Michael joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. Eight years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Night, a 5 year old girl from Kenya, to fund a craniotomy so she can grow up healthy.
Michael has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 11 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 11 countries.
Meet Night, a jovial and playful five year old girl. Night lives with her parents and two younger siblings in a traditional home in Kenya. Her father works selling second hand clothing, while her mother stays home to take care of the children. Shortly after she was born, Night's parents realized that something seemed wrong. They brought Night to a health facility in Turkana County where they lived, and were referred on to BethanyKids Hospital. There she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which meant that fluid was collecting in her head. Surgery was performed, and a shunt was placed to continuously drain the fluid from Night's head. A year later, however, Night's head began to increase in size, and she developed weakness on the right side of her body. The doctors at the local health facility urged Night's parents to take her back to BethanyKids Hospital for additional treatment, but Night's parents didn't have enough money to do this. With the help of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Night is now scheduled to undergo a craniotomy on January 5th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, when surgeons will drain excess fluids from Night's brain. Night's father is providing as much of a co-pay as possible for this procedure, but the family needs your help to raise the remaining $1,500 required to cover all of the costs of Night's surgery and care. Night’s father said: “Night is not able to communicate well because of her condition. This surgery will help her to be able to speak.”
Mbula is a young girl from Tanzania. She has one sibling and lives with her family in a remote area far from the city; it’s hard for them to access basic social services. Mbula is raised by two loving parents who are farmers. They depend on their harvest to provide for their family. With the recent years' weather changing and droughts, it has been hard for them because they cannot depend on the rainy season for agriculture. This has made it difficult to sustain food at home. Mbula was diagnosed with genu varus, which causes her legs to bow outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she has difficulty walking and running.. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is asking for $880 to fund corrective surgery for Mbula. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 2nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Mbula's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Mbula’s mother says, “I feel sorry for my daughter, she has to go through pain almost every day.”
Mu is a 34-year-old wife and mother, living in Thailand. Mu lives with her husband, son, and two daughters in Mae Sot, Tak Province. Their family moved from Yangon, Burma to Thailand 14 years ago, in search of better job opportunities. Today, Mu is a homemaker, her son is a student, while her two daughters are still too young to study. Her husband is a dockworker in Mae Sot. Because their income is insufficient to cover their daily expenses, they sometimes have to borrow money from a neighbor. About two years ago, Mu developed a femoral hernia. Because of the hernia, Mu experiences severe pain in her left groin area, and she also has a lump that has been increasing in size, and which hangs down when she walks. Mu is very stressed about her condition, and because of chronic discomfort, she has been unable to keep up with her daily tasks. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Mu is scheduled for hernia repair surgery on October 27th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Mu's surgery and care, which should enable Mu to return to a life without the hardship she experiences now. Mu said: “I feel like I have to hold myself so this will not fall down when I walk, which makes me feel very uncomfortable. I want to receive surgery soon so that I can work to earn more money in the future. Now, my baby—our youngest daughter—is older so I will find a job after I have fully recovered from surgery.”
Elkana is a cheerful and friendly man from Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of seven. He attended school up until class seven but had to end his studies due to financial constraints. He now works as a farmer and has a small piece of land on which he plants maize and potatoes, primarily to feed him and his family. To earn money, he works as a casual laborer, working on people's farms, as well as doing work such as clearing bushes and carrying loads. Until now, his wife has worked alongside him, but she has stopped working because she is currently pregnant. On July 16th, Elkana was brought to our medical partner's care center after being involved in a road traffic accident involving a lorry, or large truck, and a tractor. This accident left many people injured, including Elkana. He experienced a fracture of his left femur and is now experiencing pain. He is also unable to walk or stand. Without treatment, he will not be able to return to work and provide for his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 19th, Elkana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery, he will be able to use his leg again, return to work, and continue providing for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Elkana shares, ”My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. Kindly help me so that I may lead a normal life once again.”
Samwel, a very social and hardworking Kenyan father of eight children, is an active maize farmer who likes spending most of his time on his farm. He works hard to meet the needs of his family. His wife takes care of their home and helps him in his daily farming activities. Samwel lives with his family in a semi-permanent house in their farm. His elder children are married, and they also work hard to meet their own families' basic needs. Samwel presented to the emergency department with cuts on his left wrist joint and on his knees after an assault with a machete by a person known to him. This was brought up by family conflicts due to land disputes. Doctors diagnosed that he had multiple tendon injuries with nerve injuries in his wrist and an open fracture of his left distal femur in his leg. He is in pain and cannot walk with ease. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him heal and get active again. On September 5th, Samwel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Samwel will no longer experience pain. He will go back to his family and continue with his farm activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Samwel says, “I have so much pain, but I am happy to be alive. I hope to get treated, go back home and be with my family.”
Nickson is a 5-year-old boy from Tanzania. Both he and his older brother live with and are being raised by their hardworking mother. She single-handedly supports her children by working as a secretary. Two years ago, Nickson mother took him to a hospital where he was diagnosed with genu valgus, a condition that causes his leg to bow inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Nickson has difficulty walking and is at risk of developing more complications as he grows up if the condition is not corrected. Although the hospital he visited provided him with medication, it did not improve his condition. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center can help treat his condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nickson, which is scheduled to take place on August 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nickson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nickson's mother says, "I am a single mother with no husband supporting me. I try hard to provide, but it is not enough to afford my son's treatment cost."
Miriam is a hardworking 52-year-old woman who finds work as a laborer or doing housework. She is a single mother of six children and cares for her family single-handedly. Due to the lack of help, it was not easy for Miriam to give her children a good education. However, two of her kids are still in school and one works selling phone covers in Nairobi, Kenya's capital. At the beginning of June, Miriam started having concerning symptoms. After seeking medical help, Miriam was diagnosed with having multiple fibroids, meaning she has multiple tumors growing on her uterus. In order to eliminate her condition, she needs to undergo a hysterectomy–a procedure where surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $755 to fund Miriam's surgery. On July 1st, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Miriam will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Miriam shared, “I have always been okay, but this bleeding shocked me. I kindly ask for help so that I can be confident in my life tomorrow. My children depend fully on me for their support and guidance. I hope to have successful surgery so that I can get well and be there for my children.”
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."