UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERCancer Survivor Trying to Give Back To Others
Michael joined Watsi on January 20th, 2015. Eight years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation supported Nwe Ni, a 43-year-old woman from Burma, to fund a thyroidectomy.
Michael has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 13 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 13 countries.
Nwe Ni is a 43-year-old woman who lives with her mother, her two sisters, and her older brother in Karen State, Burma. Nwe Ni used to work as a homemaker, but stopped once the goiter in her neck became enlarged. Her discomfort began in November 2019, when Nwe Ni started to experience neck stiffness and swelling. Currently, she also has trouble with insomnia, leaving her tired and prompting her to rest during the day. At the same time, she has lost her appetite and, with her neck swollen, at times it feels constricted. In February 2023, Nwe Ni was referred to the Mae Sot General Hospital for further investigation. The doctor there diagnosed her with a multinodular goiter and told her that she would require surgery. Nwe Ni’s mother told the doctor that they could not cover the cost of surgery, and they were referred to Burma Children Medical Fund, which is seeking $1,500 to fund Nwe Ni's thyroidectomy, which is scheduled for March 8th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. She and her family are looking to you to help cover the costs of her life-changing procedure. Nwe Ni said: “I am so delighted when I heard that I could have this mass removed. It feels so heavy, and I am not comfortable living like this. I would like to say thank you so much [to the donors] and you will always be in my prayers for your assistance.”
Ohn, who is 52 years old, lives with her husband in a village in Tak Province in Thailand. While Ohn's husband no longer works because of pain in his lower legs, Ohn earns money as a day laborer on a local farm. In the middle of 2021, Ohn began experiencing lower left abdominal pain, and discomfort when she urinates or has a bowel movement. She has been diagnosed with myoma, a uterine fibroid, and has been advised to have a total hysterectomy. Left untreated, Ohn's symptoms will worsen, and she will be at risk for additional medical complications. Ohn's income barely covers her and her husband's daily living expenses. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Ohn's procedure and care. Ohn is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on February 1st, at Mae Sot General Hospital, where both her uterus and cervix will be removed. After she has recovered, Ohn should be able to resume her life, free from pain. Ohn said: “I cannot sleep well because I am worried and feel depressed about my condition. When I learned that the organization [BCMF] would pay for the cost of my surgery, I felt very happy. I am very thankful to all donors and to BCMF for paying for my investigation and treatment. When I recover, I will try to work and save money, so I can pay back my debt."
Natalia, who is 13 years old, lives in the mountains above La Paz with her parents and two younger brothers. Natalia was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Because of this hole, blood leaks out without passing through the chambers of her heart to gather oxygen, leaving Natalia weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Natalia's family sought care through our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, and Natalia is now scheduled for corrective surgery on January 17th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. During the surgery, doctors will sew a patch over the hole in Natalia's heart, enabling her to live a healthy life. Another organization Gift of Life International has contributed $3,000 and our medical partner is seeking your help to fund the remaining $1,500 needed for this life-saving procedure. Natalia said: "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can go to school without feeling tired."
John Paul is a 27-year-old man from the Philippines, who works as a marketing agent. One month ago, John Paul began to experience a constellation of symptoms, including urinary frequency, and a lump by his navel that was growing in size. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia, and told that he would require surgery to heal his condition. Much of John Paul's income goes towards the treatment and medications needed for his hypertension, so he is not in a position to cover the costs for his surgery. While a portion of the costs for his procedure will be covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is seeking $845 to cover the remaining fees for John Paul's surgery, scheduled for December 3rd, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. John Paul said: "I was struck greatly by the pandemic. I'm full of debt, and that's why I can't afford to pay for my hospitalization. WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines are really of great help. I'm truly grateful for the services that you're giving us. May you continue helping the ones in need."
Elia is a playful 17-month-old baby from Tanzania who loves to smile. He is the youngest in his family of four children. Elia's father is a small-scale farmer and primarily grows food for the family's sustenance, while his mother cares for children. They shared that their income is limited to cover their basic needs. Elia's mother noticed that his leg was twisted downward and inward, affecting his ability to begin walking. She took him to a local clinic, but there were no improvements in his physical condition. When Elia's mother learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), she brought him to AMH's care center. As soon as he arrived, Eila's charming personality emerged, and he made friends with the other children and played many games. Upon examination, the doctors at AMH diagnosed the condition as clubfoot of the right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. On November 18th, Elia will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and start wearing shoes. AMH is requesting $935 to fund Elia's procedure. Elia’s mother says: "I appeal for your financial support, and I will be glad to see my son start walking normally."
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.”
Hellen is a soft-spoken, 23 year old student, living with relatives in Gilgil Town in Kenya. Hellen's parents are elderly, and as neither they nor Hellen have a stable source of income, Hellen's relatives are paying for her studies in food and beverage. Just two weeks ago, after undergoing an MRI because of abdominal pain, Hellen learned that she has a fast growing mass in her abdomen, that has displaced her uterus. Hellen was told that she needs surgery urgently in order to remove the mass. If left untreated, the mass could become cancerous, and threaten Hellen's ability to bear children. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Hellen access the care that she needs. On September 9th, Hellen will undergo a laparoscopic procedure at AIC Kijabe Hospital, at which time the mass will be removed. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $1,074 to fund Hellen's surgery. Hellen says: "The swelling in the stomach is growing so fast. I am scared it might be cancerous. It might also affect my ability to get kids if not treated.”
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."
Naw Eh is a 32-year-old woman who lives with her parents, her husband, and her children in a refugee camp. She supports her family by caring for her children and managing their home. Her husband is currently unemployed. Three of her children are enrolled in primary school, but her fourth child is too young to attend. During her free time, Naw Eh enjoys sewing clothes. Naw Eh is currently expecting a new baby and her doctors recommend that she undergoes a caesarean section to deliver her child because she is already 40 weeks pregnant and her baby is still in the wrong position, laying horizontally instead of vertically. With a C-section, doctors will be able to ensure the safety of both Naw Eh and her baby during the delivery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Naw Eh undergo a C-Section on July 7th. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Naw Eh's family needs your support to help fund her care. Naw Eh shares, “In the future, I will search for a job in the refugee camp, and I will also take good care of my children.”
U Nyan is a 62-year-old man who lives with his wife in Mon State, Burma. He used to work as a tricycle taxi driver as well as a day labourer but since he had stroke around three months ago, he stopped working. His wife also had a stroke and cannot work. They have a daughter who works across the border in Bangkok, and she sends them some money every three or four months. However, the amount that her daughter sends is not enough for U Nyan and his wife for their daily expenses and they shared that, occasionally, their neighbor also gives them food. Recently, U Nyan noticed a small lump on his left elbow, which rapidly became enlarged and painful. Currently, U Nyan is in a lot of pain and cannot sleep. After seeking treatment at various clinics and hospitals, U Nyan was finally referred to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) where he was diagnosed with an abscess around his left elbow joint and scheduled for surgery on May 9th. When he told the doctor that he could not afford to pay for his surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance accessing surgery. He has already borrowed about $350 so far to help with his diagnosis and treatment, and people in his community have pitched in to support him financially. Our medical partner is helping him raise $760 for his surgery. “After surgery I want to go home and look after my wife. I want to listen to sermons, meditate and do good deeds,” shared U Nyan.
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
U Chit is a 42-year-old husband and father from Burma. He lives with his in-laws, wife and son. His father-in-law works as a day laborer, while his wife and his mother-in-law are homemakers. U Chit used to work with his father-in-law, and also as a motorcycle taxi driver for extra income. However, he stopped working in January when his health worsened. When schools reopen, his son will begin kindergarten. A little over a year ago, U Chit began experiencing dizziness, fatigue, tightness in his chest and difficulty breathing when he exerted himself. A month later, he visited a local clinic where he was diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, in December 2021, U Chit lost a lot of weight and experienced night sweats in addition to his other symptoms. He was diagnosed with aortic valve regurgitation, mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation, and was placed on a waiting list to receive surgery. Because his condition is severe, the doctor recommended that he undergo surgery as soon as possible. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Chit access treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo mitral valve replacement surgery at BCMF's care center. After recovery, his symptoms should improve. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. U Chit shared, "I gave up and I was ready to die before. There are a lot of heart patients waiting to receiving surgery. Since I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I feel like there is hope that I will survive. I have to look after my family because my son is still young. I will always remember everything the donors did for me."