Michael Richardson
Michael's Story

Michael joined Watsi on January 25th, 2015. 16 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Tonk, a baby boy from Thailand, for life-saving brain surgery.


Michael has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 11 countries.

All patients funded by Michael

In late 2015, Tonk was born prematurely in Thailand and immediately admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. His mother passed away a day later due to a congenital heart problem. The doctors suspected that Tonk had an accumulation of fluid surrounding his brain, and recommended surgery to insert a shunt to divert the excess fluid away from his brain. Tonk’s father could not afford the surgery, and they left the hospital. Two weeks ago, Tonk’s father noticed that Tonk’s head size was increasing. The doctors diagnosed him with hydrocephalus and again recommended surgery, but Tonk’s father could not afford the cost. Tonk’s father constantly worries about his son and cannot concentrate on work. “If I was to pay the amount the first hospital asked for, I would have to save money for 2 years without eating," he shares. $1485 will fund the cost of Tonk’s surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Border Projects, explains, “This will alleviate the pressure on his brain from fluid accumulation and help Tonk develop normally.” Tonk's father shares, "Tonk is the only treasure left by my wife. I really want him to grow up well. I always pray for Tonk. I wish that Tonk will have normal development. I will try my best to look after him, acting like both a mother and a father. I want him to be able to study in a good school someday so he will become a successful person when he grows old. I always think about a possible way to find treatment for my son.”

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“Thu is a 42-year-old Burmese woman who lives with her two daughters, ages 19 and nine,” our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), tells us. “Her elder daughter is recently married and her husband lives with the family. Her youngest daughter is a student in grade three. Thu also has two sons who have moved away to start their own families.” Thus has congenital circulatory malformations and heart defects. “Thu first experienced her symptoms, which include chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure, two years ago,” BBP explains. “Prior to the onset of her symptoms, Thu and her oldest daughter worked together selling flowers in the market,” BBP continues. “Their combined income was sufficient for the family’s expenses, but Thu hasn’t been able to handle the physical activity of her work, so her daughter as assumed all work responsibilities.” Complex cardiac treatment and surgery for Thu costs $1,500 and will be performed in Thailand. Burma Children's Medical Fund, an organization that has a strong enough relationship with the relevant Thai authorities to facilitate the transportation to, and treatment of, Burmese people at Thai hospitals, is subsidizing the treatment with an additional $13,525. “Following successful treatment, Thu will be able to return to her family and recommence work so that she can contribute to the family finances,” BBP says. “If I can regain my health, our family situation will improve greatly,” shares Thu.

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Meet Genesis, a one-year old girl from Guatemala. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK) tells us, “Genesis loves the wildflowers that grow around her house. She enjoys picking the flowers to give as gifts to her mother.” At an important point in her early childhood development, Genesis’ growth has been stunted due to acute pediatric malnutrition. WK reports, “Genesis’ height and weight were far below average, and her parents are extremely worried—Genesis’ condition restricts her ability to grow physically and mentally.” Acute malnutrition is a condition in which the body does not intake as many nutrients as it needs to be healthy. The problems caused by this imbalance become more pronounced throughout childhood growth—WK explains, “Genesis is hitting developmental milestones months behind an average child her age.” If left untreated, malnutrition can affect Genesis’ immune system and cause low energy levels. In addition to health-related concerns, Genesis’ relatively slow growth could make schooling difficult, possibly limiting her opportunities later in life. With $535, Genesis will undergo treatment for her acute malnutrition. Over a three-month period, essential nutrients will be gradually introduced into her diet through micronutrient food supplements. This will be done in slow, graduated amounts to allow her body to readjust to the changes. As part of her treatment, WK shares that Genesis will receive “de-worming medication needed for her to increase her overall caloric intake.” To fully address the issue, both of Genesis’ parents will receive intensive training on the causes of malnutrition and how to prevent it in the future. WK expects the course to “build their confidence and improve their ability to care for Genesis throughout her childhood.” “I just want to see her smile," shares Genesis’ mother. "I want to see her run around the house again, and have the energy to play with her toys. I love her so much.”

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Meet Sadayo, a toddler from Kenya. According to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), Sadayo has hypospadias: a condition in which “his urethral opening is lower on the head of the shaft of his penis and he [therefore] cannot pass urine normally.” This not only causes pain when Sadayo tries to urinate, but “Sadayo is [also] likely to experience urinary tract infections. He might also suffer impotence if not treated,” shares AMHF. “Sadayo and his mother live in a small shelter lent to them by a well-wisher because they were living on the streets," AMHF continues. "Sadayo's father is mentally challenged and still lives in the streets.” “Sadayo's mother works as a casual laborer; washing people’s clothes and doing any farming tasks to help her support herself and her son” – inconsistent work that fails to provide enough income for Sadayo’s mother to afford the surgery her son needs. Sadayo and his mother were brought to AMHF by a concerned neighbor who saw the baby’s situation and knew that AMHF would be able to help. With $655 in funding, Sadayo will receive the surgery he needs to reconstruct the urinary channel in the proper position, thus correcting the hypospadias. The doctors share, “If treated, Sadayo will be less likely to suffer urinary tract infections and impotence. He will be able to pass urine normally.” In the words of Sadayo’s kindhearted neighbor, “I really feel for this baby, I wish I had better ways of helping him. I have been praying that God may open ways for him to get treatment, and I have no doubts that He has heard my prayers.”

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