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 8,200 miles to support Natinael, a sweet and shy boy from Ethiopia, to fund life-changing surgery to heal his birth condition.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 11 countries.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 11 countries.
Natinael is a sweet toddler who loves to play with toys. He loves birds especially looking at the doves where he lives with his mom. Natinael's mom shared that he is shy and always wants to be at her side. She is a single mom and has been raising Natinael on her own with help from her family. Natinael was born with birth condition called Bladder Extrophy, which means that his bladder is open to air and at great risk of infections and injury. He needs surgery to help heal his condition, but his mother is unable to afford the cost. She is very much worried and concerned by his health and wants to do whatever she can to make sure he grows up healthy. She shared, “At first I did not know about the gravity of his condition. Then when I went to the hospitals they said they can’t do the surgery and they referred me to another hospital. I was in so much distress. I thought ‘what is this disease that the doctors refer it to another hospital.’ One doctor explained the condition to me and that was my lowest time of my life. I couldn’t eat or drink or sleep. All I could do was cry. I asked God why this happened to me." Fortunately someone referred her to an organization that knew our medical partner's care center BKMCM Hospital where doctors can perform the surgery he needs. Natinael's mom says, "If he heals, I hope I will work hard and raise him well and give him good education. I did not go to school and that makes me to want to send Natinael to school more. I'd like to spend the rest of my life with him protecting him.”
Patrick is a 31-year-old laborer and the fourth born child in a family of eight children. He grew up with his mother and siblings, and sadly, his father passed away when he and his siblings were young. He is married and he and his wife have three children, including two children in public primary school and another who is not yet school aged. He makes a living by digging and weeding on farms. His wife works as a casual laborer, but currently stays at home with their youngest child. The family has a small piece of land where they grow maize, beans, and potatoes for the family's consumption. Recently, Patrick was hit by a motorbike. He injured his right foot in the accident and was taken to a local clinic where an x-ray was taken and a cast was applied. However, over the next few days, his leg became swollen and he was in pain, so he visited a hospital for further evaluation. He was diagnosed with a complex distal tibia fracture and requires surgery. He is currently using crutches because walking is difficult. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On December 23rd, Patrick will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help the fracture in his leg to heal properly. After his foot heals, he will be able to return to work. Now, he needs help raising $1,079 to fund his procedure and care. Patrick shared, "I kindly ask for treatment so that I can go back to my daily activities for I'm the breadwinner for my family."
Asbel is a young farmer and the firstborn in a family of six. Asbel lives with his mother and siblings since their father passed away. The 28-year-old does farming to earn a living and sometimes is able to do other casual work in people’s farms. His siblings are young and his mother has no income-generating activity to support the family. He was forced to drop out of high school due to lack of funds to support his education. On arrival at the hospital, Asbel was checked by the doctors who also did an x-ray. This confirmed that he had sustained a metatarsal fracture with a dislocation on his right lower limb. Due to his condition, Asbel was taken to the operating theater for an urgent washout procedure to clean out his wound and then admitted to the hospital for pain management. He was also told that he would need surgery to fix the fractured bones. The condition has caused Asbel pain, swelling, and an open wound after a prick by a sharp object on his right foot while working on the farm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 24th, Asbel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and external fixation. He will be able to go back to farming and continue supporting his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $853 to fund this procedure. Asbel says, “My hope is to get treated so that I can resume all my daily duties and provide for my family and my siblings.”
Duncan is a 23-year-old mechanic. He's a lively man who likes cracking jokes with friends to cheer everyone up. Duncan is the second born in a family of six and he is married with two children. He lives in a rented house at his local center with his family. He completed his high school studies but did not proceed to college because of a lack of school fees. He has always had to do a lot to take care of his siblings and provide for their needs, like school fees. Duncan learned mechanical skills from his local center by watching what the mechanics there were doing. He now hopes to study mechanical engineering to improve his skills but he is unable because of the financial burden he has of taking care of his siblings and young family. Despite this, he is still hopeful that he will manage to do so in the future. Two days ago, Duncan was involved in a severe accident and sustained a fracture on his right leg. He was riding a motorcycle in the evening from his place of work when it lost control and fell into a ditch. He was rushed to a nearby health facility for immediate care from where he was referred to our hospital. An X-Ray confirmed a right femur fracture. He also has chest pains hence needing hospital admission for management and to plan for his surgery. He is unable to walk, has pain, and feels all he can do is lie in bed and wait for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 8th, Duncan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This surgery will relieve him of the pain and help him walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Duncan says, “We are facing a difficult moment as a family, my parents cannot find money to buy food for the family without my assistance. There’s nothing else that matters other than seeing my family happy. I want to get healed and go back home to support their needs.”
Marher is an adorable and smart 22-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to run and play outdoor games. Marher is the only child in his family, and he loves talking with others. His dad is a construction worker but is currently not working since the termination of the project due to Covid-19 and hyperinflation of construction materials. His mom is a cook and the breadwinner of the family as of now. Her income is limited to sustain their family needs. They live in a rented house which makes their living conditions expensive, and so they often depend on support from friends and family. Marher was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Marher is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 14th, 2021. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His dad said, “Marher will be happy if he receives the surgery and recovers to live like any other boy. He will not be psychologically affected by his condition as he grows up. I hope he will be educated and lead a quality life.”
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!"