Michael joined Watsi on May 6th, 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 traveled 1,900 miles to support Marvens, a toddler from Haiti, to fund prep costs for life-saving heart surgery.
Michael has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 12 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 12 countries.
Marvens is a toddler who lives with his parents and his older sister. His parents are looking forward to starting him in preschool as soon as he recovers from his surgery. Marvens has a cardiac condition called partial anomalous pulmonary vein return (PAPVR). One of the major veins in Marvens' chest connects to his heart in a location that is not anatomically normal. As a result, blood cannot flow normally through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. On March 1st, Marvens will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will detach the vein from his heart and reattach it at the anatomically correct position. Marvens' family needs help to fund the costs of surgery, and the prep and follow-up care required. Marvens family and our medical partner have been able to raise some of the support needed, but still are in need of $1,500 and have turned to the Watsi community for support. Marvens' mother says: "Our family is very happy to have this chance, and will be praying for everyone who is helping us!"
Saw Tha is an 11-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents, a younger brother, and a younger sister in a village in Karen State. His father is a Karen soldier and his mother is a homemaker. Their family does not have a stable income, but sometimes his father will work as a day laborer when he has free time. Saw Tha's family also raises chickens for their own consumption and his mother plants vegetables around their house. During his free time, Saw Tha likes to play football with his friends. On February 3rd, 2023, Saw Tha climbed a plum mango tree to pluck the fruit. He suddenly fell down from the tree and broke his left femur bone. Currently, he cannot walk as he is in severe pain and his left leg is swollen. Despite taking painkillers, he cannot sleep as the pain worsens through the night. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Tha will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 4th and this treatment will help Saw Tha to be free from pain and walk again. Saw Tha and his family need help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure. Saw Tha's mother said, "I do not know where to look for help for my son. I just know that I am [worried] for him. I am very thankful to the kind donors and organization [BCMF] for helping my son."
Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition. Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine's surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding. Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”
Benina is a cheerful woman with an infectious smile, she is married and has been blessed with five children, all boys. The first two children have completed their high school education; the other two are still in high school, while the youngest is in primary school. Benina and her husband own a piece of land where they primarily cultivate potatoes for their family's consumption and sell the surplus in the market. They also sporadically work on the farms of their neighbors to supplement their little income. This year, rainfall was very inconsistent, and the couple did not have any potato produce, thereby earning no income from their land. For the past 6 years, Benina has been experiencing severe abdominal pains, bleeding, and a persistent headache. She sought medical services from a clinician, who referred her to the obstetrics and gynecology department for further review. In 2019, the symptoms became severe, and she decided to visit a nearby health facility where she was given medication and sent back home. She experienced temporary relief from the condition, but it later reappeared. Benina made the decision to come to our partner's care center, AIC Kapsowar Hospital, because the situation did not get any better. After learning about her medical history, medical test were recommended which revealed that she had a hemoglobin level below 6, which is extremely low and dangerous. She was hospitalised and underwent a blood transfusion to boost hemoglobin levels and enhance blood quality. To help her heal she needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $918 to fund Benina's surgery. On November 29th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Benina will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Benina says, "I have endured a lot while holding out hope that I may soon recover. Day by day, the symptoms are getting worse, and I've lost a lot of blood. I'm in a terrible situation, please support me to get this operation."
Laurencia is a 9-year-old girl and the seventh born in a family of nine siblings. She is a student at the nearby primary school. Her parents are small-scale farmers who plant vegetables for sale and for the family's needs. Some of her siblings are in high school, so her father uses his small income to pay for their school fees and to provide for other family needs. They are from a semi-arid area which faces drought and most of their crops are sorghum and millet. There is a food and water shortage in the area, and they shared that bandits often attack them. Life has been quite challenging, but they have persevered. Laurencia came to AIC Kapsowar Hospital with a bandaged right arm. She had an x-ray from another facility, which showed that she had broken both the ulna and the radius after falling from a mango tree while harvesting mangoes. She is in pain and unable to use her hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 1st, Laurencia will undergo an open reduction and internal fixation surgical procedure to put the broken bones back in place. Her hand will be able to heal well and she will be able to use it again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Laurencias’ father says, “This incident happened just when I was paying my other children's school fees. I am worried now that I cannot help my daughter when she is in need. Please help her so that she can be able to grow in a normal way.”
Shwe is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her family in Burma and enjoys listening to Burmese pop music! Shwe previously worked in a factory, but she had to stop working last December when her health began to deteriorate. Her brother and stepfather both work as agricultural day laborers, and her sister-in-law and mother are both homemakers. The rest of her siblings are all waiting for schools to reopen so they can return to their studies. The schools were closed in February of 2021 following the Mayanmar military coup. About a year and a half ago, Shwe began to experience pain in her chest, as well as fatigue. She initially did not think that her symptoms were serious, but this changed after she fainted at work a few months later. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with mitral valve, aortic valve, and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which are all cardiac conditions that occur when the specified valve does not close properly. As a result, she experiences difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping. She also feels very tired when walking longer distances. Shwe now needs cardiac surgery to help alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. However, once the doctor told her and her family the cost of surgery, they left the hospital because they could not pay for Shwe's needed procedure. Fortunately, they happened to meet a taxi driver who kindly told them about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is now helping Shwe undergo cardiac surgery on August 12th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Shwe and her family need your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Shwe says, “When I recover fully, I will go back to work and work hard. I will save my money and support my family.”
Meet Ann, a very bright, friendly, and cheerful 14-year-old girl who lives with her mother in Kenya. She is currently in class six and aspires to be a surgeon after completing her studies. One of her favorite activities is reading. Her mother is a single parent who works selling samosas, a fried or baked pastry, in their hometown. Ann was born with a bow-legged impairment. She began therapy at the age of two, but she had to stop attending her sessions due to financial constraints. As a result, her condition has worsened. She shares that this has affected her mobility, studies, and self-esteem. A year ago, Ann underwent a successful multiple osteotomy surgery, which cut and reshaped her leg bones, with the help of amazing Watsi supporters. Now, she requires a second procedure to fully treat her condition in both of her legs. Ann is scheduled to undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on August 29th at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund this surgery. This procedure will allow Ann to walk easily, engage with her friends more comfortably, and continue on with her studies. Ann's mother says, "I wish to thank the donors for their great support towards my daughter's treatment. We were desperately looking for funds for her surgery. May the almighty God bless you. After her treatment, Ann will be able to walk comfortably."
Win is a 34-year-old mother of two from Thailand. She works as an agricultural day laborer to support her two children who live with her relative. Last month, Win was walking down the stairs in front of her home when she suddenly slipped and fell. This fall caused a fracture of her lower right leg, preventing her from both standing up and straightening her right leg. She first tried to treat herself with traditional medicine, but when she saw no improvement, she sought medical attention at a clinic. Win's lower right leg is currently swollen and in a lot of pain. She cannot straighten it nor put any weight on it. Because of the pain, she is experiencing difficulty sleeping and a loss of appetite. To get around, she is using a wheelchair provided by the clinic. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Win will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The treatment is scheduled for August 5th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help her walk again and return to work to support her children. She said, “I felt very happy when I learned that an organization will support the cost of my surgery. I am very thankful to all the donors and the organization for their support."
Keysnaelle is a bright and caring 5-year-old who lives in the mountains of central Haiti. She lives with her parents, who are both farmers, and several older siblings. Keysnaelle enjoys helping her family out with different activities on the farm, as well as going to kindergarten and learning new things. Keysnaelle was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels near her heart. This causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to fund Keysnaelle's procedure and care. During the procedure, which is scheduled for July 27th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow with ease. This will eliminate her difficulties with breathing and allow her to grow stronger. Her mother said, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping Keysnaelle to become healthy!"
Jess is a sweet 2-year-old from Haiti. He lives with his parents on a small island off the western coast; his parents are both farmers. Jess has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. The life-saving care that Jess needs is not available in Haiti, so he'll need to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. There, on June 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery during which doctors will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the blockage from the valve. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. Jess's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and follow up. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the cost of getting passports and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jess's family overseas. Jess's mother shared: "Our family is praying that our son can have surgery as soon as possible!"
Klyn is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a small town in central Haiti with his parents, grandparents, and several other relatives. He likes school, especially science and math. Klyn was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The defect means there is a hole between the two upper chambers of Klyn's heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which leaves him often weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has arranged for Klyn and his mother to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery since this treatment is not available within Haiti. On May 24th, doctors will first attempt to use a catheter to close the opening between Klyn's upper cardiac chambers. If that's not possible, they will need to perform open-heart surgery and use a patch to close the hole in Klyn's heart. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 for Klyn's care. His family is raising $1,500 to help cover remaining costs of the procedure and related care, including travel expenses for Klyn. Klyn's mother says, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"
Tecla is a shy and hardworking woman in her early 40s. She was born alone in her home and she now stays with her mother. Tecla did not complete schooling after she developed partial hearing loss at an early age. She also experienced a painful accident when she was young after she burnt her right fingers leaving her disabled. Due to this, Tecla does not work and depends on her mum for all her needs. They live together in a semi-permanent house. Starting five years ago, Tecla has been experiencing abdominal swelling and other symptoms. She has been diagnosed with a large fibroid uterus and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Surgical removal should be performed as soon as possible. Since Tecla does not have national health insurance, she is requesting help to pay for her treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $918 to fund Tecla's surgery. On April 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Tecla shared, "It has never been easy for me. My hope here is to get treated and be well and live a normal life.”