Zack joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Zack joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Zack's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Abegaelle, a 5-year-old from Haiti, to fund her surgery prep and travel for cardiac surgery.
Zack has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 15 countries.
Zack has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 15 countries.
Abegaelle is a five-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives in the capital city of Port-au-Prince with her parents and older brother. Some of her favorite activities include going to preschool and attending church with her family. Abegaelle was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through, leaving her weak and short of breath. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Abegaelle receive treatment. She will travel to the Dominican Republic to undergo surgery on July 26th, during which surgeons will insert a catheter to plug the hole in her heart and restore a healthy blood flow. Abegaelle's family is raising $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Abegaelle and her family overseas. Abegaelle's mother shared, "Our family is all very thankful that Abegaelle will have this chance to have her heart fixed!"
Gay is a one-year-old boy living with his family in a refugee camp. His family is originally from Burma, but they left for Thailand due to conflict in the area. Gay lives with his parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and brother. Gay and his brother are too young to go to school, so they stay home with their mother. Gay's aunt and uncle are in school, while his father and grandfather work on a farm near the refugee camp. Gay was born with an inguinal hernia. The condition causes him severe pain, and he often cries, so his mother sits quietly with him to help reduce the pain he is experiencing. Gay needs to undergo surgery to finally heal. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Gay receive treatment. On May 27th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery to help him live more comfortably in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Gay's mother shared, “I have to be with him constantly. He cries and does not let anyone else hold him except me. I also have to look after my mother and sister, and sometimes we do not have time to cook. I cannot take care of everyone. I felt so happy when I heard that an organization will pay for my son's surgery. I would like to say thank you to all the donors who will help my son. I believe my son will get better soon and that he will grow up without feeling ashamed of himself due to his condition. I want him to become an educated person in the future.”
Dar is a 21-day-old baby girl who lives with her parents and her brother in a village in the border area of Karen State in Burma. Dar was born at home with the help of a traditional birth attendant. Two days after she was born, Dar's mother noticed a problem when Dar was passing stool. She told Dar’s father to call a medic from the clinic to their home. The medic realized that Dar was born with a anorectal condition and shared with Dar’s mother that baby Dar would urgently need surgery to receive a colostomy. Dar’s parents are subsistence farmers who grow rice and raise chickens. They also forage for vegetables in the jungle and go fishing when they want to eat fish. To purchase staples that they cannot produce such as salt and oil, Dar’s father works as an agricultural day labourer during the rainy season. However, since the rainy season has not yet begun, they currently have no income. However, their daily needs are fulfilled from living off the land. If they are sick and need to seek treatment, they go to the free clinic in their village run by Burma Medical Association (BMA). Fortunately our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Dar's family access the medical care she needs. They need help raising $1,500 to fund the treatment she needs. “We had to borrow money so far for Dar’s treatment and my husband cannot work,” said Dar’s mother. “I want to send my baby to school until she graduates so that she can become educated. I want this for her future because I only went to school until grade four. After she completes her studies, she can become whatever she wants one day.”
Romeo is a 67-year-old former carpenter and driver from the Philippines. Romeo has five children, and one his sons lives with and supports Romeo through part-time work as a call center agent. In January, Romeo was diagnosed with a hernia, a condition that causes Romeo severe pain on the left side of his abdomen. Romeo has had to stop working due to worsening symptoms. Fortunately, on March 30th, Romeo will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Romeo raise $1,130 to fund this life altering surgery. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Romeo's son shared, "We pray and hope that this treatment will be the way for my father's body to be healthier and his life to be even longer. We want to thank Dr. De Leon who referred us to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi. Because of this, our father will get the much needed surgical treatment."
Esther is a beautiful seven-month old baby girl from Haiti. She has two older sisters, and loves to smile and play with her mom. Esther has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Esther has been experiencing an increase in head circumference. Without treatment, Esther will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost Esther's surgery, which she will have on February 24th at our medical partner's care center, Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in Haiti that currently provides this critical type of treatment, which will drain the excess fluid from Esther's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Esther will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Her parents shared with us that they hope she'll have the opportunity to grow up and be able to play with the other children.
Naw Hser is a 47-year-old woman who lives with her older brother, her two daughters, two son-in-laws, two grandsons and one granddaughter in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Everyone in Naw Hser’s family is currently unemployed since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late March 2020, when their refugee camp was placed under lockdown. Making things harder, the price of food has increased so the monthly 2,050 baht (approx. 68 USD) support they receive on a cash card is not enough to purchase necessities. By the end of each month, they have to purchase food from the shop on credit, which they try to pay back at the end of the month. They also grow vegetables in their neighbour’s garden, sharing the food they grow with them. This has made funding for medical care for their family very limited right now. In early 2019, Naw Hser started to become very tired when she walked short distances. She also experiences back and lower abdominal pain almost every day. This has impacted her appetite and she has lost weight over the past year. She shared that she cannot sleep at night because of the pain and because of the stress she feels about her condition. She is worried it is not treatable and her family feels sad seeing her in pain. Naw Hser has been diagnosed with uterine myoma. She has been advised by her doctor to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Naw Hser's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Naw Hser is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on January 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and she will be able to get back to more of her normal life. Once Naw Hser recovers, she is looking forward to being able to live happily with her family as she wishes. Naw Hser said, “I want to live happily with my children and look after my grandchildren. Now, my daughters do not want me to cook or wash clothes for my grandchildren anymore. They want me to rest because of my condition. They really feel sad when they see me in pain and sometimes, I also cannot control my tears when I see them cry. I really want to have surgery to recover.”
Annastasia is a very joyful lady. The 47-year-old is married and has five children. Two of her children have already finished school and are not yet financially stable. Her husband does not have a job but is sometimes able to get work as a bus driver when they need more help. Annastasia used to sell charcoal but she stopped the business three months ago when she fell ill and started her treatment process. In September of this year, she noticed a mass in her right breast. Three days later, she went to a facility near her home area, was examined, and told that she had mastitis. She was immediately admitted, put on medication and a few days later, she was discharged. While at home, she noticed that the swelling was getting bigger. She went back to the facility, was examined again, and referred to another nearby facility. In the facility scans and test were done and she was immediately referred to Kijabe Hospital for treatment. Upon arrival at Kijabe hospital, Annastasia was scheduled for urgent surgery. However, she is not in a financial position to cater for the surgery and is appealing for financial aid. Annastasia has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been advised to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Annastasia. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 30th. After treatment, Annastasia will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Annastasia says, "When I was told that the mass could be cancerous if not removed, I felt helpless and knew that it was over for me.”
Richensley is a 4 month old baby boy from Haiti. Richensely is loved and cherished by his family. Richensley has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Richensley has been experiencing a large head that was noticed by his father when he was 2 months old. Without treatment, Richensley will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Richensley at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his condition. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on November 30th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Richensley's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Richensley will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Richensley's father is relieved that his son can have the surgery that will give him hope for the future.
Dennis is a talkative and inquisitive 20-year-old man. He is the second born child in a family of five children. He lives with his mother in a small village where most of the residents work on farms or do casual jobs whenever they can find them. He completed his secondary education in 2018, but his mother could not afford to send him to college. To make a living, he works on farms. Dennis dreams of being a teacher and in a position to support his mother and siblings. In October 2021, Dennis was admitted to a local hospital after being involved in a motorcycle accident when the brakes on his bike failed. He fractured his left hand in the accident and urgently needs surgical treatment. He experiences pain in his hand and he cannot move his fingers. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), are helping Dennis receive treatment for his injury. On October 28th, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help restore normal movement in his fingers and alleviate his pain. Now, AMH is requesting $941 to fund Dennis's procedure and care. Dennis shared, "my hope is to get the hand treated so that I can resume my daily duties of providing for my family and my siblings, especially during this difficult time."
Nakoyai is a 13-year-old student and the second-born child in a family of five children and lives with her parents who keep livestock for a living. Nakoyai was involved in a motorbike accident while walking to school. This left her with acquired valgus of her left foot, in which the joint of the toe closest to the ankle is bent upwards, while the others are bent downwards. She has difficulty walking and was admitted to a local hospital for almost one year, throughout which her parents spent their savings and sold most of their cattle to pay the hospital bills. Nakoyai dropped out of school after her discharge from hospital because she was no longer able to walk to her school, which was quite far from her home. One year later, she received a scholarship to join a boarding school and was brought to our medical partner's care center seeking treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nakoyai. Treatment will hopefully restore Nakoyai's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly reducing her risk of future complications. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 10th. Nakoyai shared, "I feel pain when I walk and I cannot play most of the sports at school because of my leg. I will be happy if my leg could be treated so that I can walk around and play like my friends.”
Felix is a grade four student who lives with his grandmother. His elderly grandmother, who is a small scale farmer, takes care of him and his younger sibling, because their mother was not able to. On July 24th, when Felix was playing, he fell and caused a fracture on his right hand, so that he is now unable to move it. Felix was brought to our medical partner's care center by his grandmother. Fortunately, the surgeons there can help. On August 2nd, Felix will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Felix's grandmother said, "I love my grandchildren even if their mother left them. I want to see them happy and growing like other children. I kindly ask for help and hope his surgery will go well.”
Sophanha is a six-month-old baby who has an older brother and sister. His father and 20-year-old brother operate a coffee stand outside a factory, and his sister is a 17-year-old high school student. His mother stays home to take care of Sophanha right now. When he was born, Sophanha was diagnosed with Erb's palsy on his left arm and hand. This leads to weakness, loss of function and sensation so that the young boy is unable to lift his arm or use his hand. Sophanha traveled with his family to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 29th, he will undergo surgery that will help him be able to use his hand in the future as he grows up. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sophanha's mother shares, "I am glad my baby can get this surgery, and I hope he can use his arm soon and grow strong."