Michael joined Watsi on April 18th, 2013. Five years ago, Michael became the 1512th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,968 more people have become monthly donors! Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Grayson, a six-month-old from Tanzania, to fund surgery for his hydrocephalus condition.
Michael has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 11 countries.
Grayson is a baby from Tanzania. Grayson is a six month old baby boy and the firstborn child to his young parents. Both parents finished their college studies last year. Grayson's mother studied business management while the father was a nursing students and he is currently volunteering at a local hospital in their village. Both parents do not current have jobs and are struggling to make ends meet to be able to support their baby. Grayson has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Grayson has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Grayson will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Grayson that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Grayson's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Grayson will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Grayson’s mother says, “With no jobs, we are unable to afford our son’s treatment cost. His condition is worsening, please help us.”
Dismus is a small child from Uganda. He is the second born in a family of two children and his parents are eager to see their son get treated. His father works in a local tea farm and his mother is a casual laborer who mostly washes clothes for neighbors. Dismus was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Dismus is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on July 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Dismus's procedure and care. After his recovery, Dismus will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Dismus’ father shared, “I will be grateful for any financial help offered.”
Michael is a young boy from Kenya, and the last born of three children. He lives with his parents and siblings in a two-room house in the Eastern region of Kenya. Michael’s siblings are enrolled in school and doing fine. His mother is a stay-at-home mom while his father is employed as a night watchman in someone’s homestead. With a monthly income of $70, Michael’s parents are barely able to meet the family’s daily needs. Michael was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Michael is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “My husband’s income is so little. Please help us,” says Michael’s mother.
Htet is a 24-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her grandparents, her uncle, her uncle’s wife, her niece, her aunt, and her aunt’s husband in Yangon, Burma. Her parents passed away when she was 19 years old. Htet's uncle is still searching for work and is currently unemployed, while his wife is a homemaker. Her niece is still too young to enroll in school. Htet works as shop vender at a construction store. Htet’s aunt is a homemaker while her husband is a day laborer. Htet’s grandparents are retired. Their family's combined incomes are is just enough for their daily expense and for basic healthcare needs. Htet was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Htet feels very tired and cannot walk long distances. Sometimes, she has chest pains. She often has a headache and shared that she feels stressed and unhappy all the time. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Htet. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 31st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Htet said, “In the future if I recover, I would like to become a makeup artist. In my free time, I try to make my own makeup.”
Erick is a young student from Kenya. His father is a motorbike taxi driver while his mother is a stay at home mom. Last year, Erick’s father got involved in a road accident and the little savings they had as a family were used up in his treatment. Erick was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Erick has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Erick will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 3rd. AMHF is requesting $535 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I want to be a doctor when I grow up,” says Erick.
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 Lay 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 Lay 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 Lay then went to MTC, a partner organisation of BCMF. After confirming her diagnosis, MTC referred her to BCMF. Nan Lay 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 she wants to continue learning and attending more training on medical and health, her health problem has limited her ability to finish her trainings. Nan Lay said, “After I recover 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."