Zack joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Nine years ago, Zack joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Zack's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Mark, an upbeat kid from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery.
Zack has funded healthcare for 124 patients in 16 countries.
Zack has funded healthcare for 124 patients in 16 countries.
Mark is a cheerful and social 4-year-old boy from Kenya who is in preschool. He is the second to last born in his family. Mark's mother is a businesswoman, selling rice and cereals within the village, and his father is a teacher. Mark's mother shared that he is an independent kid who likes playing with his friends and helping with household duties at home. Mark was diagnosed with a condition known as Left Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, a type of cerebral palsy that causes paralysis only on one side of the body. After going through a series of consultations in different hospitals without any improvements, Mark's mother heard about our medical partner's care center. Mark has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Mark's mother brought him to the care center, and upon review, the doctors recommended surgery. On November 28th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,286 to fund Mark's procedure. After treatment, he will be able to stand upright, walk confidently, and continue with his education without any difficulty. "I will be happy to see my son walking well like other children." Mark's mother told us.
Theara is a playful 5-year-old from Cambodia. She comes from Kampong Speu province where she lives with her parents and two older siblings. Theara's parents work as rice farmers, and her siblings are students in elementary school. She loves ice cream and playing with her friends in the village. In 2020, when Theara was three years old, she arrived at Children's Surgical Centre with cataracts in both eyes, speech delay, and lower limb irregularities. After receiving surgery, she is able to see from both eyes and her speech difficulties have since been resolved. The surgeons did not want to perform an operation on her legs at that time, but now that Theara is older, her parents returned to Children's Surgical Centre for further consultation to help her walk more easily. She has difficulty walking, cannot run, and has not yet started school. On April 6th, surgeons at CSC will place eight plates in her lateral proximal tibia to gradually straighten her legs and improve her mobility. Now, Theara and her family need help to fund this $600 procedure. Her mom shared, "I hope her leg can straighten so she can walk and start school."
Kaleb is the only child of his mother and father; they live in La Paz, Bolivia. His father works in construction and his mother is a homemaker. Kaleb was born two months premature with a ventricular septal defect, or a hole between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving the lungs unable to obtain oxygen. This leaves Kaleb weak and short of breath, and making it hard for him to gain weight. Last year Kaleb underwent a surgery to prepare him for the one he currently needs. It stabilized his heart so he could gain some weight in order to safely have the congenital cardiac surgery. Our medical partner, International Cardiac Alliance, is able to help with his upcoming procedure. Kaleb and his family need help raising $1,500 for his surgery that will take place September 14th. Kaleb’s mother says “Our son has been in and out of the hospital and very sick ever since he was born. We hope he will have a chance to be a normal child after his surgery."
Kenn is a 26-year-old food handler from Philippines. He lives with his partner and has an income of $200 a month which is just enough to provide for their daily needs. In addition to his needed treatment, Kenn is worried because he already holds debts from a previous hospitalization. In March 2022, Kenn began to experience troubling symptoms, including severe stomachache, back pain, and vomiting. He was brought to the nearest hospital to receive urgent care. After a series of tests, he was diagnosed to have a gallstone. Unfortunately, he cannot afford his surgery and had it delayed. Consequently, his symptoms worsened as he experienced chest pain and yellow skin discoloration. He went back to his surgeon to be checked and was diagnosed with Chronic Calculous Cholecystitis. Kenn must undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder to heal. If left untreated, his 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), Kenn is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on March 3rd. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the requesting $1,128 to cover the cost of Kenn's surgery and care. Kenn shared, "The treatment cost is very expensive and we can't afford it. Thankfully, Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines have good hearts and are willing to help me. I'm so grateful for their generosity. May the Lord continue to bless them."
Srey Sor is a 33-year-old wife and mother of two from Cambodia. She has a 16-year-old son in high school and a 5-year-old daughter in kindergarten. Her husband supports the family by working a local job in construction. In her free time, Srey Sor likes to garden, grow her own vegetables, and cook for her family. Three years ago, Srey Sor fell at home, injuring her tibia and de-stabilizing her knee. The injury has resulted in recurring dislocations in her knee. Due to the severity of the injury, Srey Sor has been unable to walk and needs to take pain medication regularly to ease her symptoms. When Srey Sor learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for over two hours to seek treatment. On February 16th, surgeons at CSC will perform a knee fusion procedure to secure the joint and restore a pain-free range of motion in her leg. CSC is requesting $600 to fund this procedure. Srey Sor said, "I hope after this surgery I can walk and take care of my children and that the pain will stop."
U Sein is a 61-year-old man who lives with his sister's family in Yangon, Burma. In his free time, he enjoys cleaning his car and fixing electrical devices. U Sein experiences heart palpitations, tiredness, and chest pain. Due to his tiredness, he cannot walk long distances and cannot work. He was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease with severe aortic valve stenosis. The doctor wants to perform an aortic valve replacement. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is requesting $1,500 to support the cost of U Sein's surgery scheduled for June 11th. U Sein shared, “When I learned that my surgery will be helped by BCMF and donors, I felt very happy. I would love to say thank you to all the donors."
Meet Salmin, an adored newborn baby from Tanzania and the youngest in his family of four children. His father is a soldier and must spend most of his time away from home, and his mother is a teacher. Salmin was born with clubfoot on his right foot and hyperextension on his left knee. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Salmin’s parents want to ensure he receives the best care to grow up to live a healthy and fulfilling life. When they learned about our medical partner’s care center, they brought him in for assessment and treatment. Salmin will first receive non-surgical care that involves gentle manipulation and casting of his right foot. Over the course of several weeks, Salmin’s foot angle will gradually improve; then, he will undergo tenotomy surgery on May 16th. After treatment, Salmin will be able to walk easily as he grows and reaches the walking stage. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $935 to fund Salmin’s surgery. Salmin’s mother said: “I have been constantly worried since I got news of my son’s condition. I am hopeful that with the right treatment, he will be fine.”
Meet Samnang, a 16-year-old from Cambodia. His name means "lucky" in Khmer. Samnang lives at home with his family and has three younger sisters. He recently started a job in construction with his dad. In November, Samnang fell while working and fractured his femur. His parents brought him to a local hospital, where the doctors stabilized the fracture. However, the hardware that was put in place to stabilize his femur has become infected. For the last three days, Samnang has had a fever and experiences pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help. On January 5th, Samnang will undergo a hardware removal procedure to reduce his pain and help him walk again. CSC is requesting $304 to fund this surgery. Samnang's family gathered $100 to contribute to his care. Samnang shared: "I hope I can feel better after this surgery."
Natasha Joy is a jovial six-year-old only girl living in Kenya. She is a grade 2 student and has several hobbies that she shared with us, including singing, praying, and cooking. Natasha was a healthy child at birth. However, when she turned three, her grandmother noticed that she had an unusual gait when she walked. She hoped that the condition would simply correct itself. Unfortunately, Natasha's situation has deteriorated, greatly affecting her mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,224 to fund a surgery called an open reduction femur shortening osteotomy, which is scheduled for April 18th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. This treatment will greatly improve Natasha's mobility and allow her to play with other children and continue with her education. “I will be grateful to see my grandchild walking normally like other children with your support,” Natasha’s grandmother told us.
Beatrice is a one-month-old baby from Kenya. She is the youngest in a family of nine children. Due to the ongoing rain shortage, the parents have had to go out of their way to do casual jobs to provide for the family. The family has no insurance and cannot raise the required funds for her surgery. Beatrice was born at home, and immediately, her mother noticed she had swelling on her back. Referred by a friend to BethanyKids, her family traveled for two days and brought her in for an examination. Beatrice was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Beatrice is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Beatrice's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Beatrice from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Beatrice’s mother says, “I was confused when I first saw the condition my child has, and I did not know what to do. I’m really looking forward to her surgery.”
Heng is a 16-year-old student from Cambodia in the 11th grade. His father is a roof builder and his mother stays at home. He has two older sisters who live at home, but have finished school and work outside of the home. In his free time, Heng enjoys reading books, exercising, fishing, and listening to music. At school, he likes math and would like to go into Information Technology. In June 2022, Heng was in a motorcycle collision where he fractured his right shoulder, femur, and hand, as well as both clavicles and several facial bones. His family took him to a local government hospital for surgery, but five months later, he still cannot move his right shoulder, elbow, wrist, or fingers. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right 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 loss of function and sensation. Heng has difficulty with daily tasks, feels poorly, and has stopped going to school due to his injury. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Heng receive treatment. He traveled to CSC's care center, the only center in Cambodia where the required treatment is available. On November 14th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to move his shoulder and use his hand. Now, he needs help raising $709 to fund his procedure and care. Heng's mother shared, "we hope Heng will recover and use his shoulder and arm again after surgery."
Ju is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand where she lives with her friend. She used to work as an assistant cook with her friend until her accident. In her free time, she enjoys exercising and watching movies. On January 2nd, her friend was driving Ju home from work on her motorcycle when they were in an accident. When Ju regained consciousness three days later, she found herself in a hospital and learned that she had fractured her left pelvis. She cannot walk, and cannot sit up due to the pain. She has to stay in a reclining position. She experiences pain in her left pelvis, especially at night when it is cooler. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ju will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 18th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help her walk again and regain her independence. She will no longer be in pain and she will be able to work again. "I planned to earn money, but instead I brought a problem home. Now my mom has had to come here to help look after me. I feel stressed because now I am in debt. I will need to go back to work to earn money and pay back my debt", Ju said.