Thomas joined Watsi on November 13th, 2014. Seven years ago, Thomas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Thomas' most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Eng, a rice farmer from Cambodia, to fund eye surgery.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 11 countries.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 11 countries.
Eng is a 52-year-old farmer from Cambodia. She is married with three sons and five grandchildren. She likes to chat with her neighbors and listen to the news on the radio. About 20 years ago, Eng developed a pterygium (a fleshy growth) in each eye, causing her vision to become cloudy and blurred. It is difficult for her to do her work on the farm or go anywhere on her own. She is worried about going blind someday. Eng traveled three hours with her younger sister to reach our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). CSC is requesting $148 to cover the cost of her operation, scheduled for March 22. Eye surgeons will remove the pterygium from each eye, allowing Eng to see clearly again.
Zebra is a 76-year-old Malawian man. He lives with his wife, and they have eight children and eleven grandchildren. Zebra's children tend to the family farm, and he spends most of his days fetching firewood. He especially loves spending time with his grandchildren and telling them stories. Three weeks ago, Zebra started having severe swelling in his groin, and he was diagnosed with a hydrocele, which can be easily repaired with surgery. Zebra went to our medical partner's care center, Nkhoma Hospital, where he learned that he will need surgery on May 4. Our medical partner is requesting $302 in funding. Zebra is excited to have his surgery, and his family is very happy that he will soon be back with them and in better health. "I have hope for a great operation. Thank you, Watsi," says Zebra.
Maung Chit is 43 years old and the father of a large family. He lives with his family in Burma. He works very hard as a day laborer, employed by several large farms. In April 2016, Maung Chit experienced an accident while unloading timber from a wagon. A portion of the load fell on top of him and broke his right leg above the ankle. In June 2016, he made the four-hour journey to a clinic, where an X-ray of his leg was taken. He was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), to examine the large bulge on his leg, which was preventing him from walking. In December 2016, Maung Chit underwent an internal and external fixation surgery. Maung Chit now needs another surgery to remove the rod placed during his first operation. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 for this procedure.
Kalkidan is a ten-year-old girl from Ethiopia. She has one older brother and wants to be a police officer when she grows up. Her favorite food is spaghetti. Kalkidan was born with birth defect called anorectal malformation that causes bowel dysfunction. Her mother, who single-handedly supports the family as a laborer, took Kalkidan to several different hospitals when she was a baby. She learned she would need to bring her daughter to a government hospital in Addis Abada to receive treatment, but she could not afford to do so. Ten years later, Kalkidan is still living with this condition, and her family still cannot afford the corrective operation. In January, she developed a bowel obstruction and had an emergency colostomy. “Because I couldn’t afford the transportation cost to come to Addis Ababa nine years ago, she is still suffering," Kalkidan's mother says. "I still can’t afford the medical bill and that frustrates me a lot.” Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of a corrective surgery. Kalkidan is scheduled to undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center, Bethany Kids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre, on February 21.
Jaiman is a three-year-old boy from the Philippines. He lives in a bamboo hut with his grandmother and loves playing with his twin brother. Jaiman has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. He has thin arms and legs and a bloated stomach. His grandmother wants him to be healthy and to be able to attend school in the future. Our medical partner, International Care Ministries, is requesting $184 to cover the cost of an in-home feeding program to treat Jaiman's malnutrition. This will pay for nutrient-enriched food packs, weekly visits from medical staff, and health education for family members. Jaiman is scheduled to begin treatment on February 16. After treatment, he will return to playing with his brother.
Htwe is a 35-year-old wife and mother from Burma who works as an agricultural day laborer. She lives with her three-year-old daughter, husband, and extended family. Two years ago, Htwe began to feel a lump developing in her lower abdomen. As the lump progressed in size, she began to experience severe back pain, eventually finding it unbearable to work. After two and a half years of intense pain, Htwe and her husband decided to seek treatment in January 2017. They were referred to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital (MSH), where an ultrasound and other tests revealed that Htwe has a myoma, a benign, non-cancerous tumor in her uterus. It was recommended that she undergo surgery to remove her entire uterus. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a total abdominal hysterectomy on February 2. Due to Htwe and her husband’s inconsistent sources of income, they are unable to pay for the surgery without support. This family-focused mother hopes to return to her job after her surgery and support her daughter’s future. “I want to work hard to save money for my daughter’s education. I want my daughter to become a teacher or a nurse when she grows up. I don’t want her to do hard work like me,” she shares.
20-year-old Tha Zin had been in poor health since 2014. She had difficulty breathing and sleeping, and she experienced nausea after every meal. She visited a hospital, where she was diagnosed with nasal polyps. Despite her use of traditional medicines, her symptoms did not improve. With time, Tha Zin's vision became blurry, and her eyes swelled. In January of 2015, Tha Zin underwent surgery for her nasal polyps. Unfortunately, one month later, her eyes began to swell again, and she lost her vision. She could only differentiate between light and darkness. For this reason, she was forced to drop out of school. In July of 2016, Tha Zin was seen by an eye doctor, who informed her that she had a neurological problem. She visited a neurosurgeon, who ordered an MRI and discovered a benign tumor in her brain. On December 14, her doctor removed the tumor from her brain. Tha Zin's family cannot afford this treatment. They have already sold all of their jewelry and land to pay for her previous treatments. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund Tha Zin's healthcare. "I am glad I get to know the details of my health problem," says Tha Zin. "I feel a lot better now."
60-year-old Gorrete lives with her four grandchildren in a rural Ugandan village. She is a subsistence farmer who grows ground nuts, maize, and beans. For twenty years, Gorrete has lived with a uterine prolapse, a painful gynecological condition. She also experiences uncomfortable backaches. Gorrete enjoys discussing issues with other women in her community. She was elected to be a legal advisor to council women experiencing domestic violence. Unfortunately, Gorrete's condition has made it difficult for her to attend recent meetings. On October 26, Gorrete underwent a hysterectomy. She needs help to fund this $321 procedure. After recovery, she plans to start a new business to support herself and her grandchildren. “I pray to God to always lead donors...to support treatment for ladies who are hopeless," shares Gorrete. "I will keep praying for them.”
Three-year-old Nilo lives on the coast of the Philippines with his parents and five siblings. They live in a small house made out of bamboo and nipa, a type of fern. His father is a fisherman. Nilo is a friendly child, and he loves to play with his toy car with other children. Nilo has been diagnosed with moderately acute malnutrition. He began $184 malnutrition treatment on October 18, 2016. Nilo is being treated by International Care Ministries (ICM), a Watsi medical partner. One out of five children under five in ICM communities is either severely or moderately acutely malnourished. Worldwide, poor nutrition is associated with nearly half of all deaths in young children. In remote communities and urban slums of the Philippines, the lack of clean water and unclean environments add risk to potentially fatal childhood diseases. ICM’s Home-Based Feeding program provides nutrient-enriched food packs to ensure malnourished children get additional food to regain normal weight and achieve optimum physical and mental development. After identifying a child as malnourished, staff and community volunteers make weekly visits to monitor this child’s progress. To help sustain the health of the child, ICM's professional staff educate the mother, guardian, or other family members about proper nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, and organic vegetable gardening.
Lydia is a 45-year-old widow and mother of three children. She has not been able to work since July 2013. Her eldest child is attending university where her fees are paid by her uncle. The middle child is in high school and works odd jobs on the weekends to meet some of the household needs. The youngest child is in primary school. Their house rent is paid by friends and church contributions. Lydia is suffering from a chronic ulcer. It started as a small swelling on her left leg, which later developed into a chronic wound. She has been to several hospitals for treatment where several drugs have been prescribed. However, with no improvement on her leg, she was referred to another hospital where she was diagnosed with a chronic leg ulcer. Surgery was recommended but was too costly for Lydia. For $940, Lydia will undergo the debridement and skin graft surgery she needs to treat her leg ulcer. Let's help her raise the funds she needs! Lydia says, “I want to be treated so that I am able to fend for my children. It is tiring to be dependent on people every time."
"We dream that our daughter can gain the necessary weight and be a good student," shares 8-month-old Andrea's mother. Andrea is the first child in her family. She lives in Guatemala with her parents, in a one-room house made of wood with a tin roof. Her father is a bricklayer and her mother works at home - taking care of Andrea, cooking, and cleaning. Andrea is almost three times below a healthy size for her age because she has not been receiving adequate protein, macronutrients, or calories in order to grow. Her mother thought that Andrea was growing normally, until one of our nutrition technicians visited her home and showed her how much smaller her daughter is than healthy children. Even though Andrea's parents work hard, they do not have the money to buy their daughter even one piece of fruit, vegetable, or egg per day - the minimum she needs to get well. Not only is Andrea small due to her malnutrition, her immune system has also been weakened due to her poor diet, making her more prone to getting fevers, diarrhea, and respiratory infections, causing her to lose even more weight, and slowing her mental and physical development. In the long term, she is likely to have a low IQ and be at greater risk for chronic disease if she does not receive treatment. Although Andrea has a serious illness, treatment for malnutrition is simple. Her parents will receive in-home motivational nutrition classes to teach them about what diet Andrea needs to be healthy. She will be a part of Wuqu' Kawoq's growth monitoring program, and will receive food supplements and micronutrients to improve her diet. This treatment, which costs $512, will give Andrea the chance to be a healthy baby, helping her grow, strengthen her immune system, and putting her on track to live a healthy and full life.
Maria, a 42-year-old woman from Guatemala, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She started to feel a mass in her breast a few months ago, right around when she started to lose a significant amount of weight. She has been feeling weak lately, making her both physically and emotionally fatigued. She says that he hardest part for her has been the pain in her chest and back, which has been making it hard for her to sleep at night. Maria and her husband live with their two kids, Edgar and Juan in a remote indigenous Mayan community in the mountains of Guatemala. Her husband works as a day laborer, harvesting crops only when they is work available--leaving her and her family without a consistent income, living on at most on only a couple dollars per day. Maria stays at home and takes care of her two elementary-school aged children, cooks, and cleans--but lately she has not been able to get out of bed, leaving her family worried and sad. Maria has been feeling depressed about the severity of her condition, but now that she has a treatment plan, she is thrilled and has regained her desire to live. She is excited to receive chemotherapy, interpretation, and transportation. She has been working with our staff to learn as much as she can about her condition, and is looking forward to improving and being able to continue to be there for her family.