Michael joined Watsi on September 22nd, 2015. Two 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 Gideon, a sweet 4-year-old from Tanzania, to fund life-changing surgery on his legs.
Michael has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 8 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 8 countries.
Gideon is four years old and the last-born in his family of six children. He is a playful, charming, friendly, and happy boy. Gideon comes from the southern highlands of Tanzania close to Katavi National Park. Gideon has not yet started school, but his father says when he gets to be six years old, he will enroll him. Most children in this region join school starting at the age of six due to the long distance they must walk to school. Parents must wait for their children to grow strong enough to walk to and from school before enrolling them. Gideon’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, beans, and vegetables and only sell a few of their harvests to get money to buy other basics for their family. Gideon has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, where his legs bow inward so that they 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 experiences pain and discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Gideon. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Gideon's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, including school in the future, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Gideon’s father says “My son walks with a gait and falls down a lot. He also complains of pain after a long day of play.”
Liam is 3-year-old and the only child in his family. His mother is a housewife without a source of income and his father is a small-scale farmer tending food crops. They occasionally can sell crops when there's surplus to help earn more for their family. The income from the venture is small and inconsistent, and not sufficient to help pay for the treatment Liam requires. In August 2020, Liam was diagnosed with right inguinal hernia. He successfully had a right hernia repair surgery last year in August with support from Watsi donors. Unfortunately, doctors have now diagnosed a recurrence on his left side. He now has pains and a swollen stomach. Fortunately, on December 7th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $585 to fund Liam's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Liam’s mother says, “We had hoped our kid was doing well. This hernia is making his stomach swell and in pain. He needs this treatment urgently to relieve these discomforts.”
Letina is a bright sixteen-year-old student. He's from a large family with ten children with Letina being one of the oldest. At school, Letina's best subjects are math, Swahili, and social studies. He is a hard-working student and helps look after his father's cattle when he is not studying. About three years ago, Letina's legs began curving as he grew. At first, it was a slight curve but has worsened over the years. As a result, Letina has had to stop his studies in search of treatment for his legs. Due to the family's limited income, they could not previously seek treatment for their son. Letina visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), where he was diagnosed with bilateral valgus, a condition in which the bone joint is angled outward away from the body's midline. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, walking is painful and near impossible. Letina shared he is now unable to walk a long distance and feels pain when he does walk. On October 26th, Letina will undergo corrective surgery. Treatment should help restore Letina's mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to help fund Letina's surgery. Letina shared, "Walking has become very hard for me due to pain and how deformed my legs are. My friends have been making fun of me at school."
Sophea is a 31-year-old mother. She has a 10-year-old son who is in public school in fifth grade. After a divorce with her husband, she and her son live with her elderly parents. In her free time, she enjoys watching TV, playing games on her phone, reading joke books, and listening to music. To earn money, she often works as a babysitter in her community. Sophea was born with a limb and fingers missing at birth. She received a left leg prosthesis when she was six years old, which allowed her to walk. However, over the last month, she has experienced pain from her stump while walking and can no longer tolerate the prosthesis due to the ongoing discomfort and pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Sophea to receive treatment. She traveled two hours to visit CSC where surgeons determined she needs a stump revision. Now, she needs $352 to fund her procedure and care. Sophea shared that she hopes that she can lead a normal life once she has surgery so she can walk without pain.
Mary is an elderly woman and a farmer from the Rift Valley region in Kenya. She now lives alone after losing her husband a few years ago. Her 4 children have left the nest and live separately with their own families. She does small scale farming to meet her daily needs. Her social-economic status is low and therefore she is unable to meet the cost of surgery. On August 26th, she was a passenger on a motorcycle when the motorcycle got into an accident. She was rushed to the hospital for first aid and debridement of the open wound on her right foot. She is in pain and unable to walk. At Kapsowar hospital, she had an x-ray done and was diagnosed with a fracture. She needs a surgery, but is unable to raise the funds needed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 30th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help her walk again with ease. She will also be free from pain and the infections caused by the open wound will be cleared. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1016 to fund this procedure. Mary said, “My hope is to get treated early for fast recovery so that I can walk and work again.”
David is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his three sisters and one brother. His mother sells Khmer noodles at the market and his father works in construction. He shared that math and physics are his best subjects in school. When not in school, David enjoys playing with toys, playing football, watching TV, and reading books. Recently, David fell down the stairs and injured his left hip. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), diagnosed him with avascular necrosis at the hip, which means loss of blood supply to the bone. This condition causes David to have difficulty and pain when walking. Luckily, surgeons with perform a left hip bone osteotomy to relieve his pain and help prevent further damage. CSC is requesting $425 to fund this procedure. When asked about what the surgery means to him, David shared with us that he hopes to walk easily again and without pain.
Yusra is a toddler and loving big sister from Tanzania. After her father left, her family has been living at Yusra's grandparents' house. Yusra's single mother supports her family through selling vegetables and fruits at a local market. Yusra was diagnosed with genu valgus, which results in knock knees that make learning to walk a big challenge. Because of the angle that her legs are bent, Yusra has been learning to walk for four months but with limited success. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Yusra. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 29th. Treatment will hopefully restore Yusra's mobility, allow her to fully participate activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Yusra’s mother shares, "My baby is struggling a lot to walk due to her legs bending. I have been informed they can be corrected through surgery but we are not able to afford the treatment cost. Kindly help us."
Dennis is a nine-year-old boy and the oldest in a family of four children. His mother shared that she works hard on people’s farms in the villages, and his father is also a farmer. Dennis fell into a fire that unfortunately burnt half of his right arm. Since the burn, his elbow and wrist have developed a contracture, which has caused him pain. He also cannot extend his arm fully. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dennis to receive treatment. On June 1st, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery on his right elbow, wrist, and fingers. After surgery, he will be able to use his hand without any limitations. He will also continue his education, use his hand to write, and help out his parents at home. Now, their family needs help to fund this $840 procedure. Dennis's mother shared, "my desire is to see Dennis using his hand like other boys. Any kind of help to my son to undergo surgery will be greatly appreciated."
Ngoitumet is a 6-year-old boy and the last born in a family of three children. Despite his legs condition and his difficulty with walking, Ngoitumet is a friendly and jovial boy. If not for his health condition, he would be running around enjoying his playtime and be more involved in daily home activities. Ngoitmet’s father is elderly with no source of income. He was not able to bring Ngoitumet to the hospital and had to be helped by a neighbor. Ngoitumet's family depends on livestock keeping and the milk they get from their cattle to make ends meet. Ngoitumet was diagnosed with "windswept" knees, a condition that started when he was two years old when his father noticed his left leg was slightly curving outward. His father couldn’t take him to the hospital for treatment due to financial challenges, so his left leg kept worsening, and the right leg also began curving inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Due to his condition, Ngoitumet has not had a chance to join school yet. He is no longer able to take part in daily home activities, like grazing their father’s cattle. Ngoitumet undergoes a lot of pain when he walks over a long distance. Through their church and the outreach program at Plaster House, Ngoitumet's family was referred to seek treatment. He has been scheduled for surgery to help correct both of his legs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Ngoitumet. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th. Treatment will hopefully restore Ngoitumet's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Ngoitumet’s neighbour shared, "Please help this boy as he is having a hard time standing and walking and his parents do not have money to seek treatment for him."
Weyneshet is a 15-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia who is active and playful. She loves to play with her mom and other children, and she loves eating and breastfeeding. Her mom is a single parent, and they live with the support of family members. Weyneshet was born with an anorectal malformation, a condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Weyneshet is scheduled to undergo her first surgery to correct her condition on April 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Weyneshet will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Weyneshet's mother shared, “after receiving treatment, I will educate her by working hard in any job I get.”
Ann is a 2-year-old girl from Kenya. Ann's mother is a single parent of two children, and Ann's younger sibling is five months old. Her mother works as a casual laborer finding work to support their family. In October 2020, Ann sustained severe burns. She had been visiting her aunt in a different town to spend the holiday with her cousins. While playing in the kitchen, one of the kids accidentally pushed her, and she tripped into a cooking pot with boiling water, causing serious burns. Currently, Ann has an infection that is causing her pain and a fever. She is also not able to move her left elbow, left shoulder, and neck. Ann's family does not have medical coverage, and has been depending on aid from well-wishers to pay for Ann's hospital bills. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Ann receive treatment. On March 4th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help treat the infection and prevent sepsis. Now, Ann's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Ann's mother shared: “I am sorry the wound is getting worse. I haven’t been able to go to the hospital due to a lack of funds. I am here and Ann is at your mercy.”
Dominick is a 4-year-old child from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of three children. Because he has difficulty walking, his mother has been unable to enroll him in school yet. Dominick was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, or bowleggedness. His legs bow outward when he walks. 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 physically struggles to walk and cannot walk for a long time. However, Dominick's parents cannot afford the cost of the treatment he needs to cure his condition. They are subsistence farmers who make a humble income to support the family, and they appeal for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Dominick. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Dominick's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Dominick's mother shared, "I believe our prayers were answered when we met one of Watsi's colleagues who directed us here. We are not able to afford Dominic's treatment and we had lost hope, but we just thought of taking Dominick for prayers that week and God led us here."