Mike joined Watsi on February 18th, 2016. Six years ago, Mike joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mike's most recent donation supported Ashin Mala, a 30-year-old monk from Burma, to fund eye surgery.
Mike has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 12 countries.
Mike has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 12 countries.
Ashin Mala is a 30-year-old monk from Burma. He became a monk a year ago and currently lives in a monastery in Karen State. He receives two meals a day and cash donations from worshippers. In October 2022, he visited the house of a member of the ethnic armed group in the village. At the home, a child was playing with a pistol and accidentally shot the gun, hitting a wall. Unfortunately, a part of the bullet ricocheted off the wall and hit Mala in his left eye. Immediately, Ashin Mala was brought to a hospital, where an X-ray showed that bullet shards were lodged under his left eye. The doctor removed most of the bullet shards and closed the gunshot wound. Though time has since passed, he still feels pain in his left eye and has lost vision in that eye. He has also developed itchiness and a burning sensation in that eye. Eventually, he was brought to Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, where, with the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and Watsi donors, he underwent a CT scan. The results showed multiple foreign bodies in his left eye, most likely shards left from the bullet, and indicated that his left eyeball was most likely ruptured. He was then referred to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH), where an ophthalmologist told him they would have to remove his left eyeball. He was then admitted for surgery at CMH on February 22nd. Mala needs help raising $1500 to fund this procedure that will relieve him of his pain. Ashin Mala said, "I believe my pain will disappear after the operation. I want to get rid of the pain. Afterward, I will work hard to attend Dhamma University. I want to become a preacher. I will preach about Dharma [the teachings of Buddha] around my country.”
Eliud is a 41-year-old truck driver. He is quiet and talks with a lot of calmness. He is married with two children aged 2 and 6 years and the sole breadwinner for his family, as his wife is a homemaker who does not have any source of income. To earn a living, Eliud works as a truck driver earning a commission on jobs. He shared that depending on the availability of work, his income is often inconsistent and negligible. Following a road accident, he has been unable to work and his family has been incapable of raising funds for his treatment. He is requesting financial assistance as he has no medical insurance coverage. On 12th March, Eliud was involved in a road accident. While driving his truck, he swayed off the road as he tried to avoid a pedestrian and hit a post, suffering a broken ankle and a bruised leg. He was rushed to a local health facility for first aid and later referred to our medical partner at Kijabe Hospital for surgery and an orthopedic review. An x-ray revealed a right open tibial plafond fracture. This is the joint between the tibia and ankle bone. He went to the operating theater and had an external fixator, called ex-fix, put in place to stabilize his bones. He was discharged two days later and advised to come after two weeks for a clinic check-up. When he returned to the clinic, doctors determined that an urgent tibial plafond ORIF (Ankle ORIF) is required. It is difficult for Eliud to walk or work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 5th, Eliud will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again and he will be able to resume work to earn for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Eliud says, “I broke my leg during this accident and cannot walk. As a driver, I cannot work because of the fracture. I need this surgery to make the leg well and be able to drive.”
Brian is a cheerful 10-year-old student. He is the third and youngest child of the family. His mother is a homemaker and his father is a farmer. Brian lives with his parents and siblings in a village, and attends the local primary school, where he is in fifth grade. Despite his birth condition, Brian is a passionate footballer. Brian was born with a clubfoot condition in which his feet are twisted out of shape, and has been treated with serial casting starting from when he was just a day old. His left foot has corrected while his right foot has not - he currently tiptoes when he walks and feels pain whenever he runs, including pain on the field while playing football. Fortunately, Brian traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 13th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Brian's procedure. After treatment, Brian will be able to walk well, play football, and continue with his studies uninterrupted. Brian's mother said, “I am pleading for help from the donors for my son to undergo surgery and I will appreciate your support.”
Htwe is a 12-year-old student who lives with his uncle's family in Thailand. His parents are day laborers in Bangkok, who send his uncle money every month to support him. In his free time, Htwe enjoys playing football with his friends. Two years ago, Htwe's right eyelid became swollen and red. By July 2021, the swelling had worsened and he felt a small mass in his right eyelid. He also developed double vision. He visited several clinics and was given oral medications and eye drops, but he never felt better. Currently, Htwe has redness and swelling in his right eyelid, and sometimes his eye will water. He also has blurry vision and feels uncomfortable with the mass pressing on his eyelid. Due to his blurry vision, he finds it hard to study and do his homework. Eventually, his aunt took Htwe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH), where he was diagnosed with a cyst in his right eyelid. The doctor told him that he will need to have surgery to remove the cyst. Thanks to our partner's care center, Htwe will have the cyst surgically removed on May 11th. Now his family needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Htwe said, “I want to be a football player when I grow up.” (His family hopes he'll become a medic himself one day and can help others in need!)
Boniface is a 9-year-old student with two siblings. He started school late and enjoys taking part in science classes. Boniface likes to play soccer with his peers, but it is hard for him to play for long because of his leg condition. Boniface was diagnosed with genu valgus. His right knee knocks on his left knee. 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 difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Boniface. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Boniface's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Boniface’s mother says, “It has been hard for him with his leg condition. He wishes to do more, but he is limited."
Abdi is a one month old baby. His father is the sole breadwinner, and his mother is a homemaker. Abdi's father works as a local salesperson. The money he gets enables him to provide for his family but is limited to basic needs, and with the current high inflation, Abdi's father says it has been hard for him to provide. Abdi has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Abdi traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Abdi's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily when he grows up and will be able to wear shoes like any other child. Abdi’s mother says, “This condition has been stressful, I wish my son gets well.”
Naanyo is a nine year old girl who lives with a small and loving family, consisting of her parents and two siblings. When she is not in school, she enjoys watching television and helping her mother to cook, wash and fetch water. She told us that also has fun playing with her school friends, especially when she pretends to be a police woman. When Naanyo was two years old, she was in an accident that resulted in burns on her left hand. She was treated at a local dispensary, and was sent home. However, after the burns healed, Naanyo developed burn scar contractures, which make it difficult for her to move her hand. Her parents were unaware that the contractures could be treated, until on a recent visit to a doctor, they were informed that surgical intervention could resolve Naanyo's condition. The doctor helped the family travel to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where Naanyo was assessed and scheduled for surgery, which will take place on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Naanyo access the care that she needs, despite the fact that her parents can't afford the $874 required for the surgery. They are appealing to you to help cover the cost of this procedure, which will make such a difference in Naanyo's life. Naanyo’s mother says: "We did not know that our child’s condition is treatable, but it is better being late than never.”
Chaw is 20-year-old who lives with his parents and three younger sister in a refugee camp. Chaw's sisters go to school, his mother is a homemaker and his father and brother work as agricultural day labourers. Chaw's brother lives on his employer's land and sends the family what money he can every month. After his accident, Chaw stopped working on the same farm as his brother. In his free time, before his accident, Chaw liked to play football with his friends and visit with them. In 2020, Chaw was carrying corn to the peeling machine where he worked and he slipped and hit his left lower leg against the fan of the machine. Chaw was in a great deal of pain and was brought to the hospital. Chaw was told that his left lower leg was broken, and underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his leg. This past January, Chaw noticed a mass on his left lower leg, where he had received surgery. The mass was very painful and felt hot to the touch. Over time, the mass increased in size until his whole lower left leg became swollen. Although he received surgery to remove the mass, Chaw's leg never fully healed. Eventually he was diagnosed with osteomyelitis and was told the steel rod in his leg would need to be replaced. Chaw is in a lot of pain and his lower left leg continues to be swollen and red. He cannot sleep well and needs crutches and assistance to move around. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Chaw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 6th and BCMF is raising $1,500 to cover the cost of this life-changing procedure that will help Chaw walk free of pain. Chaw shared, “I am happy that I will receive surgery with the help of the organisation [Burma Children Medical Fund] and I am thankful to all of the donors. In the future I want to get better quickly. I will find a new job and support my family.”
Faith is a very cheerful and friendly 9-year-old student from Kenya. She is the youngest in her family. Her father works as a casual laborer, and her mother works as a vegetable vendor. Her mother shares that she is limited in seeking more job opportunities due to her daughter's required care. Faith was born with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, a condition that results from damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle movements. She also has clubfoot of her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Faith is currently unable to stand and walk on her own, but she can sit comfortably. Her parents have visited different hospitals in search of treatment for her without success. Fortunately, Faith recently traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,286 to fund Faith's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will hopefully be able to stand and walk without support. Her parents will also be able to seek more job opportunities to further provide for their family. Faith's mother shares, "We are not in a position to raise the estimated hospital bill. We are seeking help from AMHF for my daughter to undergo surgery. God will bless you."
Chris is an adorable 19-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is the youngest of two children in his family. Chris’s parents are both small-scale farmers of corn, beans, potatoes, and other vegetables, which they use to feed their family. However, they also sell whatever they do not eat in order to earn some income. When Chris was born, his mother immediately noticed that his right foot was twisted out of shape. This is because he has clubfoot of his right foot, which caused this to occur and makes it difficult to walk and wear shoes. When his mother took him to receive a vaccination, she was referred to another hospital for treatment, but she shared that he could not undergo it due to financial constraints. She then sought the help of a local traditional doctor, who tried to heal his condition through massages and herbal medications, but they saw no effective change. Fortunately, Chris's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Chris's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Chris's mother shares, “We couldn’t find the money to take him to the hospital, and that’s why he is still this way. We have no other means.”
U Tin is a 36-year-old man, living with his mother on the western coast of Burma. U Tin’s mother is retired and helps with household chores. U Tin works in a photo studio, printing photos and wedding invitations. Through this, his monthly income is just enough to pay for their basic living expenses. One year ago, U Tin started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. Thinking that the pain would go away, U Tin relied on traditional medicine and pain medication. In February, the pain increased, but U Tin could not afford to seek treatment at a hospital. Instead, he purchased more pain medication from a pharmacy, which helped ease his discomfort somewhat. However in April, the pain became so severe that he could no longer work. He borrowed money from his friend, and went to a hospital. The doctor examined him, and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. When the doctor told him the surgery would cost 1,200,000 kyat (approx. $1,200 USD), U Tin told the doctor he could not afford to pay such a sum, and he returned home still feeling unwell. A few days later, U Tin told his neighbour about his problem, and she suggested that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where care is more affordable. He followed his neighbour’s advice, and went to MCLH, where the doctor confirmed his diagnosis and the need for surgery. When U Tin explained that he could not afford to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance in accessing the treatment he needs. Currently, U Tin is experiencing severe pain, and he cannot sit or stand for any length of time. Fortunately, he is now scheduled for surgery on May 24th, and Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $807 to cover the cost of U Tin's hernia repair treatment. U Tin said: “I would like to recover. I am worried that I will not be able to work and take care of my mother. When I recover, I will go continue to work [at the shop] and pay back the money I borrowed from my friends.”
We met Thomas, a 9-year-old jovial and social boy at Cure Hospital's Nyeri satellite clinic. He is the second born in a family of four children. His family hails from a village in Muranga County. Thomas is a third grade student and a very bright boy who aspires to be a pilot in the future. His mother is a small business lady while his father is a mason. Thomas lives with his grandmother. Thomas was born healthy, however at the age of three his grandmother noted an unusual bowing of his legs. He was taken to a hospital in Muranga, however, the condition has never improved and instead has continued to worsen. Fortunately our medical partner can help. Thomas is now scheduled to undergo surgery to heal his condition. The treatment will be impactful to him because he will be able to walk and play more easily. The severe pain he has been experiencing from straining when walking will be alleviated and he will be able to continue with his studies uninterrupted. We can't wait to see him flying in the skies one day! "I would request the hospital to help me undergo surgery so that my legs can be corrected and I can continue with my education," Thomas expressed.