Tom joined Watsi on April 8th, 2014. Nine years ago, Tom joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tom's most recent donation traveled 4,500 miles to support Clerize, a joyful 4-year-old from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery so she can grow up active.
Tom has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 13 countries.
Tom has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 13 countries.
Meet Clerize: a beautiful and bright 4-year-old. She is the 1st born in a family of two and her family hails from a small village in rural Kenya. We met her at our Nyandarua medical camp outreach accompanied by her grandmother. Clerize's grandmother is a farmer while her father, who is separated with his wife, works as a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) driver. Clerize was born healthy however at the age of three, her grandmother noticed an unusual walking style. She stared tiptoeing and would fall every time she tried to walk. For lack of information and because of the distance, they didn’t take her to the hospital. Later their family heard about CURE hospital medical camp in Nyandarua and brought her to be seen by the doctors. The medical team diagnosed Clerize with clubfoot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Clerize's family has now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 26th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Clerize's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and is looking forward to attending school. “I am pleading for help to help my granddaughter undergo surgery so that she can resume with her normal life and walking,” Clerize's grandmother told us.
Htwe is a 12-year-old student who lives with his uncle's family in Thailand. His parents are day laborers in Bangkok, who send his uncle money every month to support him. In his free time, Htwe enjoys playing football with his friends. Two years ago, Htwe's right eyelid became swollen and red. By July 2021, the swelling had worsened and he felt a small mass in his right eyelid. He also developed double vision. He visited several clinics and was given oral medications and eye drops, but he never felt better. Currently, Htwe has redness and swelling in his right eyelid, and sometimes his eye will water. He also has blurry vision and feels uncomfortable with the mass pressing on his eyelid. Due to his blurry vision, he finds it hard to study and do his homework. Eventually, his aunt took Htwe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH), where he was diagnosed with a cyst in his right eyelid. The doctor told him that he will need to have surgery to remove the cyst. Thanks to our partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, Htwe will have the cyst surgically removed on February 2nd. Now he needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Htwe said, “I want to be a football player when I grow up.”
Emmanuel, who is 19 years old, is the third born in a family of five children. He lives in Kansau village in Kenya. While Emmanuel was healthy at birth, when he was four or five years old, he began to experience convulsions. His parents brought him to Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was diagnosed with hemiplegic CP, a condition where the brain has been impacted and results in the paralysis of one side of the body. In addition, Emmanuel has clubfoot of his left foot, which makes it difficult for him to wear shoes and to walk easily. Fortunately, Emmanuel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily, and to resume his vocational studies classes at Machakos School, which he so enjoys. Emmanuel said: “I would love to see my foot corrected so that I can continue with my studies and start my business in the future.”
Rotha is a 50-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He is married with three daughters and one son. His wife works in a local clothes factory. In his free time, he helps his wife with housework and enjoys fishing with his friends. In 2018, Rotha was in a traffic accident and suffered an open fracture of his left tibia and a closed fracture of his left femur. He had surgery at a local hospital, with bone grafts and nails, but his tibia remained infected. After several surgeries and debridements, his infection has resolved, but his bone remains exposed from all the procedures. He cannot walk and is in great pain. When Rotha learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 21st, surgeons at CSC will perform reverse soleus muscle flap of the left tibia to close the open wound and help him walk again without pain. Now, he needs help to fund this $673 procedure. Rotha shared: "I hope my left leg will finally heal, I will have no infection, and can return home to work for my family again."
Meet Katweensly, a 16 year old student, living with her mother and siblings in a small town in Haiti, near the border with the Dominican Republic. Katweensly, who is a junior in high school, particularly enjoys her math and science classes. As a young child, Katweensly suffered a bout of rheumatic fever, which damaged one of the four valves in her heart. As a result, her heart cannot pump blood efficiently through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Thanks to the help of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Katweensly is scheduled to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery, which is scheduled for November 10th, at Hospital CEDIMAT. There, doctors will first try to repair the damaged valve. If they are unable to do this, they will implant an artificial valve. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is helping supporting the cost of the surgery, but Katweensly's family needs an additional $1,500 to pay for lab tests, medicines, and follow up appointments that are a part of her overall treatment. In addition, support will help cover the travel costs and ensure a social worker from Haiti Cardiac Alliance can support the family during treatment in the Dominican Republic. Katweensly said: "I am feeling very happy to finally have the chance to have my heart repaired after waiting for so long."
Treshass is a three-week-old baby. She is the only child in her family. Her parents are hardworking and already are learning to be exceptional parents. Her father depends on casual labor jobs, while her mother has established a small local business selling groceries. They live near the city and the current inflation and high standard of living makes it difficult for them to provide even basic needs for their family. They are worried if their child will live a full life because they are not in a position to fund her medical bill. Treshass has clubfoot of both legs. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Treshass's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Treshass's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to grow with her legs being straight and walking with ease. Treshass's father says, “When we heard of the work and treatment offered here, we decided to visit. We hope our baby will receive the required treatment."
Dibora is a smiley and playful 13-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a housewife. She has three older siblings and loves to eat and to play with her family. Dibora was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Due to her condition, she developed a bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy procedure was performed. She has had a number of complications due to this procedure, and requires an additional procedure to correct her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dibora receive treatment. On September 8th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After her recovery, Dibora will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Dibora's mother shared, "Once Dibora has recovered and is healed of this condition, I want to take care of her and her siblings well."
Khu is a two-year-old toddler from Burma who lives with her parents and younger sister. She and her sister are both too young to attend school yet. To support their family, her father is a subsistence farmer, and her mother is a homemaker. They also raise chickens and pigs, and they forage for vegetables in the jungle. Two months ago, Khu's family noticed discharge in her right eye. Her right pupil eventually began to turn white, but she fortunately did not express that she was having trouble seeing. Worried about her, Khu’s father took her to the free clinic near their village. The medic at the clinic suspected that she was suffering from a congenital cataract and told Khu’s father that they could not treat her at their clinic. Instead, they recommended that she go to a hospital for further investigation. Doctors want Khu to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $968 to cover the cost of Khu's MRI and care, which is scheduled to take place on August 4th. Her grandfather shares, “Khu is my beloved granddaughter. When I see her suffering from this condition, I feel very sad. I also worry about her future. I don’t want to see her in this condition. I want her to have good vision and have a beautiful life when she grows up. I want her to get treatment and have her vision restored.”
Simon is a 20-year-old who, since he was a little boy, he has worked selling goods at a nearby open market. He has no stable source of income and is currently unable to work due to his medical condition. His single mother is unable to support him. Fortunately, his friend is allowing him to stay in their single room close to the city market. Two years ago, Simon began experiencing pain in his left knee, causing him to limp as he walked. His pain eventually spread to his hip. He now cannot walk without a walking stick and has an infected hip and knee, which are limiting his mobility. After receiving a CT scan, Simon was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint caused by an infection, and sequelae of the hip. In hopes to help his condition, Simon visited visited Kenyatta National Hospital. He has since been on medical follow-up for septic arthritis at the facility without any surgical intervention. He eventually had to stop attending the follow-up clinics due to a lack of financial resources. Fortunately, a friend told Simon about our medical partner's care center, and he traveled there to receive treatment. Now, Simon is scheduled to undergo a treatment on July 8th. This will hopefully finally help heal his condition and relieve his pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his treatment. Simon shares, “I can barely move my leg without support from this walking stick. My hip is painful and my knee is just unbearable. I cannot work in my condition and therefore am struggling to survive.”
Brice is a toddler from Haiti who was born with a heart condition. He lives with his parents and older brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; his father is an accountant and his mother is a homemaker. Brice has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Unfortunately the cardiac care Brice needs is not available at any hospital in the country, so he will be flying to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On June 29th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch so that blood can no longer leak through it. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $7000 to help pay for surgery, but Brice's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the cost of getting passports, and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Brice's family overseas. Brice's mother said: "Our family will be very happy and relieved once our son's heart is fixed and he can run and play like other children!"
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
Sary is a 35-year-old delivery man. He's married and and has a one-year-old son. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, taking care of his son, and cooking with his wife. In mid-February, Sary was in a motor vehicle accident where he sustained facial and head trauma. His mandible and maxilla are fractured, and he has a frontal region hematoma. Since the accident, he has experienced headaches and has lacerations on his face and tongue. It is difficult for him to think clearly, work or open his mouth to eat. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help. On March 2nd, Sary will undergo a fracture repair procedure at CSC's care center. After treatment, he will be able to open his mouth to eat, and his symptoms will subside. Now, he needs help raising $465 to fund his procedure and care. Sary shared, "I hope to be able to eat normally and return to work as soon as possible to support my family."