Michael joined Watsi on April 18th, 2013. Seven years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Farhio, a 47-year-old mother and widow from Somalia, to fund a mastectomy to prevent her cancer from spreading.
Michael has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 13 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 13 countries.
Farhio is a 47-year-old mother and widow from Somalia. She lost her husband two years ago. She is now the sole breadwinner to her family of four children, aged between 8 and 16. Farhio works as a street vendor selling tea by the roadside. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago and underwent chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation. She thought that the cancer had subsided, but, unfortunately, it returned. She went to a hospital in her home country of Somalia where doctors recommended she undergo surgery. She preferred to come to Kijabe Hospital after relatives who live in Nairobi referred her there. Farhio has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Farhio. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 3rd. After treatment, Farhio will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Farhio says, “I thought this disease had gone. Sadly, it came back. I need to treat it before it spreads.”
Rose is a 44-year-old wife and mother of two children from Haiti. She lives in a small town in central Haiti with her husband, two children, and her sister and her sister's children. Unfortunately, she has been too unwell to work for over five years, but previously sold electronics in a local market. Rose has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged as a result of rheumatic fever a number of years ago. Her heart cannot adequately pump blood through her body, leaving her tired and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Rose receive treatment. She will fly to the Dominican Republic for her surgery. On January 27th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her diseased mitral valve and implant an artificial replacement. HCA is contributing $12,000 to cover the cost of Rose's procedure, but she and her family also need help funding the costs of surgery prep. Rose and her family need help raising $1,500 to cover labs, medicine, check-ups and follow-up appointments. This money will also support passport obtainment and the social workers from HCA that will accompany Rose's family overseas. Rose shared, "I have felt very sick for a very long time, and I am very hopeful that this surgery will bring me relief and new energy!"
Meet Nicolas, a lovely, two year old boy. He lives with his parents and one brother in a nature preserve in the far, southeast corner of Bolivia, where his parents work as beekeepers. When Nicolas was born, it was determined that he suffered from atrioventricular septal defect, which means that there is a large hole between all four chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through the hole without passing through his lungs and obtaining oxygen, leaving Nicolas weak and short of breath. Nicolas was also diagnosed with Down syndrome. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has stepped up to help Nicolas access the care that he needs. On December 22nd, surgeons at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría will close the hole in Nicolas' heart, allowing the blood to flow normally, and enabling Nicolas to breathe without difficulty. Our medical partner is seeking your help to raise the $1,500 necessary to fund this procedure. Nicolas' father said: "We have been waiting many months for this surgery, and we will pray to God to bless everyone who is helping to make it possible."
Thu Ya is a 24-year-old man who moved to Mae Sot in April to live with his older sister and search for better job opportunities. Thu Ya’s sister works in an electronics factory, and his brother-in-law works as an agricultural day labourer. Thu Ya does not have regular work yet, but he is paid per task for completing miscellaneous jobs for the factory where his sister works. Their monthly income is just enough to cover their daily needs and pay for basic health care. Every month they send money to Thu Ya and his sister’s parents, who look after his sister’s daughter. Thu Ya 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, Thu Ya experiences shortness of breath when he walks longer distances or whenever he is active. He often experiences rapid breathing and feels tired. He cannot sleep well at night, and he has heart palpitations. He has a poor appetite, and he has not been able to help his sister much around the house since early September 2022. His sister is very worried about his condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Thu Ya. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 22nd and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. His sister said, “I have a few sisters, but Thu Ya is my only brother. When I see him in this condition, I feel sad and worried about him. I hope that he will receive surgery and that he will get better soon."
Monicah is a shy four year old girl who loves being with her grandmother. She is the first born in a family of two. She hails from a village in Machakos county, Kenya. Monicah was diagnosed to have hemiplegic cerebral palsy, a condition that paralyses one side of the body. She also has clubfoot of her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Monicah's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Monicah's clubfoot repair. The surgery will be impactful to her since she will be able to walk without pain and finally she will be able to step on the ground with her right foot. “I am pleading support for my daughter to undergo surgery. I would love to see her stepping on the ground confidently,” Monicah’s mother told us.
Joyce is a 54-year-old wife and mother of three. She is a subsistence farmer who grows crops and raises farm animals mainly for food for their family. She lives in a corrugated iron house with her husband and her youngest son. Her oldest son is currently employed and married, but her middle son lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She proudly shared that her youngest son just sat for the Malawi School Certificate Examination and he is awaiting the results. Joyce's oldest son helps to pay the school fees for his younger brother because he is the only one currently working in their family. Last year Joyce noticed a lump on her breast. Her sister advised her to go to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery was recommended, but the waiting list for an operation has been too long. A KCH doctor advised her to come to Partners In Hope because her condition needs urgent attention. The Partners in Hope surgeon recommended Joyce get a mastectomy. A mastectomy is a surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer. Due to her financial status, she was referred to our medical partner African Mission Healthcare and has also contributed $19.40 herself to support her treatment. Joyce is fearful of what may come next because she has been reading and has learned of the impact of breast cancer on an individual. Hopefully, having the surgery will erase all these fears and allow Joyce to live her normal life again. Joyce says, “It will be great for me to live a life without a lump on my breast. This thing kills my self-esteem and my hopes to live.”
Tin is a 45-year-old man. Originally from Burma, he fled to Thailand over 20 years ago due to civil war. He currently lives with his wife, who works as a street vendor selling various snacks and vegetable, and one of his daughters, who is currently in school. His family also raises chickens, which they sell when they need cash. Tin previously worked as a farmer and a construction worker, but he has recently been unable to work due to his condition. In the future, he hopes to go back to work and help support his family. After an incident that occurred this past April that caused him to be hit in the left eye by a mango, Tin lost his vision in that eye and began to experience headaches, swelling, severe eye pain, and dizziness when attempting to stand. Tin eventually sought medical attention at a clinic. There, a medic checked his left eye, gave him a bottle of eye drops, and told him to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) since they could not treat him there. However, he did not go to MTC right away due to financial constraints. He instead hoped that his eye would recover over time with the help of eye drops. Although his pain was temporarily reduced, the bruising disappeared, and the swelling went down over time, he never regained his vision. The pain in his eye eventually returned, and he noticed that he had a white spot on his left pupil. As the white spot increased in size, his eye progressively became more painful and began to itch. He now experiences discharge and watering in his eye, as well as difficulty sleeping. At the beginning of this month, a small lump appeared near the white spot on his left pupil. The lump gradually increased in size until it bursted on August 13th. After the discharge and bleeding from the lump stopped, he asked his friend to take him to MTC right away. When he arrived at the clinic, he was told to come back on Monday since there were not any eye specialist medics working on the weekend. When Tin returned on Monday, a medic examined his left eye, and he was diagnosed with corneal perforation, a condition resulting from the cornea being penetrated and damaged. Tin was also told that his eye is infected. He now must undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, to remove his left eye as quickly as possible before the infection spreads to his right eye. Fortunately, Tin was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 17th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform an enucleation to remove his left eye. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Tin's life-changing procedure. Tin shares, “I feel very depressed and worried about my eye. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I lost vision in both of my eyes. I want to receive surgery quickly to prevent my right eye from becoming infected. Without your help, I don’t think I would be able to receive further treatment. Therefore, I want to say thank you to the donors and the organization for agreeing to support my treatment costs.”
Nathalia is a crafty and creative seven-year-old from Bolivia who just completed first grade. She lives with her parents and one younger sister. Some of Nathalia's favorite activities include creating artwork and making crafts! Nathalia was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Nathalia is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 27th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Nathalia's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Nathalia and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Nathalia's mother shares, "Ever since we learned our daughter was sick, we have been praying every day for this surgery, and we are so glad our prayers are about to be answered!"
U Pyin is a 36-year-old monk who lives with three other monks, seven novice monks, and his two younger brothers, in a village in central Burma. His two younger brothers are not monks, but work at the monastery as helpers, assisting with cooking and cleaning. U Pyin has no income, but receives food and accommodation at the monastery. If he is ill, there are three local families that help to cover the costs of his basic health care expenses. In early May, U Pyin began experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, and headaches. One of his brothers brought him to a hospital, where tests revealed that one of the valves in his heart needs to be replaced. This is a particularly dangerous condition, as it can lead to a stroke, and U Pyin has already suffered a stroke, earlier in his life. U Pyin was given medication, an appointment to return in two months, and sent home. When U Pyin did not feel any better after taking the medication that he had been given, he and his brother decided that he should see a cardiologist in Yangon. The cardiologist confirmed U Pyin's diagnosis, and stressed the need for U Pyin to have surgery to replace the ailing mitral valve. As U Pyin was unable to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to an abbot for assistance. Fortunately, the abbot referred U Pyin to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and now U Pyin is scheduled to have mitral valve replacement surgery on June 24th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of U Pyin's procedure and care, which will enable him to breathe well and to sleep comfortably again, things that he is unable to do right now. U Pyin will also be able to return to teaching the novice monks at the monastery, which he has been unable to do because he feels so unwell. U Pyin said: “After I recover, I want to teach novice monks again and I want to open a Buddhist school near Yangon.”
Woldegibreal is a 10-year-old boy, living with his parents and two younger siblings in Ethiopia. He is an intelligent and loving boy, who helps his parents around the house, and with looking after his two siblings. He also loves music and playing football. Woldegibreal was born with a congenital abnormality, which leaves his bladder exposed to the open air, and leaking urine directly into his abdomen. Because of this, Woldegibreal is prone to infections and injury to his bladder, and suffers from constant pain and discomfort. There is a surgical procedure which can correct Woldegibreal's condition. However, even though his parents work hard on the land that they have, they are unable to sustain their family, due to the poor harvests which result from the hot and dry area where they live. They survive with support from others and are unable to cover the costs of Woldegibreal's surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of the life-changing procedure for Woldegibreal, scheduled to take place at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre on May 24th. This procedure will enable Woldegibreal to heal, and to enjoy a full and healthy life. His father shared: “If he gets the surgery we will faint in happiness. We will bless all who helped him. We will send him to school. And we will lead our life with thanksgiving and gratitude.”
Daw Nwe is a 61-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Mon State, Burma, she moved in with her sister’s family in Thailand in January 2022, when her vision worsened and she did not have anyone to take care of her at home. In her free time, she enjoys watching videos about Buddhism, reading books about Buddhism and praying. She has cataracts and she can can only perceive darkness and light with her left eye. The vision in her right eye is slightly better as she can still see a bit, but her vision is blurry and she needs help from her family for daily personal activities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Daw Nwe. On April 25th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Daw Nwe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Daw Nwe said, “I am very happy when I think about how my vision will be restored. I am thankful to all the donors and the organisation [BCMF] for helping me receive eye surgery.”
Khoem is a loving grandmother and a widow with two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren. Her husband passed away several years ago, so she lives with her youngest daughter, who works in a local factory and supports her mother. Over the past several years, her greatest joy is playing with her grandchildren when they come to visit. Due to her age, she mostly stays home and listens to the radio. Earlier this month, Khoem tripped in her house and fell, fracturing her left hip. Although she experienced a lot of pain and was not able to walk, she did not seek any medical help because she was worried she could not pay. A relative visited her and suggested she go to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for diagnosis and treatment. She is in constant pain and cannot walk so is using a wheelchair to get around. Fortunately, Khoem took her relatives advice and came to CSC. There surgeons can perform a surgery to relieve Khoem of her pain and allow her to walk more easily again. Her treatment is scheduled for March 15th, and Khoem needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I can walk without pain, and play with my grandchildren again," shared Khoem.