Thomas joined Watsi on April 3rd, 2015. Eight years ago, Thomas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Thomas' most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Dollores, a 59-year-old teacher from Philippines, to fund a breast mastectomy to treat cancer.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 12 countries.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 12 countries.
Dollores is a hardworking 59-year-old woman from Philippines. She was an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, and then worked as a call center agent. Unfortunately, in October 2022, she was dismissed from her job due to being medically unfit. Now, she lives with her daughter and family, and the sole breadwinner is her son-in-law, who works in finance. In June 2022, Dollores noticed a mass on her right breast. At her initial examination, she was told that the mass was benign, but in a follow-up biopsy, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, or a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been recommended to remove the cancer and prevent it from metastasizing. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Dollores receive treatment. On January 7th, she will undergo a mastectomy at WSFP's care center. After treatment, Dollores will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. Dollores needs help raising $1,058 to cover the remaining cost of her procedure and care. Dollores shared tearfully, "your help brings relief to my heart and mind. This will ease my worries, especially about the medical bill. I believe that there's a reason why you're saving me, and that's for me to continue with my life. Thank you, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! I hope to give back the help that you've given me."
Chorn is a 33-year-old father of three. Chorn is married; he and his wife both work in a local factory. Chorn's children are all in public school. When Chorn and his wife have free time, they grow vegetables around their house to support their daily meals. When he was a child, Chorn had a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his right ear to perforate. For this reason, Chorn experiences pain, fevers, and frequent ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear in the busy factory and he often misses work because he feels poorly. Chorn traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 6th he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $487 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Chorn shared, "I hope the doctors can help me so I will no longer have infections and can hear better. It is important for me to work to support my family."
Daw San is 64-year-old woman who lives with her daughter-in-law in a border town in Thailand. Originally from Burma, she moved to Thailand to live with her son and daughter-in-law after her daughter unfortunately passed away. Daw San is now retired and helps her family with cooking. At the end of 2020, Daw San began experiencing lower back pain and a fever. After receiving an ultrasound at a medical clinic, she was diagnosed with stones in her right kidney. The medic provided her with oral medication and follow-up appointments. At these appointments, she would receive an ultrasound and a refill of her medication. After feeling her symptoms improve, she did not return to the clinic. However, Daw San began experiencing strong pain in her lower abdomen and back this past June. She also began to experience dizziness, difficulty sleeping, a lack in appetite, and pain when using the restroom. After undergoing an ultrasound and X-ray, it was determined that Daw San has very large stones in her right kidney, which need to be broken up through laser treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Daw San receive treatment. On August 3rd, surgeons will perform shockwave lithotripsy to break down and treat the kidney stones. Now, she needs help funding this $1,500 procedure. Daw San shares, “I am very happy to learn that an organization will help pay for the cost of my surgery. I am very thankful to the donors and the organization. When I recover fully, I will go back to my village in Bago Division to live with my aunt.”
Misgana is a 15-month-old girl from Ethiopia. She is a happy and friendly baby. She has one older sister she loves to play with, and she also loves playing with her dolls. Her mom makes injera (a traditional Ethiopian food) for a living. She brings her two daughters along with her to work because she has no one to look after them while she is away. Misgana's dad is a farmer and they live in a rented house. Misgana was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Misgana underwent emergency colostomy surgery at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM) and now needs to have her next stage of treatment to fully heal. Her mom shared how difficult this has been on their family psychologically and that they cannot afford Misgana's medical bill. Fortunately, Misgana is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Misgana's procedure and care. After her recovery, Misgana will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Her mom says “I hope my child will heal and grow. I want her to learn about God. And I wish she will get a good education and become a teacher.”
Rosette is a 47-year-old woman who has two grown children: a married daughter and a son who works as a casual laborer. Rosette and her husband practice small scale-farming, which Rosette uses to supplement her income from a small food vending business. Rosette has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including pain and swelling on her neck, for some time now. As a result, Rosette cannot carry anything on her head, which negatively affects her business. Upon review, doctors diagnosed her condition as a nodular goiter and determined that she needs to undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Rosette receive treatment. On May 17th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $252 to help fund Rosette's surgery. Rosette says, “I had given up on my care because I need more money than I can afford. I beg for your support and will be very glad when I get surgery to enable me to do well in my activities.”
Phin is a 53-year-old woman. She and her husband work as rice farmers, and they have one daughter, three sons, and three grandchildren. In her free time, Phin likes to visit her relatives in the village and listen to music on the radio. Three years ago, Phin developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her burning, tearing, and poor vision. As a result, Phin has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going outside. When Phin learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled across the country for eight and a half hours seeking treatment. On May 2nd, Phin will undergo a procedure to heal her condition and prevent a recurrence. CSC is requesting $225 to fund her surgery, which includes medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Phin shared, "After surgery, I hope my eyes stop burning and I feel comfortable. I want to return to the rice field to help my husband."
Aleeson is a three-year-old who needs open-heart surgery. He lives in Port-au-Prince with his parents and one older brother; his father is an accountant and his mother is a homemaker. Aleeson was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. As a result of these defects, his heart cannot adequately provide oxygen to his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Doctors will perform open-heart surgery to repair these defects and to allow his heart to function fully. As the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Aleeson will fly to Italy to receive treatment and on September 27th, he will undergo life-saving cardiac surgery. Aleeson's family 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 his family overseas. Aleeson's father shared: "Our family feels very lucky to have this wonderful chance for our son's surgery."
Olivia is a 45-year-old small businesswoman and mother of four. Her children are in school, and she sells vegetables while her husband tends to their small piece of land. Olivia shared that their income helps them to meet their daily needs, however it has been very difficult for them to save up money for the cost of her surgery. Three years ago, Olivia began to experience troubling symptoms, including neck swelling, breathing problems, and fatigue. Upon review, doctors diagnosed her condition as a multi-nodular goiter and determined that she will need to undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Olivia receive treatment. On April 12th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy, in which surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $252 to cover the cost of Olivia’s surgery. Olivia shared, “It is hard for me to work well because this swelling gives me ill-health. I hope that once it is removed, I will regain my health and continue providing for my family.”
Meet Gemechu, an adorable and cheerful nine-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He lives with his parents and five siblings. His father is a farmer, and his mother is a homemaker. Gemechu loves imitating others and trying to do what he observes others doing. He also loves to play with toy cars and with his siblings. Gemechu was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. His parents share that at one point, Gemechu's condition left him unable to talk, as well as unable to move his head and body. Although he has received a colostomy insertion procedure, he still needs further treatment in order to fully heal his condition. Fortunately, Gemechu is scheduled to undergo surgery to help correct his condition on August 9th at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gemechu's procedure and care. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Gemechu's father shares, "Our hope grew a lot, even now. The colostomy changed his life. He is healthy, he eats well, and we hope for a lot more after this planned surgery, specifically for him to get better and to live a normal life. We hope his life will change after this surgery."
Abegaelle is a five-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives in the capital city of Port-au-Prince with her parents and older brother. Some of her favorite activities include going to preschool and attending church with her family. Abegaelle was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through, leaving her weak and short of breath. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Abegaelle receive treatment. She will travel to the Dominican Republic to undergo surgery on July 26th, during which surgeons will insert a catheter to plug the hole in her heart and restore a healthy blood flow. Abegaelle's family is raising $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Abegaelle and her family overseas. Abegaelle's mother shared, "Our family is all very thankful that Abegaelle will have this chance to have her heart fixed!"
Dennis is a newly married, 20-year-old motorbike taxi driver. Dennis' wife is currently unemployed, so Dennis' earnings need to sustain his family. On April 14th, Dennis was involved in a road accident while riding his motorbike. He was diagnosed with a closed fracture of his femur, put in traction, and sent home from the hospital to heal. A clinical officer at our medical partner's hospital who knows Dennis reviewed his X-ray, and after consulting with another surgeon, it was determined that Dennis requires surgery in order for his fracture to heal properly. Currently, it is difficult for Dennis to walk, and he is still in constant pain. Dennis shared that this was not how he had hoped to begin married life. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Nazareth Hospital, can help. On June 2nd, Dennis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This operation will enable Dennis' fracture to heal without deformity or malunion. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “This is not the way I expected to start my family. I had planned to work hard, but this accident has interrupted that. It is one month now since the accident, and my leg is not well yet. I pray that I may get help, and have this surgery done so that my leg can be well soon to resume working for my new family,” Dennis said.
Marc is a 16-year-old boy who lives in an urban neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, with his parents and four younger siblings. He is in his first year of high school and would like to eventually become either an engineer or a teacher. Marc was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The birth defect means there's a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which often leaves Marc weak and short of breath. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. There is not a local pediatric cardiac surgical team in Haiti, but our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to accompany Marc to the Dominican Republic. There, on May 25th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole in his heart. "I have been waiting for this chance for many years," Marc said, "and I am very happy the time is almost here!" The Rotarian-based organization Gift of Life International is contributing $5,000 toward Marc's surgery. His family needs to raise $1,500 to help cover remaining medical costs and travel for Marc.