Bruce joined Watsi on July 25th, 2014. Seven years ago, Bruce joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bruce's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Saroh, a strong 17-year-old girl from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 11 countries.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 11 countries.
Saroh is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two younger brothers and a younger sister in a village in Burma. Her sister and brothers attend school while Saroh has never gone to school due to her health. Saroh’s parents are farmers and they grow rice. Saroh was around five or six months old, when her mother noticed that when Saroh tried to roll over, her lips, toes and fingers would turn blue. Saroh's mother was unable to take Saroh to a clinic or hospital because they did not have enough money to do so. When Saroh was 5 years old she would often become tired when playing with her friends. Her lips, toes and fingers were also still blue. On a recommendation from a family friend, Saroh’s mother brought Saroh to a free clinic where she was referred to a hospital for further investigation. Following diagnostics exams, Saroh’s mother was told that Saroh was born with a heart condition. In order to get treatment Saroh would have to be transferred to a hospital that was very far. Without enough information or money to travel and pay for treatments, Saroh and her mother traveled back to their village. Saroh was then treated with traditional medicine which according to Saroh’s mother seemed to stabilize her condition. In the middle of 2019, Saroh started to experience back pain. She also felt more tired and had difficulty breathing. Her mother did not know what to do as they had no money to bring her to a hospital or a clinic. Saroh’s mother asked their friends if they knew of a way that Saroh could receive treatment. In May 2020, Saroh’s uncle told his friend about Saroh’s condition. That friend happened to be a former staff member of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and told Saroh’s uncle about how BCMF could help. BCMF agreed to help Saroh access the treatment she needs, and is requesting $1500 to fund her cardiac surgery. Now staying at the patient house in Chiang Mai, Saroh is learning how to read and write with the help of BCMF staff who teaches here during her free time while waiting for her treatment. Saroh said, “If I feel better, I want to help my mother with household chores. In the future, I think I want to go to Bible school and become a missionary. I am very thankful to all the donors who are willing to help pay for the cost of my treatment.”
Chhorn is a 45-year-old food seller. He's married and has two sons and one daughter. Chhorn and his wife rent a small stall at the market where they sell food. Chhorn loves being a dad and on the weekends he enjoys talking his children to the river and teaching them how to cook. Many years ago when he was only five, Chhorn had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Chhorn experiences ear discharge, hearing loss, and tinnitus. He is in pain and cannot communicate clearly with others. Chhorn traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 15th, he will finally undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Chhorn said, "I hope that my hearing will improve and the ear discharge will finally stop."
Joseph is seven-month-old baby and the youngest of 3 children in his family. His parents are small scale farmers of corn, vegetables, and rice so that the family can grow food and sell some of the harvest to earn money for other necessities. Joseph was born with spina bifida, a type of nerve defect that puts Joseph at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Joseph's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 23rd. This procedure will hopefully spare Joseph from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop into a healthy boy. Joseph’s mother shared her concern, "Ever since we were informed about the risk our baby is in, we have never been at peace. Please help our son."
Veronica is a cheerful, married 29-year-old mother of two children. Veronica shared that she left school in primary school, because her parents could not afford her school fees. Her husband earns a living through helping people lift heavy luggage at a local bus station, and he also does a variety of other jobs when he has the opportunity. Veronica enjoys spending time with her two children, ages two and four; they give her joy and fulfillment as a mother. Her family lives in a one-bedroom rented house. In 2009, Veronica developed a swelling on her neck. She ignored it, thinking it would soon go away, but in 2014, the swelling grew. In 2015, she was diagnosed with a goiter, or enlarged thyroid, and surgery was recommended. As the goiter continues to grow, she has experienced coughing, difficulty breathing and difficulty swallowing. She can no longer sing in church or carry heavy things on her head, and she shared that she can no longer eat hard foods like msima, a Malawian staple. Veronica also told us that the condition has changed her appearance and has impacted her self-esteem. Veronica has visited the government hospital more than 15 times since her diagnosis, but her surgery was always rescheduled. Two weeks ago, she went to a different hospital and was referred to our medical partner's care center, where a surgeon recommended a thyroidectomy. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Veronica receive treatment. On May 25th, Veronica will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,015 to fund her procedure. The surgery is expected to improve her life and heal her symptoms. With a hopeful smile, Veronica shared, “I am overwhelmed with this opportunity to be sponsored for this operation. After the operation, I hope to live normally and care for my children properly. I believe I should be able to eat hard msima [the Malawi staple food] or raw cassava and potatoes which I now miss greatly. I look forward to sleeping without struggles after this surgery, much appreciation!”
Zaw is a 40-year-old man from Thailand. He lives by himself in a hut on his employer's land on the Thai-Burma border and he harvests sugarcane for a living. He is paid 45 baht (approx. $1.50 USD) per bundle of harvested sugarcane, with each bundle containing 200 canes. He shared that the income he earns in a month is not enough to cover his basic needs, and has recently had to borrow funds to purchase food. Last Wednesday, Zaw decided to go home on his bicycle during his lunch break. While riding his bicycle, a dog started to chase him. He put his feet up on the handlebar so that the dog would not bite his legs. But while his feet were still on the handlebar, three cars drove towards him on the narrow road. Zaw swerved to avoid the cars and lost his balance, falling into the drainage ditch on the side of the road. The villagers who had seen him fall ran to the side of the ditch to check on him. When Zaw tried to stand up, he had difficulty breathing and had to sit down due to the pain in his abdomen. Since the accident, Zaw feels worse. He still has difficulty breathing, and he suffers from abdominal pain. He cannot stand up, has difficulty sitting up, and has difficulty eating or drinking water. Doctors want Zaw to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Zaw's CT scan and care, scheduled for March 26th. “When I get better I will continue working,” he said. “I also have to pay back my debt.”
April is a 32-year-old health worker from Thailand. She lives with her co-worker, her co-worker’s husband and their three daughters on the border of Burma and Thailand. In her free time, April loves to watch comedy movies and listen to music. In January 2020, April was diagnosed with bilateral endometriotic cysts. She received surgery to remove the cysts from her right ovary and had her left ovary removed. Post surgery, April has been experiencing pain in her lower abdomen during the first day of her period. She has been diagnosed with a right ovarian tumor. To remedy this, doctors recommend that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If her condition is left untreated, April's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, April is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on March 24th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer have to worry about the tumor returning or spreading. April shared, "I am scared to have surgery but I want to be healthy. I want to spend time with my family and I want to work happily.”
Sanchez is a 3-year-old boy from Haiti. He is an only child who lives with his mother and father in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He likes drawing pictures and playing with toy cars. Sanchez has a heart condition called ventricular septal defect, which means that there is a hole between the two lower chambers of his heart. He will fly to the United States to receive life-saving treatment. On February 17th, Sanchez will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in his heart by sewing a patch over it. Another organization, HeartGift Foundation, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the surgery. Sanchez's family also needs help funding the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Sanchez's family overseas. Sanchez's mother shared, "our family has been praying for years that our child would be able to have this surgery. We are nervous but very glad it is happening!"
Jonah is a 9-year-old student from Kenya. He is a jovial and high-spirited boy. Jonah is the seventh born in a family of eight children. Under the sponsorship of a well-wisher, he is a second grade student at Mwiteria Vision Academy. Jonah's family hails from Iteria Village in Meru County. His mother is a single parent who used to be a farmer, but now stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Jonah has clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even with wearing shoes. His mother, sister, and elder brother brought him to AIC Hospital's mobile clinic in Meru to seek treatment. Watsi donors supported surgery for his left foot and now his family has returned to help heal is right foot as well. Jonah will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. Fortunately, he is scheduled to under go a clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Jonah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play easily again. Rosaria, Jonah's mother shared, “We are grateful for helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."
Brian is a nine-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the only child in his family. Brian was born with bilateral clubfoot, which due to lack of resources, ended up being neglected. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. In May 2020, with support from Watsi donors, Brian had a successful postmedial release on his right foot. He now requires surgery to correct his left foot as well so that he can walk easily and with better balance. His family is not able to raise funds needed for the cost of his care. Brian's father is a carpenter and his mother is a farmer. Their combined income is not enough to meet the required cost of surgery. Brian's father is grateful for the support they received for his first surgery. Now, the family once again appeals for help. Fortunately, Brian traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Brian's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily again. Brian's father shared, “I lack words to express my sincere gratitude to God, CURE and Watsi for the great support they have rendered to us, indeed you have been of great help to us. We were in despair because of our son, but you have restored hope to our family. We are witnessing to people of what you have done to us. Be blessed."
Sal is a 41-year-old chef from Cambodia. Sal has been married for 11 years and has one son and two daughters. His wife sells coffee from their home. In his free time Sal enjoys searching for new recipe ideas, playing sports like football and volleyball, listening to the radio, and watching comedy programs on TV. On the weekends he enjoys spending time with his family outdoors. A year ago, Sal was in a motor vehicle accident that injured his left shoulder and arm. 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 can not move his left shoulder, arm, or hand. Sal traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 24th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Sal will finally regain use of his arm. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sal said, "As a chef, I need my arms to work to cook well in the kitchen. I hope after surgery I can use my left arm again and be free of pain."
Chanthou is a 34-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He is married and has one son and one daughter, who are both in primary school. Chanthou's wife is a factory worker. In his free time, Chanthou enjoys looking after his children, watching TV, and listening to the radio. Ten years ago, Chanthou had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Chanthou experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, ear discharge, and headache. This makes it difficult for him to communicate with others. Chanthou traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 14th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Chanthou said, "I hope this surgery makes the ear discharge stop and my hearing will improve."
Eliana is a young girl from Tanzania, and the the firstborn in a family of three children. She is a very friendly and talkative girl. Eliana was born healthy and growing up for her was normal until when she was two years old. Her parents noticed her left leg was swelling and she would limp when walking. They thought she had fallen and hurt herself, so they took her to a local dispensary where pain-relieving medication was prescribed. Eliana's parents are small-scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their daily living. They shared that seeking proper treatment for Eliana was not possible due to their financial challenges. Over the next two years, her condition has worsened causing both legs to be deformed and making her walking difficult. Eliana now struggles to stand and can’t walk more than four steps without complaining of pain or falling down. This has resulted in her crawling most of the time in order to move from one place to the other. Eliana has been scheduled to have both of her legs corrected but her parents cannot afford her treatment cost and they are asking for help. Eliana has been diagnosed with bilateral flourosis, with her legs swollen on the upper side of her knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Eliana. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Eliana's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Eliana’s father said, “My daughter is struggling to stand and walking is now becoming close to impossible. Please help her get this treatment, we are unable to afford the treatment cost.’’