Erik joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Eight years ago, Erik joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Erik's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Tony, an industrial chemistry student from Kenya, to fund fracture repair surgery.
Erik has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 12 countries.
Erik has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 12 countries.
Tony is a 23-year-old student from Kenya. He was raised by a single mom and shared that she passed away a few years ago. He now lives with his elderly grandparents in rural Kenya. Tony has six siblings, who are all in school. Tony is in his third year at the university, where he is studying industrial chemistry. Unfortunately, he had to miss his end-of-semester exams because of his injuries and the need to use his school fees to cover his treatment costs. Tony also works part-time as a writer, but the income is insufficient to cover his school and medical bills. At the end of March, Tony was attacked by a group of people who took his valuables and hit him with a blunt object, causing serious injuries on the left side of his face. Tony was rushed to a nearby health facility for first aid and referred to a government hospital in the city the next day. The CT scan images revealed fractures in his face. Tony urgently needs to undergo surgery for his bones to heal properly. It is also difficult for him to open his mouth or eat due to his injuries. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 18th, Tony will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will help him eat and chew comfortably, and he will be able to resume his studies. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Tony said: “I missed my exams because of the injury. I cannot eat or chew anything. I need this surgery to be able to eat and use my mouth well again.”
Brian is a cheerful 10-year-old student. He is the third and youngest child of the family. His mother is a homemaker and his father is a farmer. Brian lives with his parents and siblings in a village, and attends the local primary school, where he is in fifth grade. Despite his birth condition, Brian is a passionate footballer. Brian was born with a clubfoot condition in which his feet are twisted out of shape, and has been treated with serial casting starting from when he was just a day old. His left foot has corrected while his right foot has not - he currently tiptoes when he walks and feels pain whenever he runs, including pain on the field while playing football. Fortunately, Brian traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 13th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Brian's procedure. After treatment, Brian will be able to walk well, play football, and continue with his studies uninterrupted. Brian's mother said, “I am pleading for help from the donors for my son to undergo surgery and I will appreciate your support.”
Marvens is a toddler who lives with his parents and his older sister. His parents are looking forward to starting him in preschool as soon as he recovers from his surgery. Marvens has a cardiac condition called partial anomalous pulmonary vein return (PAPVR). One of the major veins in Marvens' chest connects to his heart in a location that is not anatomically normal. As a result, blood cannot flow normally through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. On March 1st, Marvens will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will detach the vein from his heart and reattach it at the anatomically correct position. Marvens' family needs help to fund the costs of surgery, and the prep and follow-up care required. Marvens family and our medical partner have been able to raise some of the support needed, but still are in need of $1,500 and have turned to the Watsi community for support. Marvens' mother says: "Our family is very happy to have this chance, and will be praying for everyone who is helping us!"
Saw Tha is an 11-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents, a younger brother, and a younger sister in a village in Karen State. His father is a Karen soldier and his mother is a homemaker. Their family does not have a stable income, but sometimes his father will work as a day laborer when he has free time. Saw Tha's family also raises chickens for their own consumption and his mother plants vegetables around their house. During his free time, Saw Tha likes to play football with his friends. On February 3rd, 2023, Saw Tha climbed a plum mango tree to pluck the fruit. He suddenly fell down from the tree and broke his left femur bone. Currently, he cannot walk as he is in severe pain and his left leg is swollen. Despite taking painkillers, he cannot sleep as the pain worsens through the night. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Tha will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 4th and this treatment will help Saw Tha to be free from pain and walk again. Saw Tha and his family need help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure. Saw Tha's mother said, "I do not know where to look for help for my son. I just know that I am [worried] for him. I am very thankful to the kind donors and organization [BCMF] for helping my son."
Mu is a 34-year-old wife and mother, living in Thailand. Mu lives with her husband, son, and two daughters in Mae Sot, Tak Province. Their family moved from Yangon, Burma to Thailand 14 years ago, in search of better job opportunities. Today, Mu is a homemaker, her son is a student, while her two daughters are still too young to study. Her husband is a dockworker in Mae Sot. Because their income is insufficient to cover their daily expenses, they sometimes have to borrow money from a neighbor. About two years ago, Mu developed a femoral hernia. Because of the hernia, Mu experiences severe pain in her left groin area, and she also has a lump that has been increasing in size, and which hangs down when she walks. Mu is very stressed about her condition, and because of chronic discomfort, she has been unable to keep up with her daily tasks. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Mu is scheduled for hernia repair surgery on October 27th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Mu's surgery and care, which should enable Mu to return to a life without the hardship she experiences now. Mu said: “I feel like I have to hold myself so this will not fall down when I walk, which makes me feel very uncomfortable. I want to receive surgery soon so that I can work to earn more money in the future. Now, my baby—our youngest daughter—is older so I will find a job after I have fully recovered from surgery.”
Francklin is a loving husband and father from Haiti. He lives with his wife and two children in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He works as a security guard for a private security company. Francklin has a cardiac condition called severe mitral stenosis which resulted from a rheumatic fever that he suffered when he was young. Blood cannot pass through a valve in his heart properly, leaving him weak and short of breath. The cardiac surgery that Francklin's condition requires is not available in Haiti, so he needs to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair the damaged valve; if they are unable, they will need to implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for his surgery. Francklin's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up care while he heals. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and 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 Francklin overseas. Francklin says, "My family and I will pray for God's blessings on everyone who is helping us."
Shwe is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her family in Burma and enjoys listening to Burmese pop music! Shwe previously worked in a factory, but she had to stop working last December when her health began to deteriorate. Her brother and stepfather both work as agricultural day laborers, and her sister-in-law and mother are both homemakers. The rest of her siblings are all waiting for schools to reopen so they can return to their studies. The schools were closed in February of 2021 following the Mayanmar military coup. About a year and a half ago, Shwe began to experience pain in her chest, as well as fatigue. She initially did not think that her symptoms were serious, but this changed after she fainted at work a few months later. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with mitral valve, aortic valve, and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which are all cardiac conditions that occur when the specified valve does not close properly. As a result, she experiences difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping. She also feels very tired when walking longer distances. Shwe now needs cardiac surgery to help alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. However, once the doctor told her and her family the cost of surgery, they left the hospital because they could not pay for Shwe's needed procedure. Fortunately, they happened to meet a taxi driver who kindly told them about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is now helping Shwe undergo cardiac surgery on August 12th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Shwe and her family need your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Shwe says, “When I recover fully, I will go back to work and work hard. I will save my money and support my family.”
Kwan is a sweet and charming one-year-old girl who loves to dance whenever she hears music! She also likes to play with coconut leaves and pretend she is cooking with them. She lives with her parents and four brothers in Thailand. Kwan’s family fled from Karen State, Burma in 2016 due to armed conflict in their area. Her two oldest brothers and her father all work as agricultural day laborers, her other two brothers currently attend school, and her mother works as a homemaker. Her parents share that their monthly income is enough for their basic day-to-day needs, and when they feel sick, they typically use traditional medicine to manage their symptoms. One year ago on March 1st, Kwan was born at Tha Song Yang Hospital. Immediately after birth, her mother noticed that she had a small lump between her eyes. The doctor diagnosed her with encephalocele, a condition that occurs when the neural tube does not close and causes a sac-like bulge with brain tissue and spinal fluid to poke through the skull. The mass is currently increasing in size and pressing on her nostrils. Doctors want Kwan 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 formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $693 to cover the cost of Kwan's CT scan and care, which is scheduled for August 8th. Kwan's mother says, “I was so happy when I heard my daughter has donors who will help support her treatment. Every night I have prayed to God to help my daughter. I want to thank the organization and the donors so much for their kindness. I want my daughter to grow up the same as other people and go to school. I want her to become an educated person. I also want her to help poor communities.”
Gedion is a happy and talkative 16-year-old from Kenya who is currently a student in standard eight. He is the thirdborn in a family of six. Since their mother left them a few years ago, he and his siblings live with their father in their rural home on a small piece of land. Gedion's father works as a casual laborer and burns charcoal for sale to provide for their family's basic needs, as well as to pay for the children's school fees. His family also plants maize and beans on their small piece of land to feed themselves. During holidays and on the weekends, Gedion and his siblings usually work on other people's farms to provide additional income. He shares that life for his family has been very difficult, but they have been working hard in order to fight poverty together. This past Saturday, Gedion was brought into our medical partner's care center, AIC Kapsowar Hospital, via an ambulance from a facility near his home after being involved in a road traffic accident. While Gedion was on his way home from a nearby shopping center, a tractor passed by. He hopped onto it in order to reach home faster since he was still far from home and it was already beginning to become dark. There were some people already on the tractor, so they continued with their journey together. While they were on their way, the tractor lost control and fell down. The people riding were all rushed to a nearby facility. While those with minor injuries were able to be treated at the local facility, three of the riders, including Gedion, had to be referred to our medical partner's care center. During the accident, he sustained a fracture of his right femur and is currently experiencing a lot of pain. He is also unable to use his leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Gedion will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which is called an open reduction and internal fixation. After treatment, he will be able to use his leg again, attend school, and help out at home. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Gedion shares, "This state has really pulled me down. I don’t know what to do. Kindly help me so that I may be able to pursue my dreams and change the state of my family.”
Stephen is a hardworking 29-year-old from Kenya. He lives with his single mother and his ten-year-old son. To support his mother and son, he works at a barber shop. Four months ago, Stephen fell from a tree while he was fetching firewood for his mother. This fall caused a closed fracture of his right hand. This condition has profoundly affected Stephen, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. He currently experiences a lot of pain and can no longer work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Stephen will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will heal his fracture and alleviate his pain. After receiving treatment, he will be able to return to his barber shop business and generate income for his mother and son. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Stephen shares, "Already my mother has been taking care of me and my son. I desperately need help so that I can regain my own self, start working to support my son, and not be dependent on my mother.”
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"
John is a young student from Haiti who lives with his mother and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He already loves going to kindergarten and enjoys playing with puzzles. John has a cardiac condition called double outlet right ventricle meaning the major arteries connect to the heart in an abnormal location making it difficult for blood to properly flow through his body. Unfortunately the treatment John needs to heal is not available anywhere in Haiti. So, John is flying to the Cayman Islands to receive cardiac surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will detach the arteries from John's heart and reconnect them in their anatomically correct locations. Have a Heart Cayman is contributing $17,000 to pay for this surgery. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, needs $1,500 to help John's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany John's family overseas. John's mother shared, "Our family all looks forward to our son having a more normal life after this surgery!"