Michael joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. Seven years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Bariki, a friendly young boy from Tanzania, to fund surgery to help him walk and begin school.
Michael has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 11 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 11 countries.
Bariki is six-year-old boy and the only child of her single mother. He's a charming, friendly, and social kid. Bariki is now old enough to start school because most of his age mates joined class one this year. Bariki couldn’t join the school because he was born with a disability of the legs making walking for him impossible. He was born with a right clubfoot and the left had a congenital deformity of the knee. Currently he has to pull himself around to be able to move from one place to another. Bariki’s mother depends on small-scale farming to be able to feed her child. She lives and farms on her parents’ land. Last year through our medical partner's outreach program they got to know Bariki and the need for him to have treatment to help him have a chance to walk. He went through treatment of manipulation and casting to correct his clubfoot, and this was successful. He has been to an orthopedic clinic trying to see whether his knee joint could be corrected to help him straighten his leg and stand but his knee cannot be released. To help Bariki have a chance to walk with ease he needs amputation above the knee so that when he is healed, he can use a prosthetic leg that will help him walk. Bariki’s mother shared, “I will be so happy if my son can be treated and be able to stand and walk instead of him crawling.”
Tecla is a shy and hardworking woman in her early 40s. She was born alone in her home and she now stays with her mother. Tecla did not complete schooling after she developed partial hearing loss at an early age. She also experienced a painful accident when she was young after she burnt her right fingers leaving her disabled. Due to this, Tecla does not work and depends on her mum for all her needs. They live together in a semi-permanent house. Starting five years ago, Tecla has been experiencing abdominal swelling and other symptoms. She has been diagnosed with a large fibroid uterus and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Surgical removal should be performed as soon as possible. Since Tecla does not have national health insurance, she is requesting help to pay for her treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $918 to fund Tecla's surgery. On April 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Tecla shared, "It has never been easy for me. My hope here is to get treated and be well and live a normal life.”
Caleb is a jovial and funny six-year-old student. Caleb's mother shared that Caleb likes to play and is always happy both at school and at home. Caleb has a twin brother and one older sibling. Caleb's mother takes care of their home and family while his father is a farmer. Caleb has a clubfoot, a condition that causes his foot to be misshapen making it difficult for Caleb to walk and wear shoes. Surgeons at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital will perform corrective surgery on March 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMF), is helping Caleb's parents raise $1,286 to fund the procedure. After treatment, Caleb will be able to walk well, play with his friends at home and school, and continue with his studies without any interruption. Caleb's mother shared, "I would love to see my son walking like other children without difficulties. I would greatly appreciate any assistance."
Daw Khin is a 45-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, who are retired and supported by Daw Khin's sister, who earns an income from renting out their land. Daw Khin used to work as a teacher before her condition made it difficult for her to continue teaching her students. Around June 2020, Daw Khin began to feel very tired and experienced heart palpitations. She shared that it felt like she could not breathe while teaching. Because these episodes happened infrequently, she did not seek treatment at the time; however, in December 2020, her condition worsened, and she went to a local hospital. After receiving an electrocardiogram, doctors determined she has an enlarged heart and an abnormal heartbeat and prescribed medication to help Daw Khin feel better. Since Daw Khin's symptoms continued, her sister brought her to a cardiologist in April 2021. Upon review, Daw Khin's condition was diagnosed as an atrial septal defect, a birth condition in which there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. The cardiologist informed her that she would need surgery, but the cost was too high for Daw Khin's family, so they returned home with medications. Daw Khin currently experiences headaches, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue and heart palpitations when talking or walking short distances. Fortunately, a friend visited Daw Khin in June and told her about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Daw Khin contacted BCMF and learned that BCMF will be able to help her finally heal. On February 6th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund her procedure. Daw Khin shared, "I would like to teach all my students again in the future. I like teaching students."
Srey Nath is a bright young student who loves to read books and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She has two older brothers and lives with her parents who are rainy day rice farmers. They also grow vegetables and keep cows and chickens to feed their family and make extra money at the local market. Over the past several years, Srey Nath's back has curved which limits her movement and lung expansion. She has trouble standing up straight or walking, and is easily winded when she is active due to difficulty expanding her lungs. She shared that she feels embarrassed with her friends and very shy about how her back looks. She loves school but doesn't want to attend now because of the abnormal curvature of her spine, and the chronic pain it causes. Srey Nath's neighbors told her family to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre for a diagnosis and treatment. Surgeons have diagnosed her with scoliosis of the thoracic spine. She needs expanding rods in her back to straighten her spine as she grows to avoid any further medical problems. Srey Nath and her parents traveled two and a half hours to seek treatment and need help raising $1,500 for this specialty surgery. Srey Nath's mother said: "My daughter needs this surgery to grow normally and become a teacher. I hope we can raise the money so she can fulfill her dream someday."
Nerold is a 5-year-old boy from Haiti. He is cherished by his family who want to see him healthy and active as he grows. Nerold 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, Nerold underwent surgery but has been experiencing problems with a shunt he had placed 6 months ago. It began to malfunction causing him infection and severe pain from the increasing pressure in his head. Without treatment, Nerold will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Nerold 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 November 19th. This critical treatment will place a new shunt to drain the excess fluid from Nerold's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Nerold will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Nerold's mother shared that she was devastated when the original shunt stopped working. She is relieved that with this new surgery he will continue to have a chance for a happy life.
Naw Blut lives with her husband, toddler son, and parents in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. She is a homemaker, her parents are retired, and her husband works at the Water and Sanitation Department in the refugee camp. Their family's monthly income of 2,694 baht ($89.80 USD) is just enough to cover their daily needs as they currently have to buy formula milk for Naw Blut's toddler. Naw Blut has been receiving a antenatal care at the clinic at the refugee camp. Earlier this month, Naw Blut went for her follow-up appointment and since she was 37 weeks pregnant and had previously had an emergency C-section, she was told she would need to see a specialist about her delivery. The next day, staff from the organization that helps run the camp (Malteser International (MI) Thailand), brought her to Mae Sariang Hospital. After she met the doctor, the doctor said she could not give birth vaginally because of the status of her pregnancy and her last delivery. The team has scheduled her to undergo a c-section to safely delivery her baby. As Naw Blut cannot afford to pay for the procedure, MI staff referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial support.
Hashim is a seven-year-old student and the third-born child in his family of three children. Hashim started his primary school education early this year and he is currently in grade one. His mother is concerned he may have learning challenges as he has delayed talking in comparison to his younger sibling. Hashim’s mother is a single mom who works hard selling vegetables for a living. Hashim has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, where his legs bow outward so that his knees do not touch. 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 gets tied after a short walk and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Hashim. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Hashim's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Hashim’s mother says “It is through people’s kindness, help, and support for us to make it here to Plaster house. Please help my son.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”
Savoeun is a 50-year-old mother and grandmother. She has one son, one daughter, and two grandchildren. Her husband passed away more than ten years ago, and she currently lives with her daughter. Savoeun's children work in a garment factory while Savoeun takes care of her grandchildren. She likes to cook, watch news on the TV, and read stories to her grandchildren. Three years ago, Savoeun developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photophobia, blurry vision, itchiness, and occasional tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Savoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On June 25th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. CSC is requesting $229 to fund this procedure. Savoeun wants to be independent, "I hope after surgery I can see clearly, go outside by myself, cook easily, and take care of my grandchildren. I do not want to make my children take care of me too."
Naing is a 46-year-old-man who lives with his mother, wife, sister, son and two daughters in Karen State in the border area of Burma. Naing used to work in a teashop as a baker but stopped four years ago when his health deteriorated. His son is also unemployed, unable to find work ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Burma more than a year ago. They all rely on Naing’s wife, who works as a vendor in the market, to get by. She earns about 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) a month, which they shared is not enough to cover their household expenses. In 2014, Naing received surgery for a right inguinal hernia with the help of his employer. Then, four years ago in 2017, he noticed that he had a small lump on his left side. Over time, the small lump increased in size and shifted downwards, causing pain and discomfort that made it impossible for Naing to continue working at the teashop. Although Naing knew that he most likely is having another hernia, since he was experiencing the same symptoms as before, he did not have enough money to pay for surgery. Therefore, he tried to cope with the pain and discomfort without treatment. In June, Naing’s friend advised for him to go to Ananda Myitta Clinic, a charity clinic in his city to ask for help accessing treatment. Naing and his friend went to the clinic, where they talked to the founder. The founder then referred Naing to another organization called Health for All who help put him in touch with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing surgery for his hernia. Naing said, “I would like to receive treatment for my hernia. If I’m cured, I can work again as a baker and our [household] income will increase. Now, only my wife works and we all depend on her.”
Francis is a 48-year-old hawker and a married father of two children, ages 12 and 14. Francis sells a variety of items like pencils and books in Nairobi. His wife is a cook at a nearby school, but unfortunately, due to COVID-19 she has been staying home with no salary. On the evening of Thursday, May 27, Francis was a passenger on a motorbike that was hit by a speeding car as they entered an intersection. He sustained injuries to his head and mouth and fractured his right leg. He was brought to our medical partner's care center where he received stitches in his head and an x-ray showed that he has a fractured tibia and fibula. The surgeon recommended that Francis undergo a fracture repair procedure. If not treated, he will continue to experience pain, and the bones could heal in a suboptimal position. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 3rd, Francis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Francis will be free from the pain, the fracture will heal and he will be able to resume work. Now, AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Francis shared, “I will appreciate very much any help because I have no way to raise the money needed for the surgery. I hope to get well and assist my wife in taking care of our family."