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 Chaw, a young refugee from Thailand, to fund fracture repair surgery to walk and live pain-free.
Mike has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Mike has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
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.
Thaung is a 31-year-old man who is married with one daughter. His wife and him work together as agricultural day laborers. Thaung's monthly income is just enough to meet their daily needs. He shared that he had to borrow money for food from his neighbor when he was out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup in Burma, and he is working to pay them back. In October 2021, Thaung noticed a small ulcer and went to see a retired army doctor who lives in his village. He received some medication, and his ulcer healed. However, a few months later, the growth returned. Thuang and his family were able to fundraise through their church to visit a local hospital. Upon review, he was diagnosed with cancer and the doctor informed him that he would need to undergo surgery. Currently, Thaung is in pain and has difficulty working and sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Thaung receive treatment. On April 11th, he is scheduled to undergo surgery. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Thaung shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will work hard to pay back my debt to the neighbors we borrowed money from. I want to live with my family for a long time, and I want to support my family as much as I can.”
Khoem is a loving grandmother and a widow with two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren. Her husband passed away several years ago, so she lives with her youngest daughter, who works in a local factory and supports her mother. Over the past several years, her greatest joy is playing with her grandchildren when they come to visit. Due to her age, she mostly stays home and listens to the radio. Earlier this month, Khoem tripped in her house and fell, fracturing her left hip. Although she experienced a lot of pain and was not able to walk, she did not seek any medical help because she was worried she could not pay. A relative visited her and suggested she go to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for diagnosis and treatment. She is in constant pain and cannot walk so is using a wheelchair to get around. Fortunately, Khoem took her relatives advice and came to CSC. There surgeons can perform a surgery to relieve Khoem of her pain and allow her to walk more easily again. Her treatment is scheduled for March 15th, and Khoem needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I can walk without pain, and play with my grandchildren again," shared Khoem.
Debash is an adorable two-year-old boy from Ethiopia. His dad shared that although he can be a bit shy in front of new people, his playfulness comes out whenever he's around his siblings. He has three sisters and one brother. Debash's parents are farmers on their own land, however the weather in their environment is dry most of the year, which causes their harvest to be limited. The amount of fruit they yield is frequently not enough to meet their family's needs, in turn causing them to spend money on purchasing food, after consuming their own, for the rest of the year. During the months of the year when they are not farming, they work in a factory to earn additional income. Even so, their income is limited and supports the basic needs of the family. Debash has a condition called Hirschprung's Disease. This is a birth condition that affects the large intestine and causes problems with passing stool. As a result, Debash has needed a series of treatments to remove an abnormally functioning segment of his bowel. Now he has returned for a follow-up procedure to a colostomy operation he had when he was younger. Because of COVID-19, financial limitations, and social unrest in his region they weren't able to follow up for his second surgery a quickly as they'd hoped and have been waiting a long time. A social worker met with their family and informed them of the services at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Mygungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM), and recommended they take Debash there to proceed with his needed treatment. Due to Debash's condition, his parents are under a lot of psychological and financial stress. They cannot afford the medical bill for their son's treatment, and appeal for help. Fortunately, on February 17th, Debash will receive treatment at BKMCM. There, Debash will undergo hirschprung pull through surgery to remove the diseased portion of his intestine. With treatment, Debash will grow up to hopefully lead a happy life, and will no longer be in a constant state of discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, asks for $1,500 to help fund Debash's medical bill. His dad said, “We hope he will heal about his second surgery now. That will be great and it will make us happy. I want to educate my child. I hope he will get a good job after that. Either being a government worker or a doctor or a teacher or a trader or a farmer, I hope he will lead a good and healthy life in his future.”
Daiverson is an extroverted 12-year-old boy who lives with his family in Medellin, Colombia. His family moved from Venezuela seeking better opportunities. He loves to play soccer, really enjoys a good book, and loves making jokes. He's been diagnosed with a hernia, which is keeping him from doing all the things he loves and needs to do each day. With hernia surgery, he'll be able to enjoy his beloved soccer and chase his dream of being a professional soccer player one day! Daiverson's mother said: "I'm really thankful for your donation. This is the greatest gift I could ever get, thank you so much."
Noel is a nine-year-old student and the oldest child of two children in his family. He is currently in first grade in school, and will join second grade early next year. Noel’s mother works as a small-scale farmer to make a living, and sells her surplus when possible. Noel has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which his feet are twisted out of shape causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. This year, Noel has had difficulty walking to and from school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Noel receive treatment. On December 17th, Noel will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center, and now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Noel's procedure and care. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Noel’s mother shared, "I have always wanted to seek treatment for my son but due to financial challenges, I have not been able to get the money."
Bryson is a bright 4-year-old child. He's is a happy, charming, and talkative boy. He is the first child of his parents who live in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Bryson’s father works as a motorcycle taxi driver. Bryson 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, Bryson has been experiencing headaches, fever, and mild seizures. Without treatment, Bryson will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Bryson that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 17th and will drain the excess fluid from Bryson's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Bryson will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Bryson’s father says, “I wish for my son to be well again and resume school. He was doing very well in school but now seems to be a bit forgetful and unable to walk properly. Please help us.”
Duncan is a 23-year-old mechanic. He's a lively man who likes cracking jokes with friends to cheer everyone up. Duncan is the second born in a family of six and he is married with two children. He lives in a rented house at his local center with his family. He completed his high school studies but did not proceed to college because of a lack of school fees. He has always had to do a lot to take care of his siblings and provide for their needs, like school fees. Duncan learned mechanical skills from his local center by watching what the mechanics there were doing. He now hopes to study mechanical engineering to improve his skills but he is unable because of the financial burden he has of taking care of his siblings and young family. Despite this, he is still hopeful that he will manage to do so in the future. Two days ago, Duncan was involved in a severe accident and sustained a fracture on his right leg. He was riding a motorcycle in the evening from his place of work when it lost control and fell into a ditch. He was rushed to a nearby health facility for immediate care from where he was referred to our hospital. An X-Ray confirmed a right femur fracture. He also has chest pains hence needing hospital admission for management and to plan for his surgery. He is unable to walk, has pain, and feels all he can do is lie in bed and wait for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 8th, Duncan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This surgery will relieve him of the pain and help him walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Duncan says, “We are facing a difficult moment as a family, my parents cannot find money to buy food for the family without my assistance. There’s nothing else that matters other than seeing my family happy. I want to get healed and go back home to support their needs.”