bruce joined Watsi on January 14th, 2015. Eight years ago, bruce joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. bruce's most recent donation traveled 1,000 miles to support Mervi, a two-year-old boy from Venezuela, to heal his clubfoot.
bruce has funded healthcare for 97 patients in 13 countries.
bruce has funded healthcare for 97 patients in 13 countries.
Mervi is an adventurous toddler from Venezuela who has recently moved with his parents to Colombia to seek better opportunities. Due to lack of work authorization, his mother stays home with her family while his father has informal employment in construction. Mervi has three siblings, but his little sister is his favorite. She is almost one year old and he loves playing with her and sharing their toys. Mervi has clubfoot in his right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Mervi's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on Mervi on April 30th. Clínica Noel is requesting $1,422 to fund this procedure. After treatment, Mervi will be able to wear shoes and walk normally without pain. His father said: "I would really appreciate if you could help me with this operation for my kid, I'm working to find someone else that can help me pay at least a part of the treatment but I would really appreciate you helping me pay the surgery."
Elysee is a 26-year-old farmer. He resides with his parents and several other relatives on a small farm in the mountains of central Haiti. Elysee lives with a double outlet right ventricle. This means that Elysee's aorta and pulmonary artery do not connect to the usual places in the heart. This condition, which is present from birth, can lead to numerous heart problems, making it rare for someone with this condition to live to adulthood. While Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital are contributing $10,000 to fund corrective cardiac surgery for Elysee on February 28th, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund the costs of Elysee's pre-surgical prep; lab tests; medicines and follow up appointments. The money is also needed to support the travel costs for the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Elysee and his family on their trip to the United States. Elysee said: "I am excited to finally be healthy for the first time in my life!"
Mary is an eight-year-old girl. She is a talkative and playful young girl. She is the last born in a family of seven children and the family is not well off financially. Both of her parents do casual jobs like ploughing people's farms for a living and such jobs are not easy to find where they live. Sometimes the church members chip in to help them where they can. When Mary was one year old, she was involved in an accident where she sustained burns to her head, some parts of her face and neck. She was rushed to the hospital and was admitted for better care. While in the hospital, a surgery was done on her head where she had sustained more burns. She was then discharged and booked for wound dressing clinics. The wounds were healing well as per the doctors’ plan. Her parents managed to take her for the clinics for a few months but later stopped because of finances. While at home, the wound got infected but due to lack of funds, she was not taken to hospital at that time. Time went by and the infection spread to most parts of the head. When she was three years old, the family met up with a local pastor who started helping them. He started financing Mary’s hospital visits with the help of some church members where he ministered. The wound was dressed again but the recovery process was very slow. In mid this year, the pastor brought them to Kijabe Hospital, she was examined, and the wound was dressed properly. Since then, the wound has been healing as expected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. On December 9th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help the remaining wound to heal properly. Now, Mary's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Mary’s father says, "Since the accident, we have been struggling a lot to make her get the required treatment but have failed to some extent. Coming to Kijabe, our hopes have been boosted greatly with the improvement she has experienced, and we hope that she will go through with the surgery and be well again.”
Emmanuel is a 17-year-old student from Haiti who hopes to become a doctor. He lives with his aunt and uncle in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince so that he can more easily attend school, as his parents live in the countryside. Emmanuel has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means one of his heart valves was severely damaged from an infection he experienced in early childhood. In 2017, Emmanuel underwent heart surgery to repair his existing valve. This surgery stabilized his heart for several years, but the valve remains unable to pump blood adequately throughout his body. Emmanuel needs to undergo a second surgery to replace the valve with a prosthetic heart valve. Emmanuel will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment, as this surgery is unavailable in Haiti. On November 10th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged heart valve and implant a replacement valve. An organization called Mitral Foundation is contributing $8,000 to pay for help pay for surgery. Emmanuel's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Emmanuel's family overseas. Emmanuel shared, "I am looking forward to growing stronger and having much more energy after my surgery!"
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."
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.”
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.”
Meet Maripet, a 9 year-old-girl, living with her parents and two siblings. Her father is a farmer, while her mother stays home to look after the children. In August of last year, Maripet began experiencing persistent, severe headaches. Her parents brought her to a local hospital, where she was prescribed medication, and sent home. When her headaches didn't improve, her parents brought her to a second hospital, where she was given additional medication and sent home, once again. Her family tried traditional medicine, but nothing worked. When Maripet's headaches continued, her parents brought her back to the first hospital they had visited, and this time, brain scans were performed. Maripet's family was immediately referred to our BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, but without funds for her care they had to delay for visit for one month. During that time, Maripet lost her ability to walk and to move her head, and she also lost her eyesight for a few days. She is now in a wheelchair. When she arrived to BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, Maripet was examined and booked for immediate surgery to remove a brain tumor. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help make sure she can finally access the treatment she needs. They are seeking $1,500 to fund Maripet's surgery and medical care. Maripet’s mother says: “I’m very much worried about my daughter's condition. I just pray and hope that she will be fine.”
Malachi is a 5-year-old preschooler and the only son of a single mum. Their family hails from Nakuru County in Kenya. His mother is currently sick, and his family is being taken care of by his grandmother. Malachi's grandmother does small jobs, such as farming, washing, and weeding in their neighbor’s farms. She does this on a day-to-day basis in order to support the family. Malachi suffers from a condition known as lower limb deficiency. This hinders him from walking straight and squatting, which also impacts his self-esteem. Fortunately, Malachi was able to travel to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform surgery on May 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Malachi's treatment, which will help him to be able to walk, engage in school, and play. His family also hopes this will boost his self-esteem. “I want to become a doctor so that I help other sick people and my mum,” Malachi says.
La is a 36-year-old mother of three children. She is married and her husband works as a construction worker. To help support her family, she sells soft drinks and coffee from her home. The couple has one son and two daughters, who are all in public school. In her free time, La enjoys walking her children to and from school, cooking, and, after a long day, watching television. Five years ago, La injured her left knee and she has experienced intermittent pain since the injury. Unfortunately, in December 2021, she was involved in a motorbike accident where she re-injured the same knee. After an x-ray, she was diagnosed with an aneurysmal bone cyst, or a benign, blood-filled lesion in the bone that often expands or grows. She experiences severe pain and now has difficulty walking. To treat her condition, surgeons plan to remove the cyst from her left knee and help to heal the joint. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping La receive treatment. On April 9th, surgeons will perform a procedure to relieve La of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Now, she needs help raising $273 to fund her procedure and care. La shared, "I am thankful that I will be able to return to work and care for my children after this surgery."
Baraka is a beautiful, charming 3-month-old baby boy and the youngest in a family of three children. Baraka’s father works for a construction company. His mother was selling vegetables by the roadside until the government forced her to close her stall. Baraka has clubfoot on both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Baraka's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons performed clubfoot repair surgery on March 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Baraka's surgery. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play just like other kids as he gets older. Baraka’s mother says, “I want my baby to grow up a normal child without a disability. Please help us so that he can have his feet corrected.”