Thibault joined Watsi on December 8th, 2015. Five months ago, Thibault became the 5443rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 267 more people have become monthly donors! Thibault's most recent donation supported Ian, a nine-year-old student from Kenya, to fund hearing aids.
Thibault has funded healthcare for 11 patients in 7 countries.
Ian is a class one pupil who is struggling with his hearing. He relies on lip-reading to communicate and though shy, he is learning sign language in school. When he was three years old, his mother noted his struggle with talking and hearing. She was advised to wait until he was five years old but unfortunately, at five, Ian could only say a few words. His mom delayed enrolling him in a special school due to financial struggle. Ian was referred to our facility whereupon review, he had hearing aids recommended. With the aids, his hearing will improve along with his social performance. Ian comes from a humble background. His mother used to sell charcoal to make ends meet but with a poor business environment, she has resorted to laundry labor where she makes about $2 daily. To get to our facility, she got a loan for bus fare. Ian’s father committed suicide in 2014, making life frustrating for his mother. Ian’s mother appeal for help. Ian’s mother says, “My prayer is to have Ian grow as a normal child. Please help him.”
Socheat is a 21-year-old blacksmith from Cambodia. He has three siblings, a sister and two brothers, and in his free time he enjoys playing soccer, singing karaoke, and listening to music. In November 2019, Socheat was in a severe motorcycle accident, injuring his left shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to move his left arm, and experiences a loss of sensation in his left shoulder. He is unable to work and experiences daily pain. Socheat traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 8th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and return to work again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. "I hope that my shoulder will be in full function again and I can return to work without any pain," he shared.
Soe is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He and his wife got separated about six years ago and he has been living alone since. Soe does not have a regular job, but sometimes he drives a shared-taxi to make a living. About two weeks ago, Soe's left eye started to get irritated and the itchiness did not go away for a few days so with the advice from neighbors and friends, he soaked some betel leaves in water with salt and used the liquid as eye drops. As soon as he dropped the liquid in, he sensed a burning sensation in his left eye. In hope to get cured, he used the homemade eye drops for two days. After two days, his eye became worse and the pain even radiated to his head. He could no longer open left eye due to the pain. Soe had no money to go to the hospital, but with the help from his neighbors and friends, Soe arrived at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) on December 3rd, 2019. The medics at MTC explained that his left eye has totally been damaged and that the only option now is to remove his eye. Soe feels sad and frustrated most of the time now and he keeps blaming himself for not being careful. He feels that his neglect now has caused him an eye.
Jackson is a young student from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of five children. His father says he is a hard-working working boy at home and school. Jackson helps look after his siblings when his parents are not around and he also goes out with his father’s cattle to seek green pasture during the weekends when he is not at school. His parents are small scale farmers and livestock keepers with a limited income. For the past week, Jackson has had an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him pain and if not treated may result in intestinal tissue damage Fortunately, on October 16th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $539 to fund Jackson's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Jackson says, “The swelling is causing me so much pain at night and walking has been difficult. I look forward to feeling better.”
Guerline is 12 years old, and lives in central Haiti with her mother, father, and three brothers. She likes to go to school but she has not been able to attend for three years due to her heart condition. She likes going to church and helping her mother at home. Guerline has a condition called rheumatic mitral valve regurgitation, in which one of the valves of her heart does not adequately pump blood because it has been damaged by a fever. As a result, blood backs up into her heart, leading to heart failure. She requires open-heart surgery to implant an artificial valve in her heart. $1,500 will help fund this surgery, as well as all travel and transportation costs. Health City Cayman Islands is also contributing $10,000 toward Guerline's care. “I am hoping that the problem with my heart can be fixed so I can go back to school,” Guerline shares.
Sema is a 19-year-old farmer who lives in Cambodia with his two brothers. When he is not working, he enjoys helping his mom around the home. In March, Sema was in a moto accident that caused a left forearm closed fracture. After the accident he was treated by a Khmer healer but his fracture did not improve. He is currently in pain and can't move his left arm. Sema and his mom traveled for three hours to reach our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for treatment. Surgeons at CSC will perform an open reduction internal fixation procedure to treat the radius and ulna fracture. In this case, surgery is needed to realign the bone fracture into its normal position. "I hope that after surgery, I can use my arm again normally and return to my work," shares Sema.
Sophat is a 31-year-old taxi driver who lives with his wife, daughter, and son in Cambodia. In his free time, he enjoys playing football, watching television, and listening to pop music. “Eight months ago, Sophat was hit by a car, and this caused a non-union fracture of his left tibia,” our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), tells us. The tibia is one of two bones in the lower leg. “It is very painful, and he cannot work. His cousin has had to take over his taxi car business.” Sophat was hospitalized for 20 days during the initial treatment of his broken tibia. The cost of his care was $4,000, leaving him no money to pay for the surgery—open reduction and internal fixation—that he now needs to reposition and set the broken bone. For $405, Sophat will undergo the needed surgery and also receive two weeks of hospital care, five days of post-operative care (including physiotherapy), and six follow-up appointments during the first year after surgery. “After surgery,” says CSC, “he will be able to walk without pain and return to working as a driver.” "I hope that I can continue to be a driver once I am healed," shares Sophat.
“I hope my child can grow better,” says Tomas' mother. Tomas, an 18-month-old boy from Guatemala, is acutely malnourished. “He has a cough and fever and frequent bouts of diarrhea. His mother says that they cannot afford to buy fruit, vegetables, or protein sources (like eggs) for their children. His immune system is weak and his height for age and weight for age are far below average. He is at risk for the long-term effects of malnutrition and permanent physical and mental stunting that will affect his ability to succeed academically and in the work force. Without intervention, his immune system will continue to weaken and he will experience the effects of stunted mental and physical development,” explains our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK). Indigenous Guatemalans are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in the world. They live in rural areas and suffer from high rates of food insecurity. The poorest indigenous Guatemalan villages have the highest rates of stunting in the world. $270 funds a multifaceted intervention for Tomas' malnutrition. “He will receive micronutrient and food supplementation as well as medications to treat his fever, cough, and gastrointestinal infection. This will help him to hold on to/absorb the calories he consumes. A physician will evaluate him and if his health falters during the program he will receive all necessary medical attention to help him recoup lost weight. We believe this treatment will help him to gain both height and weight, strengthen his immune system, and help him get back on track to develop to his full potential,” describes WK. Tomas likes to play with his little car and plastic boxes, and eat squash and zucchini. He is always smiling and likes to share toys with his sister. Let's help him get back on track, and fund this treatment!
Immediately after she was born, doctors noticed that Elaine, an eight-month-old girl from Kenya, was developing hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition that causes an enlarged head, sleepiness, and irritability. Although she was treated early, her ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt- a device that relieves pressure on the brain caused by fluid accumulation- began to press on her brain and now a revision to the shunt is needed. Although Elaine’s mother works as a schoolteacher, she has not been able to work as a result of her daughter’s condition, and therefore cannot pay for the shunt revision. “Our life was much better and we were relaxed and happy and I even got a babysitter. When Elaine began throwing up, she left without notifying me. I just pray and hope that Elaine will get treated,” says Elaine’s mother. For $600, we can fully fund treatment that will reduce the pressure in Elaine’s brain and prevent visual impairment.
After a traumatic accident involving firewood, Chan, a 20-year-old woman in Cambodia, developed a cataract in her right eye. According to our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, this causes Chan to be partially blind, experience a white lens, and have some pain. Chan works as a rice farmer and in her spare time she enjoys listening to hip hop music. Chan hopes that with the right treatment she will see everything clearly again, and that the appearance of her white lens will improve. Although Chan works as a farmer, she is unable to pay for the small incision cataract surgery (SICS) and the IOL (intra-ocular lens) implant that will restore her vision. For $150, Chan will receive the treatment that she needs continue supporting her family. “I hope that my daughter will see everything clear again so that she can work and not be shy about her appearance,” says Chan’s mother.
Meet Pandav, a seven-year-old boy from Nepal. Our medical partner, Possible, shares, “Pandav's father works as a veterinarian in his village and his mother works in a kindergarten where Pandav studies.” “Pandav was scaling a tree when he lost his balance and fell down, fracturing his right hand," his doctor says. "His hand looks tender and has swollen considerably.” In the area of Nepal where Possible works, getting proper care is difficult for patients with fractures. Until the patient reaches a hospital, it is often hard to find medical personnel or first aid equipment to immediately address the injury. For $224, Pandav will receive surgery to treat his fracture. Pandav's bones will be surgically re-aligned into their correct position. After the operation, a plaster cast will be set--allowing the fracture to heal properly. After about three weeks of recovery, Pandav's hand will be back to normal. Thanks to this surgery, Pandav can return to school and continue his education.