Tom Van den BercktUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Tom's Story

Tom joined Watsi on May 6th, 2016. Eight years ago, Tom joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tom's most recent donation supported Chiva, a hardworking young man from Cambodia, to fund fracture repair surgery.

Impact

Tom has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 11 countries.

Patients funded by Tom

Peace is an eight-year-old girl from Kenya who was brought to our care center by her grandmother. She is the firstborn of two siblings and is in grade two at her local public primary school. Peace's mother, who is 30 years old, dropped out of school after getting pregnant with Peace. Despite her desire to return to school after giving birth, her parents refused, as her other two siblings were already in school. Consequently, Peace's mother started a family life. She works as a casual laborer, picking tea on other people's farms, and Peace's father owns a boda boda (motorcycle taxi). The family also owns a piece of land with tea plants and another where they grow maize, beans, and Irish potatoes for their family's home consumption. In 2022, while attempting to lift her brother, Peace accidentally fell and injured her hand. She was taken to the hospital, where she had an X-ray, and the doctors applied a Plaster of Paris. However, the plaster was removed after a month and a half, and her hand had already deformed. Peace was then referred to another hospital for treatment, but the family lacked the necessary funds for the required surgical procedure at the time. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help Peace heal. On November 3rd, Peace will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure helps fix severely broken bones and is only used for serious fractures that can't be treated with a cast or splint. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), requests $1,079 to fund this surgery. Peace's mother said, "I kindly ask for your support so that my little daughter can have a normal life like the rest."

$1,079raised
Fully funded

Benedister is a 45-year-old single mother and small-scale farmer from Kenya. She plants maize and millet for her family's consumption and for sale. Benedister has seven children between 11 and 23 years old. When she is done with her farm work, Benedister always looks for casual jobs in order to earn extra wages. She is very hardworking, as she is her family’s sole breadwinner. One day, while walking around her compound, Benedister fell and injured her right lower limb. She was unable to walk, so she was carried by some of her relatives to the hospital. Her pain was so intense that she was given some pain medication, then sent for an x-ray. The x-ray revealed that she had a bimalleolar fracture with a joint dislocation, which means that in addition to a bone being broken, the ligaments on the inside of her ankle were injured as well. She was treated, and then her ankle was immobilized with a bulky jones splint. She is not able to walk on her own and is in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 7th, Benedister will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Afterward, she will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Benedister says, “It’s really sad that I cannot walk without support. My children look up to me for all their needs and here I am now with a broken leg and cannot offer any help to them. Please help me get my bones fixed so that I will be able to work and live normally as before.”

$1,145raised
Fully funded

Zaw, who is 29 years old, lives with his wife and extended family members in Karen State, Burma. He and his wife are currently unemployed, although Zaw hopes to work as a second-hand motorbike seller. Zaw has had an irregular heartbeat since he was 10 years old. Although he visited a local clinic as a child, he was never provided a definitive diagnosis. By January 2022, he began to experience fatigue. His back and neck were stiff, and he lost his appetite. He also had difficulty sleeping, experienced a persistent cough and body aches, and his lips turned blue. After multiple hospital visits, Zaw was told he had a heart condition that required surgery. Unable to afford surgery in Burma, Zaw sought affordable care at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, he received a free echocardiogram, which revealed he had mitral valve regurgitation, atrial valve regurgitation, pulmonary valve regurgitation, and patent ductus arteriosus. He is now scheduled for a procedure at Kasemrad Prachachuen Hospital in Bangkok on April 18th to repair or replace three of his valves and address any other issues with his heart. Currently, Zaw continues to experience fatigue, thus he is unable to work. He experiences shortness of breath and a racing heartbeat, for which he requires oxygen therapy three times a day. He needs your help to raise the $1,500 to fund his life-changing surgery. Zaw said: “I want to be free from this disease as soon as possible. Thank you all for helping with my treatment cost.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded