Michael McMahonUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Michael's Story

Michael joined Watsi on April 18th, 2013. 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 8,200 miles to support Aymy, a 32-year-old housewife from Philippines, to fund gallbladder removal surgery.

Impact

Michael has funded healthcare for 108 patients in 13 countries.

Patients funded by Michael

Fatma is a 50-year-old mother of seven children aged between four and sixteen. She has faced considerable hardship, being a widow and the sole provider for her family, without a steady income. Fatma resides in Somalia, but also depends on the support of her niece that sells tea in Nairobi, Kenya. Unfortunately, she is unable to afford vital medical treatment. Since 2021, Fatma has been experiencing a persistent bloated feeling and discomfort in her lower abdomen. Initially treated for brucellosis and yellow fever at a local facility without improvement, the growth in her abdomen continued to enlarge, prompting both health concerns and a sense of self-consciousness due to the enlarged mass. She traveled to Kenya to seek medical advice, and further examination in Wajir suggested ovarian cancer, and the need for surgery. However, due to financial constraints, she sought help at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. Here, the diagnosis confirmed a large non-cancerous abdominal pelvic mass that needed to be removed through surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Fatma receive treatment. On March 22nd, surgeons at AIC Kijabe Hospital will perform a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (TAH/BSO) procedure to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and prevent future surgery for benign ovarian masses. Now, Fatma needs help to fund this $1,260 procedure. Fatma is hopeful as she awaits the surgery that promises relief. She says, “I look like a seven-month pregnant lady because of the growth. It is painful. I hope to get treatment so that this pain can go away.”

$738raised
$522to go

Thaw is a two-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and elder sister in Zee Kone Village, but his family migrated to Thailand four months ago to seek better job opportunities. His father works as an agricultural day labourer, while his mother is a homemaker. Thaw’s elder brother and sister take turns working as agricultural day labourers. Thaw’s mother carefully manages their income, and their combined family income is enough to cover their daily basic expenses. Thaw receives free healthcare services at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). On 2 July 2021, Thaw was born through emergency caesarean section. His mother noticed on the following day, while cleaning Thaw’s body, that he was born with a worrying condition that makes it challenging to go to the bathroom. Thaw’s mother immediately informed the doctor, who then referred Thaw to hospital in Ayeyarwady Division. Unfortunately, due to a lack of facilities, he did not receive the necessary treatment at this hospital. He was subsequently recommended to go to Yangon Hospital. However, due to financial limitations, Thaw’s mother could not afford to take him to Yangon Hospital, leading her to cease efforts to seek Thaw’s treatment. Fortunately, Thaw was able to defecate through a fistula however Thaw began to experience troubling symptoms, including at present, Thaw is passing stool through the fistula, experiencing constipation with bowel movements occurring every four or five days, with a distended abdomen. Thaw has been diagnosed with imperforate anus with fistula and his doctors recommend a colostomy. A colostomy is a surgery that creates an opening for the colon through the abdomen. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1500 to fund Thaw's surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital scheduled January 31st. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully alleviate him symptoms. Thaw’s mother expressed her concerns saying, “I want my son to have a healthy, long life. I was always worried about him, and he couldn’t receive treatment due to lack of money. Now, with the help of BCMF and donors, he can undergo surgery. Thank you."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Asiyatu is a married mother of two children aged 8 and 3 years. Her first child is in 3rd grade and the youngest is in nursery school. She is a homemakerwhile her husband is an Airtel money branch manager earning about $208.72 per month from his business and he takes care of all the bills at home. They live in a three-bedroomed rented house costing $29.82 per month. Asiyatu likes chatting with her children and enjoys eating chips and vegetables. Asiyatu was well until 2020 after the delivery of her second child when she noted a small lump on her left breast that was not painful. She visited a nearby hospital but did not receive help. The husband took her to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) after noting that the lump was getting bigger as time passed. She was brought to Partners in Hope Medical Center (PIH) for a lumpectomy which is a surgery that removes cancer from the breast through the removal of a tumor and a small rim of normal tissues around it, and a sample was sent for histology. In September, she reported back to PIH for histology results that revealed an Invasive Breast Carcinoma requiring a mastectomy. She was then referred back to KCH for surgery since the husband could no longer manage to pay for the surgery as he did with the previous one. She was scheduled for surgery the next year. Lately, Asiyatu has been experiencing needle-pricking pain that is becoming unbearable without pain-relieving medications, affecting her household chores. As a result of her pain, her husband took her back to the hospital in November for support where she was then referred back to PIH for urgent surgery seeking support under the Watsi program. Doctors at PIH confirmed the need for a modified radical mastectomy, a surgery. Their family is able to commit $89.45 to support her care and their family is raising the remaining funds. Asiyatu believes the surgical operation will help her get back home in good condition and continue taking care of her children and her caring husband. Asiyatu said, “I am ready to live with one breast as I hope to get rid of all my pains and have my perfect life back again.”

$1,194raised
Fully funded

Samson is an eight-year-old boy from Mpanda, Tanzania. He is the third born in a family of six children. His father diligently tends to a small farm that supplies their food, while the mother undertakes various daily jobs to contribute to the household income and assist with household tasks. Nevertheless, these endeavors present difficulties in fully meeting the family's needs. Samson currently needs medical intervention due to a condition he has been experiencing that limits his mobility. At the age when he began walking, signs of bowed legs started to appear. Unfortunately, as he grew older, the condition worsened, causing concerns for his parents regarding his future. During one of our medical partner's outreach visits to Samson's village, we had the opportunity to inform his parents about a potential surgical treatment for their son's condition. They were overjoyed to learn there may be help for their son. Upon arrival at our medical partner's care center, Samson and his guardian were warmly welcomed by their team. After a brief intake procedure, he was sent for an assessment. Our medical partner's team subsequently diagnosed him with a left genu varus, which will require surgical treatment to correct his left leg and alleviate the discomfort he is currently facing. Samson's condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, often from contaminated drinking water. This condition has also posed difficulties for Samson in terms of starting and attending school, as the school is located approximately four kilometers away from their home. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Samson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 6th. Treatment will restore Samson's mobility, allow him to participate in school and various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. Samon's guardian says, "We wish that his condition gets better. We are praying for a better outcome from the treatment."

$880raised
Fully funded

Emelita is a loving grandmother from the Philippines. Emelita has five children and is currently living with one of them. When she was younger, she worked hard as a laundrywoman to make ends meet for her family. Now that she is physically weaker due to her age, she takes care of her grandchildren and helps her daughter with the household chores. Three years ago, Emelita began to experience troubling symptoms, including severe stomach pain, upper back pain, fatigue, and rapid exhaustion. Whenever she feels her symptoms, she cannot perform her day-to-day tasks. She also knows that her daughter and grandchildren worry about her condition and are affected whenever she is in pain. After seeking treatment, Emelita has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Emelita is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on October 14th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Emelita's surgery and care. Emelita says, "I am very grateful for this surgery opportunity because it will help me and my family. I feel like I have been a burden to them, especially when my symptoms act up. This surgery will enable me to regain my ability to do my day-to-day tasks and household activities to help my family."

$1,128raised
Fully funded

Abnet, a precious 9-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia, has captured our hearts with her beauty and spirit. She is the only child of her young 20-year-old parents. Her father works alongside his own father as a coffee farmer, while her mother lovingly tends to their home. Despite not having had the opportunity for formal education, they pour their efforts into providing for their family through the limited farming they do, though it yields barely enough to sustain them. From the very beginning, Abnet's parents demonstrated their determination to seek medical care for their daughter, even in the face of financial challenges. Abnet was born with a congenital anorectal malformation, a condition that disrupts bowel function due to a partial or complete blockage of the intestines. In order to alleviate her suffering and restore her health, she must undergo a series of intricate procedures. Their family initially went to a government hospital, where they were referred to another medical facility. Sadly, their hopes were dashed as they were asked to return two years later. Recognizing the worsening state of Abnet's health, they reached out to a local social worker, sharing their child's condition. Fortunately, the social worker was able to introduce them to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Abnet underwent a thorough evaluation leading to a recommendation for the necessary surgery. Abnet is now scheduled for surgery on August 15th. AMH is requesting $1500 to help fund her procedure. Following her successful recovery, Abnet will be a healthy little girl, able to resume normal activities. Abnet's mother shared, "When we first learned of our daughter's condition, a sense of worry and helplessness engulfed us. The path forward seemed uncertain and daunting. Despite the challenges we faced, we relentlessly pursued treatment for our beloved child. Though previous avenues turned us away, the administrative office introduced us to this lifeline of support. We embraced it with hope, and it has brought us to this moment, filled with gratitude and anticipation."

$1,500raised
Fully funded