Michael joined Watsi on September 20th, 2016. Five years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Florence, a 38-year-old house helper from Uganda, to fund a hysterectomy.
Michael has funded healthcare for 59 patients in 13 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 59 patients in 13 countries.
Florence is a 38-year-old house helper from Uganda and a single mother to two children, ages eight and nine years old. She works as a house helper and their family lives in a one-room house. For eight years, since her pregnancy with her youngest child, Florence has had a mass in her pelvic area. She experiences chronic pelvic pain and bloating and was diagnosed with multiple myomas and an ovarian cyst. Her medical team recommended a total abdominal hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,260 to fund Florence's surgery. On August 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Florence will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Florence shared, “I am overwhelmed with both sickness and family responsibility. I have been having this stomach upset for so long I am even worried. I need this treatment to be able to raise my young family."
Stuwart is a playful and friendly boy and the only child so far in his family. He is currently in the first grade and he loves counting numbers and drawing. Stuwart’s father works as a bodaboda taxi driver to be able to support and care for his family. They shared that his income is not much but it helps them make ends meet. Stuwart was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch and rub against each other 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 is having a hard time walking and is experiencing pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stuwart. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Stuwart's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stuwart’s mother says "We've tried to seek treatment for our son but all our efforts have not been successful despite trying to get national insurance. We are either to pay with what we don't have or wait for one year. Please help."
Hilowie is a social 13-year-old girl, and she is the fourth born in a family of five children. Hilowie is a sixth grade student and likes to read storybooks. Her favorite subjects are English and Kiswahili. Her mother is a businesswoman who has a small shop which she operates in the village, and her father passed away 12 years ago when Hilowie was very young. Hilowie suffered burns when she was only four months old in a house fire. She sustained joint injuries known as contractures on her left hand, and until today the contractures have never improved. Currently, she cannot raise her hand or work at home, and this has greatly affected her studies. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Hilowie receive treatment. On June 28th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so Hilowie will be able to use her hand, help around the house, and concentrate on her studies. Now, her family needs help to fund this $840 procedure. “I would love my hand to be straightened so that I can continue with my studies and as well help my mother at home,” Hilowie told us.
Pendaeli is a 10-year-old student and the youngest child in a family of seven children. All of his siblings are grown and have moved to other cities in search of jobs. Pendaeli is being raised by his widowed mother. She is a small-scale farmer growing maize and vegetables for their family's food and to sell for an income. She also seeks out a variety of other jobs, like doing laundry for neighbors. Pendaeli has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping him receive treatment. He traveled to AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 11th. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Now, Pendaeli's family needs $935 to fund the procedure. Pendaeli’s mother shared, "finding money to take my son for treatment has been a big challenge and the cost is too high for me to afford. Please help."
Karduni is a 9-year-old student and the fifth born in a family of six children. He's a friendly and social boy. Karduni is currently in class one, but he's having a hard time walking to school due to his foot being impacted by a fire accident when he was two years old. On the day he was hurt, Karduni's mother was boiling water at an open fireplace while Karduni and his siblings were playing. As they played, Karduni stepped on firewood that was burning in the fireplace tipping the pot and burning his foot with the hot water. His wound healed but left his foot deformed due to the contracture of the skin. Burn scar contractures have developed, tightening the skin around his burn and making it difficult for him to walk. He also is in pain, and his family and community want to see him feeling well and being active. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Karduni receive treatment. On May 20th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him walk easily again. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Karduni’s priest says, "Please help Karduni have this treatment, his parents are struggling to make end meet they can never be able to afford his treatment cost."
George is a young, active 5-year-old boy. George's father is a taxi driver and his mother does small scale farming to supplement their earnings. Last month, his mother noticed something that didn't seem right when she was bathing him. Upon getting examined by the doctor, the doctor scheduled a corrective surgery to put his testes in place and prevent future challenges. George was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, George has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. George will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) to undergo corrective surgery on March 30th. George’s mother shared, “We would like our child to have a family of his own when he grows up but if left untreated, his medical condition makes that impossible. We are requesting for any help so that our son can get treated."
Liana is a six-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of three children. She's in grade one and likes to play a lot with friends. Liana's mother hawks food for a living, while her father works in construction sites. On March 13th, as Liana played with her friends, she fell and sustained an open fracture on her left hand. She was brought to a local hospital and an x-ray was performed to confirm the diagnosis. If left untreated, Liana will continue to experience pain and she may have complications. Liana visited the hospital accompanied by her mother, who was worried about the cost of the surgery. The doctor suggested the possibility of Watsi support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On March 18th, Liana will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow Liana to use her hand again and she will no longer be in pain. Now, AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Liana's mother shared, “we are not sleeping because of Liana's pain. I pray that we may be helped so that she can be relieved of pain, be well again to continue her normal life, and continue with her studies.”
Kech Heang is a 72-year-old retired school teacher from Cambodia. She lives with her son as her husband passed away 13 years ago. Now that Kech Heang is retired, she spends her time at home with her family. She enjoys watching Thai dramas on TV. One year ago, Kech Heang developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going outside on her own. When Kech Heang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for one hour by tuk tuk with her nephew seeking treatment. On November 17th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Kech Heang shared, "At this age, vision is the only asset I preciously need."
Tola is a 27-year-old blacksmith from Cambodia. He and his wife were married only seven months ago, and are expecting their first child later this year. His wife is a vegetable seller and his parents are both famers. In his free time, he likes playing football with his friends, listening to music, and going on walks with his wife. In April 2020, he was in a motor accident that caused a fracture of his left forearm. He visited a traditional healer near his home for two months, but his fracture did not heal. He has had constant moderate pain in his arm and it has become swollen. He has been unable to work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On August 5th, Tola will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will correct his fracture and allow his arm to fully heal, so that he can once again use his left hand well. Tola shared, "I have been very worried about my wife and having enough money for my family when our child is born, so I am glad that I can get this surgery and that I can work again soon."
Somaly is a 54-year-old housewife from Cambodia. She has two sons, two daughters, and five grandchildren. Her husband works as a civil servant. She supports her family at home, cooking food and taking care of her grandchildren. When she has free time, she loves to watch dramas on TV. One year ago, Somaly developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her irritation, constant tearing, and blurry vision. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Somaly learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled to the hospital seeking treatment. Somaly needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for May 7th. Somaly said, "I always love taking my grandchildren to school in the morning, but I cannot do that right now. Once the irritation is gone, I will be back to normal and can take care of them again."
Shanice is a 1-year-old girl from Kenya. Earlier this month, while her mother was boiling water to shower, Shanice accidentally pulled a pot of hot water towards herself and sustained severe burns on her hands, abdomen and thighs. These injuries were second-degree burns of 10%. Shanice’s mother rushed her to a nearby facility for treatment. Shanice was given some medication, her wounds were dressed, and she was asked to return the following day. Her bandages were eventually removed and she was discharged with some medication. However, Shanice's wounds did not heal well and she lost her appetite. Her mother became concerned and took her back to the same facility for a checkup. After discussion with the doctor, Shanice was eventually referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital and was admitted as an emergency case. After debriding and properly dressing her wounds, the doctor recommended she undergo skin grafting surgery. Shanice is at risk of developing infections on her post-burn wounds if not treated. Shanice’s father is a carpenter in their home area. Her mother lost her job three years ago and has not been able to find a stable job since then. She currently does casual jobs to supplement her husband’s earnings and sustain their four person family. The family is not able to raise enough money for Shanice's surgery and are appealing for financial help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Shanice receive treatment. On October 15th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to heal her open wounds. Now, Shanice needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Shanice’s mother shared, “It is difficult for us to raise any money because of our financial status. I feel sad whenever I see her crying of pain because of her wounds. I hope she can recover soon.”
U Min is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, son, and daughter. He and his son work as day laborers. His wife stays home to look after household chores, while his daughter studies in grade school. About a month ago, U Min's right heel was injured while he was getting off from the tractor he was driving at work. It was very painful that he went to a clinic in his village to receive treatment. However, his condition did not improved with the treatment, and the wound worsened day by day. He was then advised by the health workers at his village to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) for further treatment. At MCLH, the doctor did detail assessment of U Min's condition and said that because of his injury, the blood supply to his heel was insufficient. His wound by then has turned into black color, as the tissues around his heel were damaged and have died, and it causes him severe pain, especially at night. Since the doctor could no longer help to make his ulcer healed by treatments, the only option is to do a below knee amputation. U Min said, "It's so painful that I can't bear it anymore. I just want to receive surgery as soon as possible."