Michael joined Watsi on April 18th, 2013. Six years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Benjamin, a cheerful motorbike driver from Kenya, to fund a mobility-restoring spinal fusion surgery.
Michael has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 11 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 11 countries.
Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."
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.
John is very talkative and welcoming 46-year-old man. He arrived to the hospital with pain and distention for 3 days before admission to Kijabe Hospital this week. He had an x-ray and an endoscopy on the same day that revealed he has a Sigmoid Volvulus a condition in which the sigmoid colon wraps around itself, causing a closed-loop obstruction. This condition causes continued abdominal discomfort. He's now scheduled for a laparotomy and sigmoid colectomy to rectify the condition and needs financial support. Barely two weeks ago, John was very excited that he had found a job and was looking forward to his first day at work. Two days before he had to report to work, he noticed that he had not passed stool for some days. He started feeling uncomfortable but thought that he will be well soon enough. The day he was waiting for had arrived and he reported to work very happily but uncomfortable because his condition had worsened. He opened up to his immediate supervisor who advised him to go back home and seek medical attention. His supervisor went ahead to offer him some money to cater for the transport fee. John went to the terminus and boarded a matatu to head back home. Along the way, the pain worsened and was unbearable and he started vomiting. He requested the driver to drop him off at a nearby hospital. Luckily, the matatu was almost near our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital. The driver pulled over and helped him catch a taxi to Kijabe as fast as he could. He was admitted as an emergency case under the general surgery team. John is the father of six children, with his firstborn now 20 years old and married. Four of his children are in high school and the youngest is yet to join the school. Eight months ago, John lost his job as a security guard in a flower farm. After he was dismissed, he used the money he was given as service fees to buy a motorcycle, with which he started a bodaboda taxi business. His wife is involved in farming and mostly she sells the farm produce to supplement their family's earnings. John shared, “I feel sad for myself and my family because now I cannot do anything to provide for them as I am in hospital. I would really like to go back to work and earn enough for them.”
Sok Lim is a 35-year-old traditional Khmer food seller who works in the market along with her mother. She has two brothers: her older brother is a farmer, and her younger brother is a car mechanic. Their father died of illness many years ago. In October 2020, Sok Lim was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of her right arm. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Currently, she is unable to lift her arm and cannot work. Sok Lim traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 27th, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Sok Lim will be able to use her arm normally and easily again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sok Lim shared, "I am thankful that this surgery will help me return home and get back to helping my mother at the market. My life will be changed if I can use my right arm and hand again."
Alex is a 20-year-old high school student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. When he's healthy, he enjoys dancing and playing drums in church. Before his most recent illness, he was in his final year of high school. Alex has a cardiac condition called mitral regurgitation. When Alex was a child, he became infected with rheumatic fever which severely damaged one of his heart valves so that it could no longer pump blood through his body. Four years ago, surgeons in the Cayman Islands repaired Alex's existing heart valve in order to avoid replacing it with an artificial valve. This repaired valve worked well for three years, but then began to have difficulty pumping blood as well. Doctors now need to implant an artificial valve to replace the valve that is no longer working well. Alex will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On April 7th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove Alex's damaged valve and implant a mechanical replacement valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman Islands, is contributing $20,000 to pay for surgery. Alex's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Alex's family overseas. Alex shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can get back to attending school and going to church."
Jackson is a 2-month-old baby boy and the youngest in his family of four. He was born in December to the joy of his grandmother and parents. During his initial examination after birth, Jackson was found to have a swelling in a private area. The nurse advised Jackson’s mother that the condition did not require any urgent attention. While at home, his mother noticed that whenever she was bathing him and touched the area, Jackson experienced a lot of pain and would cry a lot. A few days later, Jackson’s mother took him to the nearest hospital to their home. During the examination, the doctor diagnosed Jackson with a bilateral inguinal hernia. Jackson was prescribed some pain medication and scheduled for follow-up visits at the clinic, but his condition did not improve. A friend of his mother heard about Jackson’s condition and referred them to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center BethanyKids Hospital. There, the doctor recommended hernia repair surgery to relieve Jackson of his pain and reduce the chances of him having any future complications. However, Jackson's parents cannot afford the cost of his care. His mother is a small-scale farmer, while his father does casual jobs at a construction site. They make a humble living and sometimes rely on Jackson’s grandparents for food. The family does not have National Health Insurance Fund coverage, and appeals for financial support for Jackson's surgery. Fortunately, on February 22nd, Jackson will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $554 to fund Jackson's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and grow up to be a happy, healthy boy. Jackson’s grandmother shared, “It feels very sad for a parent when their newly born baby is experiencing some pain. It is more painful to the parents if they cannot raise the required amount to cater for the baby’s treatment. My prayer is for Jackson to receive treatment.”
Scholastica is a 6-month-old baby girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of six children. Scholastica was born a healthy child but, at four months of age, her mother noticed her head was growing very fast and she was not able to support it. They could not afford the cost of seeking care at the regional hospital at the time. Scholastica's parents are small scale farmers and work hard to make ends meet with their income. Eventually, they were able to get some money from relatives and took her back to the regional hospital. There, Scholastica was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Scholastica will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Unfortunately, she was not able to get an appointment at the regional hospital for a long time. As time went on, Scholastica's condition grew worse. Her head increased in size and her eyes began rolling down. Though they were concerned, her parents could not raise money to seek an alternative hospital for care. Eventually, their friend referred them to our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Their friends and neighbours supported them with bus fare for the two-day journey to the hospital. Now, she is scheduled for an ETV surgery to treat her condition, and the family appeals for financial support for this procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of ETV surgery for Scholastica that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Scholastica's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. It will also reduce the likelihood of severe fevers, vomiting, and potential brain damage. With proper treatment, Scholastica will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Scholastica’s mother shared, "We travelled for two days because we were told there is hope for my daughter to get help. Please help save her.”
Shanel is a 9-year-old girl from western Kenya. She is a talkative girl in class two who loves reading and playing with her friends. Shanel is having challenges because of her congenital condition called genu varum, where her legs curve outwards by the knees. This causes her pain and limits her mobility. Shanel has never been treated due to lack of funds to pay for her treatment. She was brought to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital, where doctors recommended she undergo a right distal femoral and tibial osteotomy procedure. Since Shanel's treatment has been delayed, she cannot have both legs corrected at the same time. Once her right leg has fully recovered, she will be reviewed for treatment of her left leg. Shanel's family is still struggling to meet the cost of her care. Shanel's mother is a waiter at a local hotel in their village. She earns limited income that is only sufficient to pay rent for their one-roomed house and meet the daily needs of her three children. Shanel and her family appeal for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 11th, Shanel will undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on her leg. Once recovered, she will be able to walk and move normally again, and return to playing with her friends. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to fund this procedure. Shanel's mother shared, "I am humbly requesting for support from well-wishers so that my daughter can walk well like other children."
Mary is a 46-year-old woman from Kenya. She is a housewife and a farmer, and is a mother of four children. Despite having lost sight in her left eye, Mary has been taking care of her children and her family's small piece of land. Her husband works as a street vendor to support the family's financial needs. On November 23rd, Mary slipped and fell, bending her left knee directly onto a stone. An X-ray confirmed that she sustained a closed fracture of her patella. This injury makes it difficult for her to walk, and she is in chronic pain. Fortunately, Mary's husband was able to bring her to the hospital and now surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 26th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mary's husband shared while holding back tears, "Without support, my wife will never walk again and it will be hard for her take care of our children. Please help her so that at least she can walk again and continue supporting our family.”
Ezra is a 28-year-old man from Kabomo Village, Kenya. He works as a labourer in his village. Ezra is a very talkative and energetic person. Earlier in October, Ezra fell into a ditch and sustained a severe fracture on his right lower leg. He could not lift his leg and was in great pain. Ezra was taken to the nearest health centre, where a cast was placed and he was referred to our medical partner's facility for orthopedic review. On arrival at Kapsowar Hospital, Ezra was reviewed and sent for an x-ray which revealed a right tibia plateau fracture that required surgery. However, he did not have money to pay the necessary deposit to have the surgery. Because he was in pain and his leg was swelling abnormally, Ezra was admitted to elevate his limb and avoid any complications that may arise due to his fracture. Twelve days later, Ezra has been deemed fit for surgery, but the family has not raised the required amount to proceed for surgery. Due to his injury, Ezra is not able to continue working to raise money for his procedure. He dropped out of school in 8th grade due to his family's financial struggles, and as such works many causal jobs to meet his daily needs. Ezra is a young, hardworking man and is very optimistic of a better future. So far, he has raised 20,000 Kenyan shillings, and is appealing for financial support for his surgery so that he can have a good outcome. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 23rd, Ezra will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Ezra to ambulate with ease and reduce chances of future complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. Ezra shared, “It hasn't been easy for me since I fractured my leg. This situation has weighed heavily on me because there’s no one to help me out. My hope is to receive treatment, get out of the hospital bed and walk again.”
Erick is a 15-year-old student from Tanzania and the third born in a family of five children. He is a smart, kind, and friendly boy who is currently at school of people with learning disabilities. Erick was born with spina bifida which has resulted in him not being able to stand or walk and this is because the condition was never corrected. His parents didn't know what to do or where to go to seek treatment for their son due to financial challenges. They have no stable source of income other than seeking casual laboring jobs were they are able to get money to buy basics and little commodities. Erick 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, Erick 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 $1,015 to cover the cost of Erick's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 28th. This procedure will hopefully spare Erick from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Erick shared hopefully, “If I have my back corrected and heal, I will go back to school and work hard to be the best tailor so that I can work by myself and help my family.”
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.”