Thomas joined Watsi on April 3rd, 2015. Nine years ago, Thomas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Thomas' most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Elisante, a 16-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund corrective leg surgery so he can play football.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 113 patients in 12 countries.
Thomas has funded healthcare for 113 patients in 12 countries.
Elisante is a 16-year-old boy from Tanzania. He lives in Arusha with his mother and father. He has five siblings. Elisante loves playing football and enjoys watching matches on television. In 2020, Elisante was playing football and hit his leg. He experienced pain in his leg, swelling, and discomfort walking. After about a month, his leg began to feel better and he continued his usual activities. However, Elisante identifies this injury as the start of various issues with his legs. Recently, Elisante was diagnosed with windswept deformity. His legs bow both inward and outward, causing a windswept appearance. As a result, he experiences difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elisante. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 21st. Treatment will hopefully restore Elisante's mobility, allow him to participate in his usual activities, and decrease his risk of future complications. Ephraim says: “I can no longer play football much. Walking has become challenging and I can no longer wear shorts due to how my legs are bent. I would be grateful if I had this surgery.”
Paulo is a 17-year-old boy from Tanzania. He lives with his parents and his four siblings. His parents are farmers who grow food for their family and sell the excess to support their family. Due to limited funds, Paulo and his siblings had to stop attending school. Paulo experiences difficulty with his mobility. When Paulo was enrolled in school, he was often unable to walk the distance to class. Paulo's parents were inspired to seek treatment for Paulo after attending an outreach seminar held by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Doctors at AMH's care center determined that Paulo's limited mobility is due to the shape of his legs, and Paulo was diagnosed with genu varus. Genu varus is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Fortunately, AMH can help. AMH is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Paulo's legs. Paulo's procedure is scheduled to take place on June 6th, and will hopefully restore Paulo's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and decrease his risk of future complications. Paulo says, "I hope that one day I will be able to walk without feeling any discomfort."
Bunhorm, who is 16 years old, lives with his parents and younger sister in Prey Veng province in Cambodia. His parents are rice farmers, while his older brother works in Phnom Penh City. Bunhorm loves team sports and aspires to be a professional volleyball player. Unfortunately, two weeks ago, Bunhorm fell during a volleyball game and suffered a fracture to his right lower arm (distal radius). His parents took him to a traditional Khmer healer, but his arm has remained swollen. He cannot use his hand and is in great pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help with a noninvasive treatment technique called manipulation under anesthesia. While under general anesthesia, Bunhorm's muscles will relax, permitting the manipulation and correction of his fracture by moving his bones back into alignment. The procedure is scheduled for April 28th at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, and Bunhorm and his family need your help funding the $521 procedure. Bunhorm's mother shared: "We hope his arm will be straight, and he can go back to school and play volleyball again."
Rebecca is a young woman from Haiti. She lives with her parents and younger sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; she graduated from a local college with a business degree but has been unable to work for the past ten years because of her heart condition. She enjoys cooking and listening to Haitian music. Rebecca has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of Rebecca's heart was severely damaged due to an infection she suffered as a teenager; her heart could not adequately pump blood through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that she needs is not available anywhere in Haiti. Rebecca need to fly to the United States to receive treatment. She will undergo cardiac surgery, and doctors will remove Rebecca's damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, will contribute $26,000 to pay for surgery. Rebecca's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and follow-up care. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, checkups, and follow-up appointments. Rebecca shared with us: "Once I am fully healthy, I would like to return to Haiti and adopt a child to start my own family."
Phaw is a 38-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her friend on the Thai-Burma border while she receives treatment. Up until a month ago, she used to work in Bangkok and sent money to her father and stepmother every month to help support them. In her free time, Phaw enjoys playing mobile games, watching movies on her phone, and doing light exercise. Since 2021, Phaw has been experiencing slight pain between the right side of her back and her upper right thigh. She also feels tired and weak. Phaw cannot sleep on her right side because of the pain; if she does, she experiences shortness of breath. Phaw’s condition was diagnosed as a dermoid cyst. She needs to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy because, if left untreated, Phaw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Fortunately, Phaw is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on April 11th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Phaw will no longer be in pain and can work and support her family in Burma again. Phaw said: “Since I have this condition, my father has told me not to worry about supporting them financially. Instead, he told me to take care of my health [first] and seek treatment. I felt so relieved when he told me this.”
Meet Ku, a 21-year-old from Thailand. He lives with his parents, four younger brothers, and one younger sister. Two of his brothers are in school, while his parents and other siblings practice subsistence farming. Ku works as a day laborer, providing the sole income for his household. In his free time, Ku enjoys gardening, growing vegetables, and looking after his family's two cows. In March, Ku was in a driving accident that caused his motorcycle to fall onto his left leg, fracturing his left thigh. He was brought to a clinic before being referred to the local hospital. After an x-ray confirmed his diagnosis, he was referred to our medical partner's hospital for further treatment. Currently, Ku is experiencing a lot of pain and cannot move or lift his left leg, sit up, or leave the hospital bed. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery on March 13th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. This procedure will help him walk again and live pain-free. He will also be able to go back to work and will no longer require a caregiver. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Ku's surgery. Ku shared, "I feel so upset. I never thought I would become like this [bed-bound]. I want to get surgery soon so that I can recover and go back to work. If I'm not working, my family could have a problem. I had to borrow money from my friend [to pay for basic expenses while getting treatment]. I want to go back to work and pay back my debt."
Mwandu is a 5-year-old girl — the first born and the only child in her family. She lives with her parents in a small town called Msevya in the northwestern side of Tanzania. Her parents are subsistence farmers who rely on agriculture for food and money. Inflation has negatively affected their source of livelihood. As small-scale farmers, managing their crops has been more costly than purchasing crops from the market. One day when Mwandu was young, she was playing inside the house while her parents were working on the farm. Her mother had set a pot on the stove to prepare tea. Mwandu walked close to the stove and pulled the pot with her bare hands. Hot tea spilled on her arm and the right side of her body. She got burnt on her arm and armpit. Now burn contractures have developed, tightening the skin around her burn, limiting her arm extension and involvement in day-to-day activities. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mwandu receive treatment. On March 3rd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her increase extension of her right arm and allow her fully enjoy her childhood and school activities. Now, she needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Mwandu’s father says, “I hope she gets better because she will be starting school soon.”
Elenita is a 60-year-old woman from Philippines. She previously worked as a Registered Midwife but lost her job during the pandemic's peak. She's now reliant on her four children for her daily basic needs. In January, Elenita began to experience troubling symptoms, including lower back pain that's radiating down to her lower extremities. She sought a medical checkup and was told to have an ultrasound and CT scan. The tests revealed that she was suffering from gallstones. These are small stones that are usually made of cholesterol that causes inflammation of the gallbladder. Elenita has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Elenita is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on February 17th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Elenita's surgery and care. Elenita shared, "Thank you, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! You are such a blessing and I will never forget how you save my life. If in the future you will need my service as a midwife, I'm more than willing to help out."
Berlando is a 4-month-old baby boy from Haiti. He is the only child of a single young mother. Berlando has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Berlando has been experiencing Increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Berlando will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Berlando at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on January 26th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Berlando's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Berlando will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. His mother is looking forward to him being able to go to school and play with other children as he grows older.
Oy is a 65 year-old grandmother from Cambodia. She has three sons, two daughters and eleven grandchildren to keep her busy. Currently, she lives with her husband and a few of her grandchildren, as some of her children work far from home. She shared that she does not have much free time, but when she does, she likes to go to the pagoda in her village. Two years ago, Oy developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision and sensitivity to light. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places on her own. When Oy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and half hours seeking treatment. On January 9th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help raising $253 to fund her procedure and care. Oy shared, "I hope my vision improves and I can do housework, take care of my grandchildren and get around easily by myself."
Moses is a playful four-year-old boy from Nyandarua County in Kenya. He is the seventh and youngest child in his family. Both of his parents are peasant farmers. Moses was a healthy child at birth. However, last year his mother noticed an unusual bending of his legs towards each other, known as knock knees. At that time, Moses' mother was told to wait until Moses was older before considering treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund hemiepiphysiodesis surgery for Moses, which is scheduled for April 18th at AIC Cure International Hospital. This procedure, also known as guided growth, will gradually correct Moses' angular limb deformity, enabling him to walk comfortably as he grows older. “I will appreciate any kind of support purposed to help my boy walk normally like other children.” Moses’s mother told us.
Marivel is a hardworking and loving daughter from the Philippines. She is a 2nd-year college student. While studying, she tried to look for jobs to support her family. Unfortunately, to date she has been unable to pass the medical (health) requirements. The only breadwinner in the family is her father who works as a pedicab driver. Her father's income is often not enough to bring food to the table. In 2018, Marivel began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on her neck that is growing in size, and episodes of difficulty breathing. Due to the inadequate family resources, she did not seek treatment. By the time she finally had a chance to be checked by a doctor, her condition had worsened. She was diagnosed with Nodular Non-Toxic Goiter, a thyroid gland enlargement with no disturbance in the thyroid function. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Marivel receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 10th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $890 to cover the cost of Marivel's procedure and care. Marivel shared, "I'd like to thank Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines. You're not just giving me surgery, but also a chance to support my family. After my treatment, I'd be able to find a decent job and provide for our needs."