Michael joined Watsi on April 18th, 2013. Four years ago, Michael became the 1512th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,280 more people have become monthly donors! Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Ivan, a 5-month-old from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot repair.
Michael has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 11 countries.
Ivan is a baby boy from Tanzania. He is a healthy and jovial little baby, the only child to his parents. His father denied Ivan's pregnancy when his mother informed him and since then, offers no support to Ivan's mom. Upon delivery, Ivan's mother was informed of a congenital condition of her son. Through a Facebook post of Plaster House, his mother decided to bring him for review and Ivan was diagnosed with bilateral clubfoot. Doctors recommend a treatment plan of clubfoot manipulation and casting. Ivan's mother is a small business operator selling bananas near her village to make a living. Without financial assistance, Ivan's mother will not be able to pay for her son's surgery. She appeals for financial support. Ivan has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Ivan traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Ivan's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Ivan will be able to walk easily. Ivan’s mother says, “I would love to see my son walk like other normal children and not have to go through difficulty in walking or discriminated due to disability. Please help treat my him since the cost is too high for me to afford."
Aung is a 15-year-old novice monk from Hpa-An. He lives with other monks in the monastery. His parents own a piece of land where his father and oldest brother grow vegetables and fruits for sale. The family also grows vegetables for their own consumption. He was born with encephalocele and it was the size of a fingerprint. It grew bigger over the years and was the same size for the last three years before receiving surgery in 2015. He also suffers from hydrocephalus and he received ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP) in 2016. Two months ago, Aung developed headaches and his head has grown bigger on the right side. At that time, his father bought medicine from the pharmacy to reduce his headaches. He took it for two days, but he did not feel better. Later on, his father took him to Hpa-An hospital where he received a blood test and x-ray. The doctor suggested his father to take him to Yangon but his father returned to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot instead of going to Yangon. On February 25th, he arrived at MTC and he was referred to Watsi Medical Partner's Care Center Mae Sot Hospital to be seen the next day. At MSH, the doctor recommended a CT scan, which Watsi donors have also generously supported, and with these results Aung's father was told that doctors need to replace Aung's VP shunt as the previous shunt from 2016 is blocked. Aung’s father said, “I am very worried for him as he is my son and I hope that he will be healthy as soon as possible. In the future, I want him to be a monk for the rest of his life. Because I know my other older sons will not take good care of him as he is not a healthy boy. If he stays at the temple, he can be able to sleep and eat regularly."
Colar is a 53-year-old woman who lives with her husband in Karen State in Burma. She has two sons who are students across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Both Colar and her husband are subsistence farmers but are no longer able to work on the farm due to their poor health. Their limited income comes from breeding and selling pigs and goats. In June 2018, Colar began to suffer from significant lower abdominal and back pain, constipation, headaches, frequent urination, blood in her urine and nausea. Her neighbor advised her to treat the pain with traditional medicine, initially believing this was caused by the fruit she was eating in the forest. However, after a week of severe pain, Colar lost consciousness and her neighbor called her brother who works as a medic at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). Her brother advised them to bring Colar to MTC for treatment. At MTC, Colar underwent a blood test, urine test and ultrasound afterwards, the doctor at MTC diagnosed her with a renal stone in her left kidney and advised her she would need surgery. Colar still suffers from constant pain and discomfort, she is very worried about the upcoming surgery, her health, and how she is going to support her husband and two sons who are still students. Colar said the constant worry for her health and her husband's is causing them significant anxiety and depression. When she feels well enough, she likes to forage in the forest for fruits and vegetables and tend to her garden. When Colar recovers from surgery and her health improves, she hopes to grow enough fruit and vegetables to feed her family and to sell.
Ndeye is a student from Tanzania. She is the fourth born child in a family of six children, she is a hard working girl and very social both at home and school. She is currently in class three and her favorite subject is mathematics. When she grows up she would like to be a doctor and help sick people. Her parents depend on small scale farmers and livestock keeping for their living. They don’t have much income but just enough to get them by. Ndeye has clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Ndeye traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 19. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Ndeye's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Ndeye’s father says, “Her life will be easier if she able to have her legs corrected. Please help she is struggling so much walking to school.”
Nan is a 22-year-old woman from Burma. She works as a medic at a clinic near her village. In her free time, she enjoys reading health-related books to gain more knowledge on the work she does. In 2014, while she was attending the medic training at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), she had a fever which was followed by pain in her back and her right abdomen. Although she had ultrasound done at the clinic, the result showed normal. She was just treated for urinary tract infection, and she felt better after five days. In 2016, she again experienced pain in her abdomen but this time was on the left side. She went to a clinic in Taunggyi, Burma, where she again had an ultrasound imaging test. The result this time revealed a stone in her left ureter. The doctor told her to undergo surgery to remove the stone but because she could not afford the surgical cost 800,000 kyat (approx. 800 USD), she just asked for medication. Since then she had a few episode of severe abdominal pain, and she went to different hospitals in Burma to seek treatment but the doctors kept telling her that she needed surgery. One day in 2019, Nan ran into a friend who also had the same kind of health condition as hers. Her friend told her about the assistance she received at Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and advised her to ask for help there. Nan then went to MTC, a partner organisation of BCMF. After confirming Nan's diagnosis, MTC referred her to BCMF. Nan still is experiencing back pain at the moment. She worries that her pain will increase when she has to travel. She has pain at her back and at suprapubic area, especially when she sits for a longer period of time and/or when she drinks insufficiently. Although Nan wants to continue learning and attending more training on medical and health, her health problem has limited her ability to finish her trainings. Nan said, “After I recovery from this condition, I will save money so that I can open a small shop, for my parents, to sell dry foods."
Kaung is a three-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents and grandmother. His mother works in a sewing factory and his father as a day labourer while his grandmother taking care of him at home. On October 16th, around 10 in the morning, Kaung was playing with a stick after breakfast. While his grandmother went to wash the dishes, after feeding him, Kaung tried to climb up onto the fence but fell off onto the ground and broke his right humerus bone. Currently, Kaung is in pain and he cannot lift up his right hand. He cries a lot and his grandmother has to carry him around in her arms. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Kaung will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for October 16th and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help Kaung to be able to use his hand again without pain. His grandmother said, "I am very worried for my grandson when I see that his hand is broken. I don't know what to do to help him. I just know that I am worried as we do not have money to seek treatment for him."
Mary walks into my office with the top of her cardigan covering her chin. She sits on the chair opposite me with one hand clasping the top of her black cardigan to veil the swell running from her jawline to her neck. The lower lip protrudes with a peeping swelling attached in so that her upper lip cannot touch the lower one. This has been Mary’s life for over 6 months. Late last year, Mary developed a small swelling on her jaw. It was not painful and therefore she did not think of it as serious. As time passed, the swell grew in size. Mary who could eat just about anything now has restrictions on what she can eat. There is pain when she bends and this has also obstructed her working. Mary is married with two children. She was a subsistence farmer before the condition restricted her activities. Mary and her husband depend on one of their daughter who sells second-hand clothes. Besides helping her parents, she has four children under her care. Mary says, “Please help me because I can barely eat."
Kry is a 58-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has six children, eight grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her free time. Four years ago, Kry developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry and cloudy vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Kry learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On July 3, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $211 procedure. She says, "I hope that after my surgery I will be able to plant crops near my home and will be able to go anywhere I want to independently."
Vireakneat is a four-year-old boy from Cambodia. He likes to play toys with his friends, watch television, and go for walks with his family. He received a poorly administered injection in his upper leg, causing a flexion contracture of his left thigh. He is unable to full extend his leg and experiences difficulty walking. When Vireakneat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On July 15, surgeons at CSC will perform a quadricepsplasty procedure of his left leg to help him walk without difficulty. Now, Vireakneat needs help to fund this $413 procedure. His mother says, "I hope that after surgery, I will no longer have to worry about my son and he will be able to walk and run normally."
Gift is a baby from Tanzania. He was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gift is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $966 to cover the cost of Gift's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 17. This procedure will hopefully spare Gift from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Gift’s mother says, “Please help my son I have no means of affording his treatment cost.”
Sophal is a 54-year-old security officer from Cambodia. He enjoys listening to the radio, reading books, and helping his wife with the housework in his free time. In 2017, Sophal fell off his motocycle and fractured his left leg. He is unable to walk without support and often experiences pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On May 7, Sophal will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $430. This procedure will help to allow Sophal to walk again without any pain or difficulty. He says, "I hope that after my surgery, I will be able to walk normally and go back to work."
Rom is a 68-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has two children and three grandchildren, and in his free time he likes to watch television and listen to the monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, Rom developed a cataract in each eye, causing him blurry vision and vertigo. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Rom learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 1, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $398 procedure. He says, "I hope that after my surgery, I will be able to help my daughter take care of her children and attend events at the pagoda."