Michael joined Watsi on July 25th, 2013. Five years ago, Michael became the 534th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,466 more people have become monthly donors! Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Chan, father of two from Cambodia, to fund mobility restoring foot surgery.
Michael has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 10 countries.
Chan is a 44-year-old fish seller. He and his wife have two children who are both in high school. His wife is a seasonal farm worker and also helps him with his business. He takes his kids to go fishing in his free time, and likes to watch soccer on TV. Last year, Chan developed a non-cancerous growth on his left foot, and had it removed at a local hospital. He thought the surgery went well, but a few days later he started to feel pain in his ankle. He has since developed foot drop, a nerve condition. Now he cannot move his foot without pain, and has experienced muscle atrophy. Now, Chan has come to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where doctors have diagnosed him with foot drop. Doctors will perform a tibial tendon transfer procedure in order to restore nerve function to the front part of his left foot, allowing him to walk easily again.
Noeun is a 54-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has one son, four daughters, and six grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys spending time taking care of her family, feeding the chickens nearby her house, and watching television. In May 2019, Noeun was in a motorcycle accident and fractured her left leg. She is unable to walk or do any work, and experiences pain and swelling daily. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 9th, Noeun will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgery will allow her injuries to heal properly and help her to walk easily again. "I hope that my wounds will heal and I will no longer have any pain and can walk well again," she shared.
Regina is a 46-year-old woman from Kenya. She works as a secretary at the Kiambu County Offices with limited income and shared that she has not been paid for some months. Since five years ago, Regina has been experiencing lower abdominal pains and abnormal uterine bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $791 to fund Regina's surgery. On June 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Regina will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “I have been paying for national health insurance hoping it would help me and also if my salary was paid I would have tried to cater for this operation. Now I plead for support so that I can undergo this surgery and at least get back to my normal life,” said Regina.
Tin is a 20-year-old from Burma. He lives in a nunnery with his mother and aunt, who are nuns, in a village in Katha Township. Tin became a monk 13 years ago when his father passed away. His mother then became a nun. Tin left monkhood two months ago, when he became very ill. He is now unable to work, and he is looked after by his mother. However, sometimes when he feels better, he teaches Buddhist theology to boys from a nearby monastery. As his mother is a nun, she has no income except for whatever she is given during weekly alms collections. Usually she receives dried food staples such as rice in addition to money. Currently, Tin feels tried if he has to walk for a while and if he has to use stairs. Tin was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Tin is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on March 15th to correct the condition and improve his quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tin's procedure and care. Tin said, “Sometimes I have chest pain and when I have them, I have difficulty breathing.”
Mya Mya is a 40-year-old-woman who lives and work with her elder sister for a herbal medicine production workshop in Sanchaung Township, Yangon Division in Burma. They are originally from Bago Division and moved a few years ago. Since Mya Mya was 18 years old she has felt bronchial asthma and suffered from difficulty breathing. Sometimes she feels severely tired. She went to a health worker at her village and the health worker told her to go and see heart specialist in Yangon. However, at that time she did not have money to go to Yangon, so she did not go. She has only used herbal medicine for treating difficulty breathing since she was 18-year-old, which did help her feel better. For the last four months at night she has severe difficulty breathing, so she woke her sister up and asked her sister to send her to a private clinic called Yaung Chi Oo in Yangon. After the doctor's examination, she was told her that she needs to go and see heart specialist doctor. Then the doctor gave her an injection and some oral medication. Then, she went to Thiri Sandar Private Hospital on January 31, 2020 where she received an echocardiogram. The doctor told her that she has heart disease and she needs surgery. On February 5, Mya Mya went to Kan Thar Yar Hospital (KTYH) as suggested by the doctor at Thiri Sandar Hospital. The doctor at KTYH performed another echo before diagnosing her with large ventricular septal defect (VSD). The doctor at KTYH also told her that she needs surgery. Unfortunately, Mya Mya and her family cannot afford to pay for the surgery. After talking to the nurses and doctor about her problem, the nurses who know Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) refered her to BCMF. Mya May needs to stop working because of her tiredness. She is worried about her parents because if she cannot work. She shared, "If I recover from my disease, I need to work for my parents, to support them.”
Chit is a 39-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law’s three children. Her husband has recently left the village to work in Bangkok so he could increase his income, especially since her condition has worsened. Since she became ill, she feels bored because she is unable to work. Around five months ago, Chit started to feel unwell with a stiff neck, headaches, and pain in her right eye. Soon after, she noticed that the black part of her right eye started to move inward toward the middle of her face, becoming crossed eyed. As soon as she noticed a change in her right eye, she went to a hospital to see a doctor about her condition. At the hospital, she underwent a CT scan of her head which showed normal findings. Therefore, the doctor just gave her an injection and oral medications. A week later, she decided to go see a local medic in her village because she felt like the medications were not helping. The medic looked at her medical test results, assessed her and said she might have a neurological condition. The medic gave her oral medication and another injection. She took the medication she received from the medic, and her symptoms subsided gradually. Chit's symptoms disappeared completely about 20 days ago, but this only lasted around 10 days because she noticed that the black part of her right eye had started to become white and the rest of her eye, normally white, started to turn red. She bought eye drops at a local medication stall, but they did not help. A few days later, she learned about Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a charitable clinic, from one of her nephews. On January 11th, Chit visited MTC regarding her condition, and a medic explained that unfortunately her eye was not functional anymore and that it needed to be removed due to a severe infection. The medic also explained that if her right eye was not removed, the infection could spread to her left eye and cause the same problem. MTC then brought Chit to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) and the doctor there confirmed that her eye needs to be removed as soon as possible. Chit said, "It's upsetting to know that I need to have one of my eyes removed. But then, I feel that since the eye is bad, there is no sense in keeping it. In the future, if possible, I want to get a prosthetic eye."
Srey Srors is a 19-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has one older brother, and in her spare time she enjoys watching television and helping around the house with the cooking and cleaning. In June 2019, Srey Sors was in a severe motorcycle accident that resulted in damaging nerve injuries to her upper left arm. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her left 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. She is unable to move her left arm and cannot return to her work on the rice farm. Srey Srors traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 10th, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, she will be able to use her arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. "I hope that after my surgery, can use my arm again and return to my work at the rice fields," shared Srey Srors.
Modesta is a beautiful and playful 5-year-old girl from Tanzania who struggles to walk due to genu varum, a condition where the legs curve outward at the knees. She falls often when she tries to run. The curving has increased as she has grown. Her parents did not think its a treatable condition, but during an outreach program, her father learnt of the treatment option and hopes to have Modesta treated. With successful surgery, Modesta will be able to walk with ease and less pain. She will also walk to school easily when she joins. Modesta's parents are peasant farmers relying on maize, sorghum and vegetable plantations to meet their daily needs. They have limited income to pay for the cost of surgery. Modesta lives with her parents and 8 siblings. The family appeals for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Modesta. Treatment will hopefully restore Modesta's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Modesta’s father says, “The treatment cost is too expensive for us to afford please help.”
Eh is a 22-year-old woman from Thailand. She was born and lives her parents and younger brother in Mae La Refugee Camp. Her younger brother studies at the bible school at the camp. Eh used to attend the same school as a third-year student, but she had to stop studying when her health deteriorated. Eh's father is a homemaker, and her mother works for the department of health at the camp. In 2017, Eh started to become more tired and began to have difficulty breathing. Her mother took her to the clinic in the camp and the doctor listened to her heart, did an electrocardiogram (ECG) and told Eh’s mother that Eh has a heart disease. She was then referred to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. Eh was not told anything about her condition, and the doctor only informed her parents without telling her. Eh had an echocardiogram (echo) at MSH in December 2018. After the echo, she travelled back and forward several times from Mae La refugee camp to MSH for medical follow-up visits. Finally, the doctor at MSH informed her that she needs surgery. Currently, Eh has dizziness, headaches, tiredness and sometimes experiences difficulty breathing. She sleeps well but has lost her appetite and she sometimes suffers from chest pain. She loves reading and playing football and volleyball in her free time. Eh was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Eh is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on October 5th to correct her condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Eh's procedure and care. Eh said, “All my classmate graduated, and I want to as well, but I am tired of studying and when I think about this, I cry”.
Ben is a toddler from Haiti. He lives with his mother and father in the mountains south of Port-au-Prince; his parents are both farmers. Ben has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Ben will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On September 24th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will perform open-heart surgery to close the hole with a patch.. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Ben'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 Ben's family overseas. His mother said, "We are excited for this surgery so our son can gain weight and have energy."
Mary is a child from Tanzania. She is the third born child in a family of five children. She is a friendly girl and very playful. Mary’s parents depend on small scale farming which they solely depend. His father says what they are able to harvest at the end of farming season is usually not enough to take them through to the next harvest season forcing him to seek day job to be able to supplement their income. Mary was diagnosed with genu valgus. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she is not able to walk comfortably. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 27. Treatment will hopefully restore Mary's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Mary’s father says “You are the my only hope of my daughter getting her leg correct, I have no means of affording her treatment cost please help my daughter.”
Chang is a 41-year-old market seller from Cambodia. She has one son, one daughter, and enjoys cooking for her children and doing the housework in her spare time. Four years ago, Chang had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Chang experiences hearing loss, infection, discharge, and headaches. She is not able to hear properly and experiences daily discomfort. Chang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 5, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She says, "I hope that my surgery is successful and that my ear will heal and my hearing will improve."