Michal joined Watsi on January 4th, 2021. One year ago, Michal joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michal's most recent donation supported Jess, a bright-eyed 2-year-old toddler from Haiti, to fund surgery preparation and transport for life-saving cardiac surgery.
Michal has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 8 countries.
Michal has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 8 countries.
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!"
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
Sophea is a 16-year-old student in grade ten. Sophea has three siblings, and she is the youngest. All three siblings currently study at the secondary school near their home. Her parents have been divorced since she was two years old, so she lives with her mother, who is a construction worker. When she is not studying, she likes to read and spend time with her school friends. Since she can remember, Sophea has had ear infections which have caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Sophea experiences hearing loss, discharge, and fevers. Doctors has diagnosed an ear condition called microtia, which means she is missing the ear canal. Her mother has taken her to different healers for treatment but it has not improved. It is difficult for her to hear at school, she does not communicate well with friends and family, and often misses school due to infections. This makes her feel shy with strangers. Sophea traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 8th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She is hopeful that her hearing will improve and she won't have any more infections!
Deborah is a nine-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, several siblings, and her grandparents. She enjoys singing and listening to music in her free time. Deborah has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, where a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through her body, leaving her feeling sick and weak. To receive treatment, Deborah will fly to Dominican Republic. On March 2nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in her heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Deborah's family needs help raising money to fund the costs of her surgery prep. The $1,500 prep bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Deborah's family overseas for her surgery. Deborah's father shared, "our family has been praying for years for this surgery to happen, and would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping!"
Abdulkerim is an adorable 19-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia who loves to laugh with other children, and loves food. He is the youngest child in his family, and his older brother is 14 years old. His parents are farmers and they farm on their land and their neighbors' land. They work hard to make ends meet and to take care of their family. Abdulkerim was born with an abnormally functioning segment of bowel. He has had colostomy procedures in the past, and requires an additional surgery to treat his condition. He has been on a waiting list for a long time now and his family is increasingly worried as they have used their limited income to try to help him, but he needs this care. Another charity organization recommended that their family seek treatment from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and BethanyKids Hospital. Fortunately, AMH is helping Abdulkerim receive treatment. On February 3rd, he will undergo corrective surgery to treat his condition. Now, he and his family need help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Abdulkerim's mom shared, "when I knew about his condition I asked God why he gave me this child with this condition and I was too sad and depressed."
Lesina is a married mother of two. Her firstborn was born in 1995 and has special needs that require a lot of support from Lesina. Lesina likes spending a lot of time with her and ensures her safety all the time. Her other child is 13 and is a 5th grade student. Lesina sells tomatoes at a nearby market while her husband is a driver. They own a three-bedroom iron sheet-roofed house for shelter. She also raises some local chickens with free-range farming, but shared that most of them were stolen. Currently, her family has no land where they can do farming and usually has to buy food from the market. Lesina was well until 2019 when she started having a lot of abdominal pains and other symptoms. She went to a clinic and was given medication which helped for while. But, her condition kept recurring. In 2020, she started feeling a hard mass on the left side of her abdomen and when she came to the hospital again the clinician ordered a cancer screening for her. During the procedure, the nurse felt a mass that is suggestive of uterine fibroids. She was referred to a gynecologist who after scanning and examination confirmed the diagnosis of uterine fibroids and ordered surgical intervention of a procedure called total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) which is the full removal of the uterus. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. Sometimes these growths become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number and the symptoms will become worse. The fibroids' pain may increase and the heavy bleeding may become worse leading to anemia which may be fatal. After the surgery, it is expected that Lesina will stop having abdominal pains and heavy bleedings and will lead a full, healthy life. She is scheduled for surgery on January 3rd and is appealing for financial support. Lesina says, “I have heard that some uterine fibroids can burst and cause serious problems, I don’t want that to happen to me. My handicapped firstborn needs me in sound health to continue caring for her. Kindly support my surgery.”
Sambath is a 42-year-old soldier who now lives in a rural province of Cambodia with his mother. In his free time Sambath enjoys reading books, watching TV, listening to music, and meeting with friends. One year ago Sambath began experiencing pain in both hips. Now he has difficulty walking. Sambath was evaluated by doctors and due to the osteonecrosis in his hips, where his bones break down due to lack of blood flow, a total hip replacement surgery is recommended to restore his mobility. Fortunately, Sambath learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Sambath of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 23rd, and Sambath needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Sambath says, "I really hope that the pain will go away and I can walk easily again."
Saitabau is a fifteen-year-old student. He's the second born out of four children from their mother who passed away three years ago. Saitabau is a hard-working boy who is currently in class three and his best subject is mathematics. Saitabau was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His knees tilt inward and his ankles are far apart. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Saitabau's legs have worsened, making walking exhausting, painful and difficult for him. He has trouble walking to school and playing sports, which he loves to do. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Saitabau. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Saitabau's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Saitabau says “Walking to school has now become very difficult because I feel pain on my knees and I get tired easily."
U Hla is a 42-year-old man from Burma. He lives in a monastery with his daughter in Mon State. U Hla spends most of him time volunteering at the monastery, cooking and cleaning for the monks. Sometimes, he works as a motorcycle taxi driver. His daughter goes to school and the abbot pays for her school fees. For the past 20 years, U Hla has suffered from recurring infections. Two weeks ago, he developed an ulcer on his backside and now U Hla is in pain and he cannot sleep well. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping U Hla receive treatment. On October 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help the ulcer heal and stop him from being in pain. Now, U Hla needs help to fund this $694 procedure. "I just want to be healthy and live with my family happily,” U Hla said.
San is a 41-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, and son in Burma. Her children are students, but the schools are closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak and teachers' strike against the military coup earlier this year. San and her husband rent land and grow sesame and sunflowers. They shared that their income last year from selling their harvest was about 1,500,000 kyat (approx. $1,500 USD) for the year, which is only enough to cover their daily expenses and basic health care. Unfortunately, the rainy season was late this year, and they could not grow any sesame as a result. San's family is worried about the impact this will have on their income and their family. Starting in May, San felt tired and developed a fever, so she visited the local clinic and received medication for her symptoms. While her fever reduced, she still felt tired, and her heartbeat increased. Three days later, her son developed a fever and also went to the local clinic. While there, San was able to share more about her condition with the clinicians. The doctor listened to her heart, gave her an injection and medication, and told her to come back if she continued to feel unwell. That night, San experienced heart palpitations and could not sit or lie down for long periods. On May 29th, she visited the Magway General Hospital, where she received oxygen, an injection, a blood test, and an electrocardiogram (ECG). Doctors also recommended an echocardiogram and a chest x-ray, which she received in follow-up care on May 31st. After reviewing the results of her tests, the doctors shared that San's heart valve does not work well and suggested meeting with a cardiologist for further testing. While the military coup made it challenging to find a cardiologist, San visited her brother's town for treatment. After further testing, a cardiologist diagnosed San with mitral valve stenosis and told her that she needed surgery to replace a damaged heart valve. Currently, San feels tired and suffers from heart palpitations when she walks short distances and cannot lie down for long periods. Fortunately, San was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), to help afford her surgery. On October 3rd, San will receive treatment, and BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help directly fund her procedure. San said, “I would like to get better soon because my family had to try hard to borrow enough money for my treatment. This year, we will not be able to earn a profit from our farm. This year is very difficult for everyone. I would like my daughter and son to finish their studies. I would like to work hard for my family’s future. After I recover from my operation, I want to open a shop in my village to earn more money. I will try to send my daughter and son to school until they graduate. Thank you so much for supporting the cost of my surgery.”
Cosmas is a 7-month-old baby and the last born in his family. His mother lost her job a few months ago due to spending more time at the hospital with him. She now solely relies on her talent for crocheting to earn a living. She specializes in making bags, sweaters, and socks. Cosmas' father left their family a few years ago, after the birth of the first-born child. After he was treated, Cosmas’ father came back briefly, then left a few weeks later. He does not support them in any way, thus Cosmas' mother is appealing for financial help for his medical care. Cosmas underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Cosmas' case, his colostomy requires closure to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Cosmas. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 2nd and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Cosmas’ mother says, “having raised my other child who also had some health complications and made it through successfully, I am determined that we will find a way for Cosmas’ surgery.”
Hy is a 38-year-old fisherman from Cambodia. He has been married for 9 years and has 2 young sons. His wife worked in a factory but now stays at home to look after Hy. One year ago, Hy was in a motor vehicle accident that left him with fractures that caused paralysis of his left arm. He was brought to a government hospital for treatment, but his arm still did not recover sensation or feeling after weeks of treatment. Hy has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to lift his arm, is in chronic pain, and can't work Fortunately, Hy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 30th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery so that he will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. He hopes that he can use his arm as soon as possible and can return to work to support his family.