Zack joined Watsi on November 25th, 2013. Eight years ago, Zack joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Zack's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Anthonie, a 9-year-old boy from Haiti, to fund overseas prep and transportation for his life-saving heart surgery.
Zack has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 12 countries.
Zack has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 12 countries.
Anthonie is a student from Haiti. He lives with his aunt and uncle and their family in a small town in northern Haiti. He enjoys going to school and church. Anthonie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These prevent blood from flowing normally through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. The care Anthonie needs is not available in Haiti so he needs to travel for surgery. He will fly to the Cayman Islands and on January 9th will undergo cardiac surgery. During surgery, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole to close it, and remove the muscular blockage in his heart. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is also contributing $16,000 to pay for his treatment. Anthonie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up care. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also pays for obtaining his passport, and for the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Anthonie's family overseas. Anthonie's aunt says, "Anthonie has been very sick for a long time, we are all praying that this is the miracle that will make him better!"
Rosario is a 64-year-old woman from the Philippines. She is a post-stroke patient and currently lives with her daughter, who works as a call center agent to provide for their basic needs. Unfortunately, her income isn't enough to cover Rosario's medical expenses. In 2012, Rosario began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain in her back and the upper abdominal area. She consulted a doctor and was diagnosed with gallstones. She was prescribed medications to alleviate her symptoms, but due to financial limitations, she wasn't able to have follow-up check-ups with her doctor. Consequently, her treatment was delayed and her symptoms worsened. Fortunately, she came to Our Lady of Peace Hospital, our partner care facility. After a thorough assessment and a series of laboratory tests, it was determined that Rosario needs to have surgery to treat her condition. Rosario has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Rosario is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on December 2nd. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Rosario's surgery and care. Rosario shared: "Without your support, I might have just endured my illness and might not be able to get treatment. We're incapable of paying for my hospital bills. So, thank you so much Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for the opportunity to finally be treated."
Chanrong is a 29-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He is married with two children. His wife also works as a farmer. In addition to growing their rice crop, they also grow vegetables and feed animals. During his free time, he enjoys listening to music, reading books, watching TV, and playing with his one-year-old and five-year-old children. In 2014, Chanrong was involved in a motorbike accident. This left him with a serious injury to his left shoulder and arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in a loss of function and sensation. Over time, he has lost the ability to flex or extend his elbow, wrist, and fingers due to nerve damage. He has also lost almost all sensation in his arm, leaving him with only a burning sensation. Fortunately, Chanrong traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the country where the treatment he needs is available. On August 1st, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. The goal of this surgery is to improve functioning in his hand and arm. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this life-changing procedure. Chanrong says, "I hope after surgery my left arm is able to move and I can use it to support my family on our farm."
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Samwel, a very social and hardworking Kenyan father of eight children, is an active maize farmer who likes spending most of his time on his farm. He works hard to meet the needs of his family. His wife takes care of their home and helps him in his daily farming activities. Samwel lives with his family in a semi-permanent house in their farm. His elder children are married, and they also work hard to meet their own families' basic needs. Samwel presented to the emergency department with cuts on his left wrist joint and on his knees after an assault with a machete by a person known to him. This was brought up by family conflicts due to land disputes. Doctors diagnosed that he had multiple tendon injuries with nerve injuries in his wrist and an open fracture of his left distal femur in his leg. He is in pain and cannot walk with ease. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him heal and get active again. On September 5th, Samwel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Samwel will no longer experience pain. He will go back to his family and continue with his farm activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Samwel says, “I have so much pain, but I am happy to be alive. I hope to get treated, go back home and be with my family.”
Brian is an 11-year-old boy, living with his grandmother and two younger siblings. Brian's mother left when they were young and his grandmother has been raising them. She practices small scale farming on her land, in an effort to provide for the family. About a month ago, Brian came to his grandmother and told her that he was different from the other boys he knows. Brian's grandmother brought him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, which means that he has an undescended testicle. His grandmother was told that Brian would need surgery to correct this condition. Without surgery, he risks infection, strangulation, cancer, and the possibility of infertility, down the road. Brian will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 16th at Nazareth Hospital, and African Mission Healthcare Foundation is raising $483 to cover the total cost of Brian's procedure and care. After surgery, Brian will continue to be the active young man that he has always been, helping his grandmother to take care of his younger siblings, and secure in the knowledge that he is just like all of the other boys he knows. “My daughter left me with these children to struggle with them. And since they are my grandchildren, I love them and would not like any of them feeling unwell; especially Brian because he helps me a lot. I plead for support so that he can be treated and be well to continue assisting me and also be like the other boys,” said Brian's grandmother.
Lekitony is a kind 13-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of nine children. He and his family are from a Maasai community in a remote village where people mainly practice livestock keeping to support themselves. He is very hardworking and helps his parents look after the cattle in search of pasture and water. Lekitony was diagnosed with right genu valgum, meaning his right leg is bowed inward, causing his knees to touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, often stemming from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Lekitony. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Lekitony's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Lekitony shares, “When I run, my knees knock and I fall. Also, most of the time my knees hurt.”
Rose is a retried woman who used to work as a junior officer at the county government in Machakos in Kenya. Her husband is also retired, and they both now spend their time farming at their ancestral home to provide food for their family. Together, they have one daughter who is currently attending secondary school. Their family does not have a stable source of income. Rose was involved in a motorbike accident two weeks ago, and she was rushed to a nearby facility. There, she was treated for pain and discharged, but she later developed a blister on her right leg which burst and worsened into a wound. After attempting to clean the wound at home with no improvement, one of Rose's relatives advised her to visit Kijabe Hospital. On June 21st, she visited the facility and underwent two debridement surgeries where they removed damaged and infected tissue in her leg. However, her wound still needs care, as well as skin graft surgery. Due to financial constraints, Rose has not been able to pay for her medical coverage since she retired. She accrued a bill that she has been unable to clear, and as a result, she cannot afford her third procedure. Rose currently experiences pain due to her injury, and she is unable to use her right leg or walk. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Rose receive treatment. On July 4th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to get rid of the infection and help her walk again. Now, Rose needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Rose shares, “I haven’t been able to walk since the accident. The leg was so swollen and infected. I am scared I might lose my leg if not treated.”
Ley Thy is a 56-year-old grandmother who sells vegetables at the local market with her husband. She enjoys playing with her grandchildren, listening to the news, and cooking for her family. Because of her diabetes, Ley Thy has experienced problems with her left foot, resulting in pain and difficulty walking. Surgeons at our local partner hospital, Children's Surgical Centre, have determined that they will need to amputate Ley Thy's lower leg, which will preserve the rest of her leg, and enable Ley Thy to walk without pain. Ley Thy is scheduled for surgery on May 2nd, and needs help to pay for the cost of the $479 operation. This includes the surgery, medication, and her post-operative stay in the hospital. Ley Thy shared: "I hope that I can walk again after this surgery, and I will have no more infections or pain. I want to be healthy enough to care for my grandchildren."
Alex is a student and is a very ambitious and active teenager from Kiambu, Kenya. He is the only child of a single mother, who is a hawker of different items. He is in high school and his mother shared that he has a passion for football and running. After schools were closed in March, Alex decided to go and visit his aunt who lives near Nazareth Hospital. Being playful as he is, he took a bicycle from his aunts’ house and decided to have a ride on last Saturday. Unfortunately, while riding, he tried to avoid a collision and he fell. He sustained an injury to his left hand. Now Alex is in pain, unable to use his hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 12th, Alex will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Alex's fracture will heal, he will be able to use his hand and also resume school. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I am feeling for my son, and hope he could receive the sponsorship so that he can be well before the school opens,” said Alex’s mother.
Abigail is a bright three-year-old girl. She lives with her parents and one older brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of Haiti. Abigail was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus. The deformity causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near the heart. That makes it difficult for her small heart to function properly and can lead to tiredness, shortness of breath and restricted growth as she gets older. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged for Abigail, her family and an escort to travel to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. Abigail should then be able to go on to live a full, healthy life. Another charity, Gift of Life International, is also contributing $5,000 toward the procedure, which is scheduled to take place on May 24th. This $1,500 will help fund Abigail's life-changing surgery and related care. Abigail's mother says, "We would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter's heart!"
Dominic is an 11-year-old student in the second grade. He enjoys reading and playing with his friends in school. Dominic and his brother are twins, and they are the third-born children in their family. His father works as a mechanic in the village, while his mother works at home to take care of their family. Dominic was born with a condition that affects his feet and his ability to walk. He has difficulty walking, and often falls when he runs and plays with his friends in school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dominic receive treatment. On April 11th, he will undergo bilateral achilles tendon lengthening surgery, and serial casting for his knee. After surgery, he will be able to walk well and play with his friends easily. Now, he and his parents need help raising $1,224 to fund his procedure and care. Dominic's mother shared, "I will be happy to see him walking well like other children. Any support will be highly appreciated."