Eric joined Watsi on December 3rd, 2014. Eight years ago, Eric joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Eric's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Dieunese, a mother of two from Haiti, to fund overseas transportation and preparations for her life-saving heart surgery.
Eric has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 11 countries.
Eric has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 11 countries.
Dieunese is a mother of two from Haiti. She lives in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince where she cares for her two young children along with her husband who is a taxi driver. Dieunese has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral stenosis which makes it extremely difficult for her heart to pump blood through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Dieunese requires surgery, but it is not available in her country. To access care, she will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 17th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her heart valve; if they are unable to, they will remove it and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for this surgery. Dieunese's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dieunese overseas. Dieunese says, "I am hopeful that having this surgery will allow me to be alive and healthy for my children!"
Channa is a 29-year-old husband and father from Cambodia. He and his wife have an eight-year-old daughter in first grade. His wife manages a small grocery store in front of their home, where she sells snacks and drinks. In his free time, Channa enjoys reading the news, watching television, listening to music, and taking care of his daughter. When he was 12 years old, Channa's left leg was burned. Since then, he has experienced problems with the skin behind his kneecap. He has difficulty walking because he has a chronically swollen, open wound that often leaks from his skin contractures. On a recommendation from a local taxi driver, Channa and his family traveled three hours seeking treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Doctors at CSC diagnosed Channa with a chronic ulcerating wound behind his left knee, and a wound debridement and free flap procedure was recommended. This is a reconstructive surgery technique that involves the transfer of skin from one area of the body to another, while maintaining blood supply. After surgery, Channa's wound should heal, and he will no longer experience pain or difficulty walking. Now, Channa needs help raising $991 to fund his procedure and care. Channa shared, "I hope after the operation, I can go back to work to support my family, and I can walk again without pain."
Hla is a 43-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, daughter and son in a village in Thailand. They fled from across the border in Burma seven months ago because of fighting in their area. She used to be an agriculture day labourer but stopped working a month ago since her condition is worsened. Her husband is also an agriculture day labourer and her son is a student. Two years ago, Hla felt a small mass in her breast. The mass was not painful so she need not seek treatment. A few months ago, the mass started to increase in size and became painful. Currently, Hla still feels pain and feels stressed about her condition and also worries if her condition can be treatable or not. Fortunately, Hla sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 11th. She needs $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hla said, "I am very happy that I will be able to receive surgery soon. I hope that I will be able to work again after my surgery."
Nedjee is a 17-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three siblings in a neighborhood outside of the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Nedjee has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that Nedjee needs for her birth condition is not available within her country. Fortunately, Nedjee will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 25th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Nedjee's family is requesting assistance to cover the costs of Nedjee's surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing the funds needed to cover the cost of surgery. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover the surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Nedjee and her family overseas. Nedjee's mother shared, "Our family is all praying that this surgery will go well and that our daughter's heart will be stronger afterward."
Shwe is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her family in Burma and enjoys listening to Burmese pop music! Shwe previously worked in a factory, but she had to stop working last December when her health began to deteriorate. Her brother and stepfather both work as agricultural day laborers, and her sister-in-law and mother are both homemakers. The rest of her siblings are all waiting for schools to reopen so they can return to their studies. The schools were closed in February of 2021 following the Mayanmar military coup. About a year and a half ago, Shwe began to experience pain in her chest, as well as fatigue. She initially did not think that her symptoms were serious, but this changed after she fainted at work a few months later. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with mitral valve, aortic valve, and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which are all cardiac conditions that occur when the specified valve does not close properly. As a result, she experiences difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping. She also feels very tired when walking longer distances. Shwe now needs cardiac surgery to help alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. However, once the doctor told her and her family the cost of surgery, they left the hospital because they could not pay for Shwe's needed procedure. Fortunately, they happened to meet a taxi driver who kindly told them about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is now helping Shwe undergo cardiac surgery on August 12th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Shwe and her family need your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Shwe says, “When I recover fully, I will go back to work and work hard. I will save my money and support my family.”
Hiram, an eleven year old boy, lives in Mombasa county in Kenya. He is the lastborn in a family of three and has two sisters. He is raised by a single mother who sells fish for their daily living. Hiram is in grade five and was born with club feet, which he lived with until this year. He had never been to any hospital for help until they heard about CURE hospital's mobile clinic in Mombasa. Fortunately, Hiram was able to undergo treatment for his right foot last September and the surgery was successful. Hiram is so happy to have undergone the first surgery on his right foot and is optimistic that even his left foot will be corrected well now too. Hiram is scheduled to undergo surgery for his left foot at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital on July 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Hiram's clubfoot repair. The treatment will be of great impact to him because he will finally be able to put on both shoes, walk confidently, play football (which he is very excited for) and continue with his studies uninterrupted. “I am grateful to the donors for providing support to pay for my right foot which has healed well. I am looking forward to walking, playing with my friends, and continuing with school,” Hiram told us.
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."
Happiness is a 15-year-old girl who lives with her widowed mother - a small scale farmer - and six siblings. She is in class six at school. Happiness has many academic strengths, and she is always among the top ten students in her class, where her best subjects are Swahili, mathematics, social studies and history. She hopes to learn English someday, and she would like to be a teacher when she completes her studies. Her father used to sell cattle for a living, but he passed away when she was six years old. Happiness was diagnosed with right genu varus, which causes her right leg to bow outward at the knee. This condition is often caused by contaminated drinking water. Initially, both of her legs were affected, but before her father died, he was able to find treatment for Happiness' left leg. Her right leg is now severely impacted, making walking painful. And, because she is self-conscious of her leg, Happiness always wears long dresses to keep it covered. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Happiness. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment should restore Happiness's mobility, alleviate her discomfort, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Happiness says “Walking is hard and painful for me. I would like to have normal legs so that I can walk well."
Thaung is a 31-year-old man who is married with one daughter. His wife and him work together as agricultural day laborers. Thaung's monthly income is just enough to meet their daily needs. He shared that he had to borrow money for food from his neighbor when he was out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup in Burma, and he is working to pay them back. In October 2021, Thaung noticed a small ulcer and went to see a retired army doctor who lives in his village. He received some medication, and his ulcer healed. However, a few months later, the growth returned. Thuang and his family were able to fundraise through their church to visit a local hospital. Upon review, he was diagnosed with cancer and the doctor informed him that he would need to undergo surgery. Currently, Thaung is in pain and has difficulty working and sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Thaung receive treatment. On April 11th, he is scheduled to undergo surgery. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Thaung shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will work hard to pay back my debt to the neighbors we borrowed money from. I want to live with my family for a long time, and I want to support my family as much as I can.”
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Angel is 10-month-old baby girl. She lives in a small rental house in Nairobi, Kenya with her parents and older sibling. Angel’s parents do not currently have stable jobs. Her mother used to sell fruits, however had to stop to take care of Angel. Her father, now the sole wage earner of the house, is a tailor but does not earn much. The earnings they receive are just enough to take care of the family. As a result, they can not raise the money that is needed to cater for Angel’s hospital bill. Angel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Over the December holidays, Angel and her family visited her grandparents, however during this time she became persistently unwell, which caused her parents' concern to grow. They took her to a facility nearby and along the way her grandmother noticed that her head looked bigger than normal, and her eyes were not as they used to be. Upon arrival, the doctor immediately referred them to another specialist. facility in Nairobi. She was then examined and booked for surgery in April of this year. After returning home, the parents continued to watch as Angel grew weaker day by day. A family friend heard about their child’s condition and referred them to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. On arrival, she received another examination and was promptly scheduled for a shunt insertion surgery. If not treated, Angel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Angel's surgery to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th, during which surgeons will drain the excess fluid from her brain. This will relieve the pressure inside her head, and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Angel will have the chance to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Angel’s father says, “This is a condition that we have never heard of before and didn’t know how to go about getting her care. It is very difficult for a parent to see their child in a situation when they do not have finances to help them.”
Samrach is a 27-year-old clothing factory worker. He's is married with two small children. His daughter is six years old and just starting the first grade, and his son is nine months old. His wife is also a factory worker in their province. He likes to play with his children and listen to music. Ten months ago, on his way home from the factory, Samrach was in a motorcycle crash. He suffered fractures of the femur, clavicle, forearm, and multiple other injuries. He lost his left leg below the knee due to the trauma injury, and spent three months in a provincial hospital. A local taxi driver told him about the specialty care at our medical partner Children's Surgical Center (CSC). Doctors have diagnosed him 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 cannot lift his left shoulder, bend his elbow, or use his hand. He feels unwell and shared that he often feels very depressed that he cannot work or support his family. Samrach traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 6th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to regain the use of his arm so he can find work in the factory again. Our medical partner is requesting $696 to fund this life-changing procedure. Samrach said: "I hope this surgery will work for me, and I can start working again to have money to feed my children and make sure they go to school."