UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERHTX - HON - MEX
United States • Born on September 26th
Arturo joined Watsi on March 26th, 2013. Seven years ago, Arturo joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Arturo's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Somethea, a 12-year-old from Cambodia, to fund surgery to regain the use of his hand.
Arturo has funded healthcare for 112 patients in 13 countries.
Arturo has funded healthcare for 112 patients in 13 countries.
Somethea is a 12-year-old boy from Cambodia. He is in the 8th grade and enjoys studying Khmer literature and history. He hopes to become a policeman when he grows up. Somethea has two brothers and likes to play football with them in his free time. His mother is a tailor, and his father stays home. When he was two years old, Somethea's right hand was burned in a cooking fire. After the burn healed, the skin around his fingers retracted and bent his finger, resulting in one of his finger joints becoming partially dislocated. This condition causes him pain, and he cannot move his fingers, write with a pen or pencil, or hold objects in his hand. When Somethea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On December 15th, surgeons at CSC will perform a contracture release and full-thickness skin graft to relieve him of pain and allow him to use his fingers again. CSC is requesting $673 to fund this procedure. Somethea's family was able to gather $100 to contribute to his care. Somethea said: "I hope I can use my hand after this operation and have no more pain."
Isaiah is a young boy from Kenya. He is the eighth born in a family of ten children. Some of his siblings have finished school while others are still studying. Isaiah's father passed on earlier this year and their family relies on his mother and the older siblings to get by. His mother works on people's farms for a living while the older siblings are mostly casual laborers and do not earn much from their jobs. Isaiah was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Isaiah has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Their family does not have medical insurance coverage and cannot raise the required amount needed for Isaiah’s surgery. Fortunately, Isaiah will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 22nd. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Isaiah’s mother says, “When I first heard about this condition and what would happen if not treated, I was very worried for my son.”
Seint, who is 34 years old, lives with her parents and her aunt in Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. Her parents and her aunt make and sell mats from their home. When Seint was 13-years old, she noticed she started to easily tire, experienced heart palpitations, and had barely enough energy to play with her friends. Her mother took her to a nearby clinic, where the doctor examined her and told them that she had congenital heart disease. The doctor gave Seint medication, which she used together with traditional medicine. Both helped her to feel better. In November 2022, Seint felt extremely tired and experienced heart palpitations while she was completing physical exercises with her students. She also had difficulty breathing, and her vision became blurred. Her mother took her to a clinic, where she received medications which helped her to feel better. A few days later, however, she started to experience pain in her back whenever she felt tired. She also started to have difficulty breathing again, and had heart palpitations. Her mother brought her to a hospital in Yangon, where she received an echocardiogram that allowed the doctor to diagnose her with atrial septal defect. After additional testing, the doctor scheduled her to undergo urgent heart surgery at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to fund Seint's surgery, which will allow her to regain her health, and to live symptom free. Seint said: "I would like to recover as soon as possible. In the future, I will continue to work as a teacher. I love teaching students and wearing our school uniform proudly."
Lilian is a 25-year-old woman who works as a helper for another family. A mother of two young children, she is raising them alone, since she and her husband are separated. She says that despite struggling to sustain them, she loves them a lot. Six years ago, Lilian began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swollen neck, snoring, difficulty breathing especially at night and feeling the weight of a growth in her neck. She has also been experiencing low self-esteem due to the neck swelling. She was diagnosed with large Right Multinodular Goiter, and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Lillian could not go to the hospital for lack of money until one of her neighbours who had been supported through the Watsi program brought her to Nazareth Hospital for possible support. She was advised to have an ultrasound scan and thyroid function tests. For three months, she did not return to Nazareth, until last week when she had finally managed to raise money for the tests. Now our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Lilian receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on October 24th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $657, and she and her family need help raising money. Lilian is very optimistic and says, “Now I have the results and I am very hopeful that the sponsors will answer to my plea, so that I can regain my normal life, self-esteem and take care of my small children.”
Peter is a young man who lives with his parents and two siblings. Peter loves soccer, and recently graduated from secondary school with hopes of joining the army. Peter's father, a bus driver, is the sole breadwinner for the family of five. In June of 2022, Peter fractured his right leg during a soccer tournament. He received a cast for his injury, but it became apparent that the extent of his injuries are more severe than initially anticipated. Peter's recent x-ray revealed a tibial shaft fracture along the length of the bone between his knee and ankle. Due to his injury, Peter is unable to walk without the help of crutches. As a result, he cannot play soccer, join the army, or work to help support his family. Fortunately, the surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On January 25th, Peter will undergo a procedure to repair to stabilize his leg and repair his fracture, allowing him to heal and walk again without crutches. Now, Peter's family is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Peter says, “I want to serve my country as a soldier. This fracture is dimming my hopes of joining the forces. I can also not play soccer; that is my passion. I need this treatment to be able to use my leg again.”
Kay is 43-year-old woman and garment factory worker. She lives alone on the border of Thailand and Burma. Kay supports her parents in Burma by sending them money every month. In her free time, she enjoys reading books about Buddhism. In the middle of 2021, Kay began experiencing pain and abnormal bleeding. By September of 2022, the pain and symptoms had worsened. Kay has been diagnosed with myoma, or a noncancerous growth in the uterus. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which would surgically remove her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Kay's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Kay is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on September 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain or abnormal bleeding. She will be able to go back to work, and to continue supporting her family. “When I recover fully, I will continue to work in the garment factory. I will save my money and I will pay back my debt. I will try to continue supporting my parents,” said Kay.
Ronald is a middle-aged farmer from Kenya who is the thirdborn in a family of six. He and his family all live in semi-permanent houses and work as small-scale farmers. His father passed away years ago, so his mother, who is diabetic, was left to care for the children alone. Ronald studied up to the college level, but he could not secure a job in his field, so he now works as a casual laborer. He also helps his mother with house chores since she is sick and on medication, making it difficult for her to do them alone. With the income he earns through doing casual labor, Ronald helps support his family's basic day-to-day needs. Ronald was recently involved in a road traffic accident while traveling as a passenger on a motorbike. After his driver lost control due to being hit by another motorbike, they both fell on the tarmacked road, and the motorbike landed on Ronald's lower limbs. Fortunately, there were people around who helped them, but he could not manage to stand. He had to be lifted onto a passenger service vehicle, which took him to the hospital. Since he sustained an open fracture to his foot during the accident, it was treated as an emergency, and he was immediately taken to the operating room for cleaning and debridement. He was then admitted to the ward and is now waiting to undergo fracture repair surgery. He is currently in pain and unable to use his limb Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Ronald will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the procedure, he will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk and work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Ronald says, "I earn a living through casual jobs, which some are near and some are far from home. This state has actually brought me down. Please help me so that I may not be a burden once I am able to work.”
Jackson is a loving 4-year-old child. His father is a small-scale farmer who grows mainly food crops for his family to eat. His income is very limited because he must work on other people's farms in addition to growing his own crops. Jackson was diagnosed with windswept deformity. He learned to stand and walk at the age of one year. He was walking and playing without any challenges. But after a few months, his parents noticed his left leg was slightly bent inwards at the knee. Over a few months, his left leg became worse making him walk with a limp. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Jackson has pain when he walks even for a short distance, making him not want to walk at all in fear of the pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson’s mother says, “At the dispensary, they told us to feed him with foods containing calcium, but it never helped him. He was suffering but I could not afford to take him to a bigger hospital.”
Cleophas is a 23-year-old farmer and student from a Kenyan family of eleven. He is studying at a technical training institute, and grows potatoes to help him pay his school fees. His wife is also a student taking an information technology course at the same institute, and they have a 2-year-old son. When schools are in session, they live in a rental house near their school, but during the holiday they stay at home and focus on farming as it is their main source of income. Cleophas was preparing timber for repair of their maize store, when one of the timbers fell on his leg and injured him. The heavy timber broke his leg, and when he was examined, he had a large wound on his left leg with tendons and proximal tibia exposed. He was rushed to theatre for incision and drainage and his fracture was stabilized with a long leg posterior splint. Now Cleophas is unable to use his swollen and painful leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 8th, Cleophas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Cleophas will no longer be in pain, he will be able to use his leg and work to provide for family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this medical procedure. Cleophas says, "I am the sole bread winner in the family. Sometimes I give a helping hand to my parents so that my siblings can study. I feel so sorry for myself now that I cannot use my limb. Please help me so that my family may not suffer.”
Khu is a 42-year-old who lives with his three sisters and two nieces in a refugee camp. In February, he had to flee across the border from Karen State in Burma due to fighting around his village. His two younger sisters are students, while his other sister is currently working as an agricultural day laborer since Khu cannot work since his accident. He looks after his two nieces who are too young to go to school. In March, Khu was working on a local farm and was struck on the right forearm by a tire chain from an exploding tractor tire he was filling. After unsuccessfully trying for two months to heal his arm with blessed oil and turmeric paste, he sought medical help and was referred to Mae Sot hospital, where it was determined that he needs surgery for a broken forearm bone. Currently, Khu cannot lift up his right arm and cannot grab any objects with his right hand. He cannot move his right arm because of the pain. He has taken pain medicine since his accident to control the pain and he is not able to work. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Khu will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 1st and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help him regain use of his right arm so that he can go back to work and earn a living to support himself and his family. Khu said, “Everyone told me that I am very lucky that only my arm was injured. I feel very sad that I cannot work and that I have to depend on my sister’s income. She has to work hard since my accident. I hope I will get better soon so that I can find work again.”
Thanh is from Kampot province in Cambodia, and he and his wife are durian fruit farmers. They have a three-year-old daughter. In his free time, Thanh enjoys exercising, playing chess, and fishing. He also enjoys taking walks with his wife and daughter along the river. In January 2020, Thanh was in a motorbike collision and fractured his right tibia. He had an open reduction with an external fixation device at a local hospital, which was removed several months later. Unfortunately, the surgical site has become infected, with an exposed tibial bone. Thanh has chronic pain and cannot rid himself of the infection. He is unable to walk and feels ashamed that his wife must do much of the management of their small farm that supports their family. Thanh and his family traveled three hours to Children's Surgical Centre, where surgeons recommended debridement of the infected wound and a reverse sural flap. This technique is used to reconstruct defects in the lower part of the leg. Now, Thanh needs help with the $991 cost of this treatment. The cost includes surgery, medications, hospital care, and post-op rehabilitation. Thanh's wife shared: "My husband has been unable to walk or work for more than two years, which has been hard on our family. I hope that the doctors can fix his leg so he can walk well again and help manage the farm."
Shedrack is a 17-year-old teenager and the fourth born child in a family of seven. He had to drop out of school last year, but hopes to learn masonry at a local technical school so that he can work and make a living for himself. He is currently helping in looking after his family's cattle. His parents are small scale farmers, and his father also works as a night guard. His father shared that he can't yet afford to send Shedrack to the technical school. Shedrack was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His legs bow inward at the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has had difficulty walking for four years now. His father says the problem started with a slight curve but over the years the curve has increased in size. Shedrack's aunt learned about Plaster House - a special site that provides a home to patients undergoing treatment at our medical partner's care center in Arusha, Tanzania. She informed Shedrack's father who brought him there seeking treatment. Unable to raise the funds needed for surgery, their family is asking for support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shedrack. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shedrack's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Shedrack says, “My legs hurt at the knees and carrying out daily life activities is now a big challenge.”