Bilal joined Watsi on January 22nd, 2014. Four years ago, Bilal joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bilal's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Lu, a 63-year-old Burmese refugee from Thailand, to fund cataract surgery.
Bilal has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 11 countries.
Bilal has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 11 countries.
Lu is a 63-year-old man who lives with his wife and niece in a refugee camp in Thailand. He is unemployed, while his wife is a homemaker, and his niece is a student. Lu enjoys going to the forest to fish in the steams and to forage for vegetables. He shared he also likes to read the Bible and to sing hymns. Lu developed cataracts in both of his eyes. As a result, his vision is blurry and impaired, which makes it difficult for Lu to lead an independent life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Lu. On January 19th, doctors at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital will perform a lens replacement procedure, during which they will remove Lu's natural lenses, and replace them with intraocular lens implants. After recovery, Lu will be able to see clearly again and get back to his day-to-day life. Now, he needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Lu said: “I feel so annoyed and uncomfortable when I try to look around me, so I will often just close my eyes,” he said. “I want to receive surgery so that my vision can be restored.”
Meet David, a 29-year-old boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) rider from Kenya. He and his wife have two children. David's income supports their family, but he was recently injured in a hit-and-run accident that compromised his mobility. David was driving his boda-boda when he was hit by another car. An x-ray revealed that he fractured his right leg and dislocated his right ankle. David has a cast on his leg and uses crutches to walk. He needs to undergo surgery to heal. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On December 15th, David will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Once he fully recovers from his treatment, David will be able to walk again and take care of his family. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. David says, "I rely on my legs to ride my motorbike. This is how I feed my family. With this fracture, I am unable to work and provide for them. Therefore, I appeal for your support."
Na is a 54-year-old homemaker from Thailand. She lives with her husband and her niece in a refugee camp. Her husband is a mechanic and her niece helps her with household chores since her vision worsened. In her free time, she likes to pray and listen to the news. She also enjoys helping her husband repair bicycles and motorcycles. Na has cataracts. The vision in her right eye is very blurry and she can only perceive light with her left eye. Her niece now has to do most of the household chores since her vision is so poor. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund eye surgery for Na. On November 27, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Na's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "I have no children to take care of me and my husband," Na said. "Because of this, I want to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can recover."
Monicah is a shy four year old girl who loves being with her grandmother. She is the first born in a family of two. She hails from a village in Machakos county, Kenya. Monicah was diagnosed to have hemiplegic cerebral palsy, a condition that paralyses one side of the body. She also 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, Monicah's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Monicah's clubfoot repair. The surgery will be impactful to her since she will be able to walk without pain and finally she will be able to step on the ground with her right foot. “I am pleading support for my daughter to undergo surgery. I would love to see her stepping on the ground confidently,” Monicah’s mother told us.
Samuel is a 38 year old casual laborer and single father of one son, who is six years old. As Samuel's income is modest, both he and his son live with Samuel's parents in Malawi. Samuel enjoyed good health until April 2022. He was visiting relatives at a distance from his home, when he developed a cough and lost his voice. He was treated for his cough, but in June, he noticed a small, painful swelling on the right side of his neck. Although he went to a local hospital, nothing was done, and the swelling continued to grow, causing Samuel more pain, difficulty swallowing, and occasional breathlessness. After visiting numerous hospitals, Samuel finally went to Partners in Hope Medical Center, where tests revealed the existence of a goiter on his thyroid gland. As the goiter was fast growing, the surgeons informed Samuel that he would need to have a thyroidectomy, to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Samuel is scheduled to have surgery on October 4th, at Partners in Hope Medical Center. After the procedure, Samuel will be able to return to his work, and to caring for his child, which he has been unable to do since falling ill. Samuel and his family are seeking $1,015 to help fund Samuel's care. “I wish to get better and look after my child,” said Samuel while looking worried.
Khin is a 40-year-old woman who enjoys growing flowers and vegetables in her free time. She lives with her husband, son, and four daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker and takes care of her youngest daughter while her husband sells snacks in front of their home. Her son works in a teashop and her three oldest daughters currently attend primary school. Khin shares that she hopes to run a fruit shop to further support her family once she recovers. When Khin was 22 years old, she developed an ulcer on her right heel that made it difficult to put weight on her foot and walk. Fortunately, she received multiple skin grafts and the ulcer eventually healed. However, the ulcer returned in 2019, and despite receiving the same treatment as before, she was only able to walk with a limp after surgery. Last April, Khin began experiencing severe pain on her right heel once again. She eventually sought medical attention and was told by her doctor that she has cancer in her right lower leg. Her doctor advised that she have her leg amputated below her knee, but due to financial constraints, she could not proceed with the surgery and returned home. After three months, the pain continued to worsen and Khin visited our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), to request painkillers. After examining her leg, the doctor at MCLH told her that she would have to have her lower right leg amputated to prevent the spread of the cancer. Just as before, Khin refused the amputation. The doctor then referred her to the oncology department of Mawlamyine General Hospital and recommended that she receive a biopsy to confirm her diagnosis and need for surgery. The biopsy revealed that she has skin cancer. Khin decided that she wanted to proceed with the amputation despite being unable to fund the cost. The doctor admitted her that same day and fortunately referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On September 1st, surgeons at MCLH's care center will perform a leg amputation. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Khin's life-changing procedure. Khin shares, “I just came to MCLH for painkillers, and I did not know that the doctor would help me through donors. When I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I felt so happy and my stress was relieved. My family also encouraged me to have the amputation so I can live a longer life with my children. I would like to say thank you to the donors for giving me a chance to live longer with my children.”
Alejandro is a tech-savvy 11-year-old boy from western Bolivia who just finished fifth grade. He loves everything related to computers and video games. He lives with his parents, who are both schoolteachers, and his two younger brothers. Alejandro was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alejandro is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 27th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alejandro's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alejandro and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alejandro shares, "I am excited to be allowed to play soccer once I have recovered from my surgery!"
Zara is a bright and creative 3-year-old from Haiti. She lives with her parents and two older sisters, and she loves going to preschool. One of her favorite ways to spend her time is by exploring her creativity and doing arts and crafts projects. Zara was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which blood leaks through a hole between two major blood vessels next to her heart. This causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. During the procedure, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can properly flow through her body. This will allow Zara to breath with ease. Zara's mother said, "Our family is very hopeful that after this surgery our daughter will become healthier and stronger."
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Denis is a charming and friendly three-year-old boy. Denis's mother is a single mom, and she has a small business selling fruits and vegetables to support her family. Denis has a twin brother, along with another sibling. Denis has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition in which the knees angle inward and touch one another when his legs are straightened. This is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Denis's gait is affected. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Denis receive treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Denis's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, his family needs help raising $880 to fund his procedure and care. Denis’s mother shared, "now that my son’s insurance is not covering the surgery, I won’t have any means to raise the money. Please assist me."
Angelica is a hard-working young mom with a three-year-old son. She and her partner work in construction, earning just enough to support their daily needs. Angelica was diagnosed with external hemorrhoids. Because of her financial situation, even though she experiences pain, she is not able to get the medical care she needs to heal. Fortunately, Angelica is scheduled to undergo surgery to treat her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,163 to cover the total cost of Angelica's procedure and care. After her recovery, Angelica will no longer experience severe pain and other complications in the future. "I want to be able to take care of my child without worrying about my condition," Angelica explained. "I am fortunate to have been referred for surgery with World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi; without them, I'm not sure where we would be able to get help for my treatment."
Guy is an 8-year-old student from Haiti. Her lives with his parents and younger brother and sister in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. He likes going to school and dressing up for church. Guy 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 properly circulating through his body, leaving him sickly and weak. Guy will fly to nearby Dominican Republic to receive treatment as the care he needs is not currently available in Haiti. On February 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for his surgery. Guy's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and his check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Guy's family overseas. His mom is relieved that his surgery is finally happening and shared: "I am looking forward to seeing my son gaining weight and strength after his surgery!"