Luriel Smith-HarrisonUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Luriel's Story

Luriel joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Nine years ago, Luriel joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Luriel's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Nataly, a 14-year-old student from Bolivia, to fund heart surgery.

Impact

Luriel has funded healthcare for 123 patients in 17 countries.

Patients funded by Luriel

Hein is a four-year-old boy living in Burma with his parents and sister. His mother is a homemaker while his father works as a second-hand motorbike broker to provide for their family. The family faces financial struggles and Hein's grandparents often step in to offer financial assistance during times of need. Hein's sister is a student, while he stays at home with his mother. When Hein was two years old, his mother noticed that he had a small lump on his right eyelid. He rubbed his eyes frequently, experienced discomfort and sometimes woke up with his eye swollen. His mother took him to a nearby hospital in 2022 and he was given some eye drops and an antibiotic. The doctor further suggested that Hein’s mother take him to an ophthalmology hospital, which specializes in eye care, for further investigation. However, due to security concerns stemming from the civil war and the high costs associated with the journey, Hein's mother was unable to make the trip. As time passed, Hein's condition deteriorated, with increased swelling and itchiness. Presently, his right eye is painful, showing signs of redness and swelling. Hein's mother brought him to our medical partner's care center for treatment. On March 25th, Hein is scheduled for a cyst excision procedure that will provide him relief and improve his vision and eye movement. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure. Hein’s mother said, "I have been trying my best to seek treatment for him, and even though I cannot afford it, I hoped to find a way for him to get treated. I want him to grow up like other children and enjoy his life. As a mother, I always want the best for him, and I want to support his future ambitions. I am so happy to learn that my son's medical treatment will be supported by donors. I am happy and relieved, and I hope that Hein's condition will be cured."

$882raised
$618to go

Noah is a 3-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the second-to-last child in a family of 4 children. His family resides in a remote village known in Simanjiro, Tanzania. Noah’s mother is a homemaker and also assists her husband with agricultural activities, given that farming is their primary source of sustenance and income. Noah takes pleasure in helping others and enjoys solving puzzles alongside his friends. When Noah was merely eight months old, he was crawling around the house and ventured into the kitchen alone, just as his mother was occupied with washing chores. Inadvertently, he encountered a pan which slipped from the stove, causing hot water to spill onto the left side of his body, resulting in severe burns on his left armpit and elbow. Noah’s parents swiftly transported him to the nearest medical facility for urgent treatment. After receiving initial first aid, he was subsequently discharged with instructions for proper wound care. Despite these efforts, his wounds took two months to fully heal. Even after healing, noticeable damage to the skin remained on his left axilla (armpit) and elbow, which subsequently restricted the range of motion in his left arm, leading to his discomfort while crawling. The gravity of the situation became apparent to Noah’s parents, who were initially unaware of the necessity for further medical intervention to enhance their son’s quality of life. Noah was diagnosed with burn scar contractures affecting his left axilla and elbow. The contractures tighten the skin around the arm such that he is unable to use his hand without discomfort. Recognizing the significance of their son’s well-being, Noah’s parents humbly seek assistance to ensure he receives the requisite treatment to enhance his quality of life. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Noah receive treatment. On August 14th, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery to enable him to use his hand with ease and improve his quality of life. AMH needs help raising $874 to fund the procedure. Noah’s father says, “We are excited for his treatment as this condition has made him less interactive with his peers, and we are hopeful for a positive outcome from the treatment."

$874raised
Fully funded

Juan, an 11-month-old boy from Bolivia, lives with his mother and five older siblings in a neighborhood in the mountains above La Paz. Juan was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and making it difficult for him to gain weight. To address Juan's condition, congenital heart surgery is the only viable treatment option. Skilled doctors at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría will perform the surgery by closing the hole in his heart using a patch. However, due to Juan's low weight, the surgeons have determined that it is unsafe to proceed with the procedure. As a result, he will be hospitalized for several weeks before the surgery to receive proper nutritional support, enabling him to gain weight and prepare for the operation. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is actively seeking your generous support to raise $1,500 to support Juan's cardiac care. Your contribution will play a vital role in enabling Juan to receive the life-changing congenital heart surgery he urgently requires. By partnering with Haiti Cardiac Alliance and making a financial contribution, you can make a significant difference in Juan's life and overall well-being. Juan's mother shared, "I am very hopeful that after this surgery, my son will gain appetite and start growing and gaining weight more normally!"

$1,500raised
Fully funded