hardships, Jecinta, like many children, faced challenges in using the braces. Unfortunately, she lost to follow-up at Kiambu Hospital, and the regular monitoring and follow-up appointments ended. Over more than a year with no follow-up, Jecintas deformity recurred. Currently she tiptoes as she walks and feels pain. Fortunately, Jecinta and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Jecinta's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she be able to walk well, with no pain and discomfort. Her self-esteem will also improve, and she will continue with her education without any hardship. “I will appreciate if consider my daughter to undergo surgery so that she can stand on her feet and walk confidently like other children,” Glory, Jecinta’s mother, told us.

$1,286raised
Fully funded

Mu Yeh, a 23-year-old woman, resides in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand, along with her parents, brother, sister-in-law, and sister. Her parents run a snack-selling business from their home, while her brother and sister-in-law are currently unemployed. Mu Yeh's sister attends school within the camp, and she herself is a homemaker. In her leisure time, Mu Yeh finds joy in weaving traditional Karen ethnic clothes and visiting her relatives in the refugee camp. Each month, they receive 1,303 baht (approximately 43 USD) on a cash card from an organization called The Border Consortium. Additionally, they raise pigs which they sell when in need of extra cash. Despite their modest monthly income, it barely covers their daily expenses. Fortunately, they receive essential healthcare from Malteser International (MI) Thailand, which is provided free of charge in the refugee camp. In October 2022, Mu Yeh noticed a mass in her left breast. Initially, she dismissed it as normal, but by May 2023, the mass had grown and began causing her pain. Currently, Mu Yeh experiences considerable pain and discomfort in her left breast due to the large mass. The pain radiates towards the left side of her torso, making it difficult for her to carry anything heavy with her left hand. Seeking medical attention, she visited the hospital in the refugee camp, where the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. On July 4th, with the assistance of MI staff, Mu Yeh underwent an ultrasound of both breasts. The results revealed cysts in her right breast and confirmed the presence of a mass in her left breast. Subsequently, she underwent a biopsy. During her follow-up appointment on July 18th, the doctor diagnosed her with fibroadenoma in her left breast and fibrocystic changes in her right breast. The doctor recommended removing the benign mass from her left breast under general anesthesia. Her surgery was scheduled for August 2nd. However, unable to afford the procedure, MI staff referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance to access treatment. BCMF is now requesting $1500 to help fund the procedure Mu Yeh needs. Mu Yeh said, “In the future, I would like to become a medic. When there is training in the refugee camp, I will register because I would like to study medicine.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded