Zak joined Watsi on July 27th, 2015. Eight years ago, Zak joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Zak's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Peterson, a young man with a heart defect from Haiti, to fund prep and travel costs for heart surgery to fix a hole in his heart.
Zak has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 12 countries.
Zak has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 12 countries.
Peterson is a 24-year-old man from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger sister in a city on the southern coast of the island. When he feels well enough, he helps his family with their market stand. Peterson has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Peterson urgently needs surgery, but this is not available within Haiti. So Peterson will fly to United States to receive treatment. On March 2nd, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $15000 to pay for surgery. Peterson's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Peterson overseas. "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart," said Peterson.
Riyaq is an 18-month-old baby from Kenya. She is the last born in a family of four children. Her mother is a housewife while her father sells water to the community. Riyaq 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, Riyaq has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Her family was referred to Bethany Kids where an examination was done and surgery recommended. Without treatment, Riyaq will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of surgery for Riyaq that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 8th and will drain the excess fluid from Riyaq's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Riyaq will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Riyaq’s aunt says, “We have never seen such a condition. We did not know what to do and have given up but coming here has changed us, and we hope that all will be well in the end.”
Winjoy is a happy three year old girl, who lives with her grandmother. Because Winjoy's mother is a student, Winjoy's grandmother supports the family by selling vegetables that she grows. Winjoy arrived at the hospital with her left arm swollen around her elbow. Doctors determined that she had sustained a fracture, and a splint was applied to immobilize the joint. Winjoy's grandmother was advised that Winjoy needed to be admitted to the hospital for further evaluation and surgery, but her grandmother explained that she didn't have the necessary money for Winjoy's hospitalization. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, has stepped in to enable Winjoy to access the care that she needs. On January 23rd, Winjoy will undergo surgery at AIC Kapsowar Hospital, to repair her fractured arm. Now Winjoy and her grandmother are appealing to you to help raise the $679 needed for the surgery, which will ensure that Winjoy's fracture heals properly. Winjoys’ grandmother says: “This issue is very complex to me. I am the only provider to my children and grandchildren, and it has been so hard to even pay their school fees. I have been struggling for real and when I see my granddaughter's condition, my heart is broken more. I am not able to offer anything at the moment. Kindly help me so that she can grow normally.”
Mitora is a 38-year-old father who is married with three daughters all in school. Mitora is a grocery seller and his wife is a homemaker. In his free time, Mitora enjoys fishing with friends. In October 2020, Mitora was in a traffic accident and fractured his left forearm. At a private clinic, Mitora had an open reduction internal fixation with a plate and screw implanted in his arm. Now, the fracture has healed and Mitora needs the metal removed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help. On January 3rd, Mitora will undergo a hardware removal procedure, and CSC is helping him raise $304 to cover the cost. Removal will help Mitora increase his strength and flexion of the affected arm. Mitora shared, "After this operation, I hope my forearm will not have pain. I want to earn money to support my family and keep my children in school."
Ly Hor is a 13-year-old curious student. He comes from Tboung Khmum province in the central lowlands of the Mekong river. He has two sisters - his older sister is 19 and is a factory worker, and his younger sister is six and studies in grade one. His parents are farmers and grow rainy-day rice and vegetables. Ly Hor attends grade 7 in public school. His favorite subjects are math and physical education. In the future, he would like to be a doctor. At home, he enjoys playing football, reading books, doing homework with friends, and helping his family with the vegetable gardens. He loves it when his mom makes fried rice or fried noodles, which he enjoys eating with fresh milk. In October, Ly Hor injured his right elbow when playing football by stretching out his hand to break a fall. His mother took him to a Khmer traditional healer because she could not afford the care at a government hospital. He has chronic pain, and his elbow has become swollen and deformed. He is unable to use his hand due to swelling and pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On December 7th, Ly Hor will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $483. This procedure will repair the fracture, and Ly Hor will be able to use his arm again. Ly Hor's mother said: "He is very sad now because he cannot do anything with his friends. I hope the doctors can fix his arm so he won't be in pain, and he can be active again with his friends in school."
Mary lives with her husband and 5-year-old child in Kenya. She is 28 years old and works as a laborer on farms. Her husband does labor jobs when we can get them at construction sites. Their combined income is inconsistent, and they have no savings or medical insurance. Mary has been unwell for a while now. She had a hemorrhagic stroke in January of this year, which has mostly been resolved. However, an ultrasound revealed that she has a right ovarian serous cystadenoma. These are abnormal growths that need to be removed. If left untreated, they can turn into cancer (serous carcinomas). Mary needs surgery, but cannot afford it. She is scheduled for an oophorectomy procedure, which is the surgical removal of an ovary or ovaries. This surgery will cost $1074, and she needs help raising the payment. Mary says, "I am in so much pain and need treatment. If left untreated I am scared of losing my life.”
Soeun is a 72-year-old proud grandmother. She is a widow and has five sons and three grandchildren. She used to be a rice farmer but has retired due to her age and poor vision. Soeun currently lives with her youngest son who is a staff in a local real estate company. At home, she likes to play with her grandchildren and listen to monks praying on the radio. One year ago, Soeun developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her tearing, light sensitivity, and blurry vision. She spends more time inside the house due to her poor vision, which is isolating for her. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Soeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On October 7th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery, and place an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Soeun said, "I hope I can see well enough that I can help my children with cooking and housework, and take care of my grandchildren."
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."
Evangeline is a hardworking mother of two from the Philippines. She and her husband work as graphic artists; however, they were highly impacted by the pandemic, resulting in them being switched from full-time workers to part-time ones. This affected their ability to save up for Evangeline's needed treatment. In 2016, Evangeline began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. When she was finally able to seek medical care, an ultrasound showed a large mass located on her throat. She was diagnosed with colloid adenomatous goiter, a benign, noncancerous enlargement of thyroid tissue. She now needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Evangeline receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on July 16th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $890 to cover the cost of Evangeline's procedure and care. Evangeline shares, "Our income is just enough to provide for our basic needs. This free operation will be a big help to us. I've been praying that my pain will go away, and God answered my prayer through Watsi and World Surgical Foundation. Thank you so much for your help."
Loveness is a charming, friendly and smart girl who is currently in the 8th grade. She is a charismatic girl who makes friends easily. Loveness wishes to be a doctor in the future, and she is already working hard towards fulfilling her dreams. Her best subjects are mathematics, science, biology, and physics. She says English as a subject is giving her a hard time, but she is determined to keep improving. She enjoys drawing and painting in her spare time. Loveness lost her mother when she was just two years old. After her mother passed away, her aunt on her mother’s side decided to take Loveness and raise her as her own daughter because, she shared, the father had a hard time managing by himself. Loveness has clubfoot of her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Loveness traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Loveness's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Loveness says, “I wish I could have my foot treated so that I can walk normally.”
Loy is a 46-year-old small scale farmer and a strong mother to her five children who range from the ages of 21 to 11 years old. Due to difficult finances and lack of resources, all of Loy's children have received a partial primary school education at various levels. Loy and her husband earn their income by farming, and their family lives together in a four-room mud house for shelter. Four months ago, Loy began experiencing severe lower abdominal pains that have caused her many sleepless nights. She believes that her uterus is very weak because she had a number of complicated deliveries when she gave birth to her children. She visited a doctor in March and was given temporary medication to help ease the pain and discomfort. Months later, she can now no longer sleep comfortably, and has had to completely stop farming due to the pain. Loy has been diagnosed with chronic pelvic inflammatory disease and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, in order to treat her condition. Fortunately, on May 13th, Loy will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center, Rushoroza Hospital. Once recovered, Loy will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and continue on with her farming in order to take care of her family. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $319 to help fund this surgery. Loy says, “I can no longer practice farming in my current condition and my family depends on farming. I hope to get well through surgery so that I may be able once again take better care of my family.”
Bariki is six-year-old boy and the only child of her single mother. He's a charming, friendly, and social kid. Bariki is now old enough to start school because most of his age mates joined class one this year. Bariki couldn’t join the school because he was born with a disability of the legs making walking for him impossible. He was born with a right clubfoot and the left had a congenital deformity of the knee. Currently he has to pull himself around to be able to move from one place to another. Bariki’s mother depends on small-scale farming to be able to feed her child. She lives and farms on her parents’ land. Last year through our medical partner's outreach program they got to know Bariki and the need for him to have treatment to help him have a chance to walk. He went through treatment of manipulation and casting to correct his clubfoot, and this was successful. He has been to an orthopedic clinic trying to see whether his knee joint could be corrected to help him straighten his leg and stand but his knee cannot be released. To help Bariki have a chance to walk with ease he needs amputation above the knee so that when he is healed, he can use a prosthetic leg that will help him walk. Bariki’s mother shared, “I will be so happy if my son can be treated and be able to stand and walk instead of him crawling.”