Tamara joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Tamara joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tamara's most recent donation supported Peterson, a young man with a heart defect from Haiti, to fund prep and travel costs for heart surgery to fix a hole in his heart.
Tamara has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 14 countries.
Tamara has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 14 countries.
Peterson is a 24-year-old man from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger sister in a city on the southern coast of the island. When he feels well enough, he helps his family with their market stand. Peterson has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Peterson urgently needs surgery, but this is not available within Haiti. So Peterson will fly to United States to receive treatment. On March 2nd, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $15000 to pay for surgery. Peterson's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Peterson overseas. "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart," said Peterson.
Farhio is a 47-year-old mother and widow from Somalia. She lost her husband two years ago. She is now the sole breadwinner to her family of four children, aged between 8 and 16. Farhio works as a street vendor selling tea by the roadside. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago and underwent chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation. She thought that the cancer had subsided, but, unfortunately, it returned. She went to a hospital in her home country of Somalia where doctors recommended she undergo surgery. She preferred to come to Kijabe Hospital after relatives who live in Nairobi referred her there. Farhio has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Farhio. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 3rd. After treatment, Farhio will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Farhio says, “I thought this disease had gone. Sadly, it came back. I need to treat it before it spreads.”
Adrian is an 8-year-old boy from Bolivia. He lives in a neighborhood in the mountains above La Paz with his parents and three siblings; he is in the fourth grade in school. Adrian was born with a cardiac condition called pulmonary valvar and subvalvar stenosis, in which the area in and around one of his valves is too small to allow blood to flow through it properly. As a result, blood backs up into his heart, leaving him weak and short of breath. During surgery, doctors will use a balloon to stretch the valve open so that blood can pass through it more freely. His family is raising funds to support his treatment with our medical partner HCA. Adrian's mother says: "Our family is very excited to know that our son can finally have a normal heart!"
Meet David, a 29-year-old boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) rider from Kenya. He and his wife have two children. David's income supports their family, but he was recently injured in a hit-and-run accident that compromised his mobility. David was driving his boda-boda when he was hit by another car. An x-ray revealed that he fractured his right leg and dislocated his right ankle. David has a cast on his leg and uses crutches to walk. He needs to undergo surgery to heal. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On December 15th, David will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Once he fully recovers from his treatment, David will be able to walk again and take care of his family. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. David says, "I rely on my legs to ride my motorbike. This is how I feed my family. With this fracture, I am unable to work and provide for them. Therefore, I appeal for your support."
Pan is a 60-year-old husband and father from Cambodia. His wife is a farmer who grows rainy day rice. The couple has a son, who is a construction worker, and a daughter in the seventh grade. In his free time, he enjoys listening to the news on the radio or watching television. For several years, Pan has experienced hip pain from osteonecrosis, where blood flow to a bone is interrupted. He has had surgery on both hips in the past, but still experiences chronic pain. He is unable to help his wife on the farm and stays inside because he cannot walk without assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), are helping Pan receive treatment. He traveled two and a half hours to CSC's care center, where, on November 14th, surgeons plan to perform a right hip arthroplasty. During the procedure, the damaged bone and cartilage will be removed and replaced with prosthetic components. Now, Pan and his family need help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Pan shared, "I hope my right hip will have no pain after surgery, and I can walk and work for my family again."
Thet is a 35 year old husband and father, who lives with his wife, son and in-laws in Mon State in Burma. Both Thet and his wife work in his uncle's grocery store, while his in laws are farmers. When he isn't working, Thet enjoys spending time with his son and reading. In November 2018, Thet started to experience tiredness when working, and frequent headaches. He also had a rapid heartbeat, and he couldn't sleep well. He went to a hospital in Mawlamyine, where he was referred to a different hospital in Yangon for further treatment. At the hospital in Yangon, Thet was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and stenosis, which would require surgery to correct. Thet was sent home with medications to manage his condition. In March 2022, Thet went back to the hospital in Yangon, because of continuing fatigue, headaches, coughing and fever. The doctor told him they would contact him to schedule his surgery in May, but Thet never heard back from the hospital. When Thet told his neighbor about this, his neighbor gave him the phone number of a heart patient who had been helped by our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Thet followed up, and thanks to the assistance of Burma Children Medical Fund, he is finally scheduled for surgery to replace the valve in his heart on October 13th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Thet needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of this surgery. "I have sold all my jewelry to pay for the cost of traveling to the hospital. I feel less stressed since I met the BCMF staff,” said Thet.
Yves is a young man from Haiti. He lives with his parents and sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; they have been caring for him since he fell ill about five years ago. Prior to his illness, he worked as a clerk for a local business. Yves has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic mitral insufficiency. One of the four valves of his heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever that he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The care Yves is not available anywhere in Haiti, so Yves will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 12th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Yves's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It will also pay for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Yves's family overseas, and the cost of obtaining Yves' passport. Says Yves: "I am hopeful that I can get back to a healthy and independent life once my heart problem is fixed!"
Leang is a seven-year-old 2nd grade student. She has one 12-year-old brother. Leang's father is a truck driver and her mother sells soft drinks by their home. At school Leang is good at math and wants to be a math teacher in the future. Four years ago, Leang was in a traffic accident and injured her left hand. She received a month of treatment including skin grafts and wound dressings after the accident at a local hospital. The skin has healed but a contracture formed causing a tightening around her left hand and between fingers. Now it is difficult for her to grasp objects and carry anything with her left hand. When Leang's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 7th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to to use her hand again. Now, she needs help to fund this $477 procedure. Leang's mother says, "I hope her hand heals and she can recover well."
Sai lives with his parents and sister in a village in Karen State in the border region of Burma where there is currently a lot of violence and instability. His sister is a teacher, while both he and his parents run a shop from their home, selling various items such as snacks, drinks, dry goods, and cement. In his free time, he loves to play cane ball with his friends. In early November 2021, Sai received treatment for COVID-19. While getting treatment, doctors also discovered that he was born with a hole in his heart, and he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. A doctor in Yangon confirmed his diagnosis and told him that he needs surgery. He recommended he go to Thailand as the only other option was to receive surgery at a military hospital in Burma, which have been impacted in the recent humanitarian crisis. Sai's aunt suggested he seek treatment at a clinic in Thailand and he was referred to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial support to make his care possible. Now, Sai is raising $1,500 for his Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure, which is scheduled for July 12th. Sai said, “I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can help my parents like before. Now, my father has to do all the hard and heavy work, which is not good for him as he is getting old.”
Thi is a 37-year-old woman who lives and works at a garment factory in Tak Province near the Thai border with Burma. Through her work, she receives free meals and board in addition to 4,000 baht (approx. 133 USD) per month. In her free time, she likes to watch political news and read books. She is also learning Thai to help her communicate with others in Thailand. Since April 17, Thi has been experiencing severe pain due to a mass in her ovary. She feels very unwell and often has a headache. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumor and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thi's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thi is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on June 14th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Thi will be no longer in pain and will be able to work without feeling pain. Thi said, "I want to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can return to my work after I am fully recovered."
Angel is a one-year-old girl from Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Her dad works as a taxi driver to support the family. Angel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Angel's head has been increasing in circumference. Without treatment, Angel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery that will treat her hydrocephalus at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 26th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Angel's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Angel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Angel's parents are looking forward to her being able to grow up and play like other children.
Joan is a 36-year-old woman and a mother of three teenage children. Joan used to help tend a farm, but the work availability was inconsistent and could not support her family's needs. Her fracture makes it impossible for her to work at this time, and she is currently staying with her mother. Joan's husband works on a construction site. In January, Joan slipped while doing chores outside her home and broke her hand. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she was given a cast for six weeks, followed by an arm sling. Since her pain never subsided, she visited Kijabe Hospital for further review. The doctors noticed a deformity at the fracture site and conducted an X-ray, which revealed a fracture in her upper arm. They determined that Joan will need to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Joan cannot use her left arm, and it's affecting her family's livelihood. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Joan receive treatment. On April 13th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to use her arm again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Joan shared, "I have been in prolonged pain for a lengthy period of time. My hand is broken, and I can no longer use my hand to work. This surgery will help me get back to my work and raise my family."