Thomas joined Watsi on September 25th, 2013. Eight years ago, Thomas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Thomas' most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Iqram, a bright girl from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery so she can walk more easily.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 126 patients in 13 countries.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 126 patients in 13 countries.
Iqram is a five-year-old girl and the last-born child in her family. She is a charming and social girl who is currently in class two. Iqram’s mother and father are no longer live together after divorcing and her mother is now back at her parent’s home looking after her two children. She sells vegetables to be able to make a living for their family. Doctors have diagnosed Iqram with bilateral genu varus, her legs bow outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she cannot walk well. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Iqram. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Iqram's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Iqram’s mother says “I will be grateful if you can help my daughter have her legs corrected. I cannot afford the treatment cost.”
Yasin is a 9-year-old student and the third born in a family of five children. Yasin is a social, talkative, and playful boy despite his challenges in walking due to his clubfoot condition. Yasin loves math and English. When asked if there are any sports, he loves he said “I love football, but my friends play better than me because of my feet, I cannot run as fast as them. So, I lose most of the time.” Yasin’s father sells vegetables at a local market and their income is not enough to care for the family and pay for Yasin’s needed treatment cost. Yasin has clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Yasin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Yasin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, He will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Yasin’s class teacher says “I felt I had to do something because it made me very sad seeing Yasin walking around school with no shoes on. It was even worse when I realized that he also went to a pit latrine toilet with no shoes on something that is a danger to his health. Please help him.”
Zaw lives with his mother, two sisters, two nephews, and two nieces in Mon State in Burma. His mother is retired, and his youngest niece and nephew go to school. His niece works as a betel nut cutter with his two sisters, while his nephew works as a day laborer. Zaw cannot work right now due to the pain in his foot. In his free time, he enjoys praying to Buddha and watching movies, which also helps him feel better. Around the end of September, Zaw developed pain in his left foot. A few weeks later, three of his toes turned black. Eventually, all of his toes, and his forefoot turned black too. When he went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) a couple weeks ago, he was diagnosed with gangrene and was admitted to the hospital straight away. At first the doctor tried to treat him with oral medication, injections and physiotherapy exercises to increase the blood supply in his left foot. When this did not work, Zaw was told that the best option is to amputate his foot. Unable to pay for surgery, the doctor referred him to our partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Zaw is in a lot of pain. His left forefoot is black and swollen. As the pain is worse at night, he cannot sleep properly. He also has difficulty sleeping because he is worried about his foot and their financial situation. "Once I have recovered from surgery and I have received a prosthetic foot, I want to support my family and become a taxi driver," he said. "Thank you so much to the donors for supporting me. Every day I pray for them."
Yee is a 48-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, her daughter and a granddaughter in northern Tak Province. Yee's husband works in a rose farm and she is a homemaker as well as a caretaker of her granddaughter at home. Their family income is enough for their daily expenses and they are able to pay for basic healthcare but not for major treatment like Yee now needs. Currently, Yee feels that the right side of her head is achy and she experiences on-and-off pain around her right eye. When Yee feels the pain, she takes a pain medication, but she is worried because she cannot see anything with her right eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yee. On October 12th, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Yee's natural lenses and replace them with intraocular lens implants. After recovery, Yee will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I recover from surgery, I want to raise chickens and pigs for my family to eat and sell some too. I will also be able to plant vegetables for my family to eat and sell some of those,” said Yee.
Hiram is a student from Mombasa county in Kenya. He is a lastborn in a family of three and the only boy. He has no father and his mother sells fish to make a living. Hiram is in class five at school. He was born with clubfeet and has never been to any hospital for correction until his family heard about the CURE Hospital mobile clinic in Mombasa. His condition has greatly affected Hiram's mobility. He feels pain on his feet as he walks, so he cannot put on his shoes or play with his friends. This has affected his studies. Fortunately, Hiram's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Hiram's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to put on shoes, walk comfortably and improve his self-esteem. “I would like to be treated so that I can walk like my friends, play with them and continue with my studies,” Hiram told us.
Paw is a 24-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Burma, Paw, her husband, their three daughters and her parents fled in March 2021 after the Burmese military shot rockets into their village. In Thailand, as refugees, they cannot work, and have temporarily moved in with Paw's brother and his family. They receive rice from her brother's neighbors, while her brother's family provides them with vegetables and curries. In July 2021, Paw's parents and her two older daughters went back to their village when they felt it was safe to do so. Meanwhile, her husband and her three-month-old baby have stayed with her while she receives treatment in Chiang Mai. Two years ago, Paw noticed a mass on the right side of her neck. Her neighbor suggested she apply a natural remedy, but unfortunately, the mass remained and grew over time. In September 2019, she visited a local hospital in Thailand with her husband, but the surgery recommended was too expensive. She experiences pain near the site of the mass, and the mass is still growing. Paw sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). She is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 16th, and now she needs to raise $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Paw shared, “I felt embarrassed and very upset when I first noticed that I had this problem. I will feel a lot better after my surgery because I have needed to receive it since I first went to see the doctor in 2019. In the future I want to look after my children and send them to school.”
Amani is a beautiful eight-month-old baby boy and the last born child in a family of four children. Amani's parents are small scale farmers who grow maize, bean, potatoes and vegetables which they mainly use for their own food. The father also works as a night guard to be able to get money to support his family. Amani 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, Amani has been experiencing fevers and an impact on his eyes. Without treatment, Amani will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Amani that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Amani's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Amani will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Amani’s mother says, "It’s not been easy for us ever since we had our baby due to his health issues, he needs treatment but we cannot afford the cost. Help us if you can.”
Pendaeli is a 10-year-old student and the youngest child in a family of seven children. All of his siblings are grown and have moved to other cities in search of jobs. Pendaeli is being raised by his widowed mother. She is a small-scale farmer growing maize and vegetables for their family's food and to sell for an income. She also seeks out a variety of other jobs, like doing laundry for neighbors. Pendaeli has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping him receive treatment. He traveled to AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 11th. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Now, Pendaeli's family needs $935 to fund the procedure. Pendaeli’s mother shared, "finding money to take my son for treatment has been a big challenge and the cost is too high for me to afford. Please help."
Chaw is a 35-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two children in Burma. Her husband is a fisherman, who earns 10,000 kyat (approx. 10 USD) per day selling his catch at the market. However, she shared that since the coup d'état in February, he cannot work because he is afraid of being taken away. Her husband has tried to find other work, but nobody wants to hire him because they also have the same problem. About a year ago, Chaw was diagnosed with diabetes. She could not always afford to pay for medication, and only able to purchase it occasionally. One day, while she was doing household chores, she accidentally injured her left foot with a knife. The wound worsened, until she sought treatment at a local clinic, where it was recommended that she seek treatment at a hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Chaw to receive treatment. Chaw visited BCMF's care center where a doctor examined her foot. While examining her, the doctor diagnosed her with a diabetes-related cellulitis ulcer and recommended surgery. Currently, the skin around Chaw's ulcer is red, she has a fever and experiences severe pain in her left foot, especially at night. On May 11th, she will undergo a wound debridement procedure, and now she needs help to fund the $694 procedure. Chaw shared, "our family has low income during these difficult times and we cannot pay for treatment. Our two children are staying with their grandmother because my husband has to take care of me while I am admitted at the hospital."
Shazma is a 2-year-old and the last born in a family of three children. She is a friendly and cheerful girl who already loves playing! Shazma's mother was laid off from her work at a horticulture farm due to the pandemic, and her father works as a cook at a local guest house. The parents used to support each other on payment of bills but now Shazma's father is the only earner while her mother takes care of the children at home. Shazma was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus which causes her legs to bend outward and results in difficulty walking. 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 Shazma on April 16th. Treatment will ensure Shazma's mobility as she grows, allow her to participate in all she wants to do, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Shazma’s mother shared, "My daughter is in need of treatment to repair her legs. She currently struggles a lot to walk but the cost of treatment is not something we cannot afford. Kindly help our daughter if it’s possible."
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
Esther is a 13-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the first born in a family of two children. Currently, Esther is a sixth grade student. She likes reading and is very active at home, especially with helping her mother with household chores. Esther's father is a farmer, while her mother is a homemaker and takes care of their family. Esther was born a healthy child. However, when she turned one year of age, her family noticed un unusual bowing in her legs. Since then, her condition has worsened. She often feels pain while walking, and cannot walk well or carry heavy loads. This affects her self-esteem, and in turn her studies as well. Esther has a condition called genu valgus, or knock knees. Last year with the help of Watsi supporters, she underwent corrective surgery on her left side, which has healed and she is walking well. Now, she is scheduled to undergo the same surgery on her right side to completely correct her legs from the bowing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Esther receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a corrective foot surgery on February 15th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,224, and she and her family need help raising money. Once Esther is fully recovered, she will be able to walk, continue with her education, and help her mother again. Esther will also be able to socialize and play with other girls more comfortably. Esther's Aunt Fridah shared, "On behalf of the family, we are extremely grateful for the support you rendered to our daughter. May the almighty God bless you. We continue to plead for more support to ensure that she is completely healed and continue with her life like other girls."