Michael joined Watsi on July 25th, 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 4,200 miles to support Erick, a 5-month-old baby from Bolivia, to fund heart surgery to close holes in his heart.
Michael has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 13 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 13 countries.
Erick lives in a neighborhood on the outskirts of La Paz with his mother and his grandparents, who help take care of him while his mother works in the market. He was born with three different holes in and near his heart; as a result, blood leaks through these holes, and his heart cannot deliver enough oxygen to his body. Thankfully, our medical care partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has been of great help and has helped Erick and his family receive the right medical attention. During his surgery, doctors will close all three holes to ensure oxygen-rich blood circulates throughout his body and he is able to grow into a strong young boy. On February 17th, Erick will undergo cardiac surgery at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría in Bolivia. His family needs financial assistance to cover the $1,500 cost of this life-saving procedure. His mother shared, "I almost gave up hope that my son could live, and I am so thankful to everyone who is giving him this chance!"
Kalyan, a 13-year-old seventh grader, lives with her mother and brother in Kandal province in Cambodia. She enjoys studying home economics and Khmer literature and would like to be a singer when she grows up. Kalyan was born with a spinal condition called listhesis, which is an unnaturally mobile vertebra that moves, leaves its normal position, and can cause different complaints when it compresses nerves and other vertebrae. Listhesis can be caused by a bone abnormality, trauma from an accident or injury, or result from a fracture or a tumor. Pinched nerves and chronic back pain are common symptoms of this condition, as is loss of flexibility and possible paralysis. Kalyan is frequently unable to attend school due to her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. Specialty surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre can fuse her spine to avoid any further damage to Kalyan's back, while also alleviating her pain. Kalyan and her mother need your help to raise the $1,500 cost of the surgery, implants, hospitalization, and post-op medication. After recovery from the procedure, which is scheduled for February 7th, Kalyan's spine will be more stable, and she will be able to engage in all of the normal activities of a 13-year-old. Kalyan's mother shared: "I hope my daughter will no longer have pain and she can go back to school."
Jaebets is a 13-year-old, eighth grade student from Haiti, who aspires to study medicine when he is older. He lives with his parents and two sisters in Port-au-Prince. Jaebets has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means that 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. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is paying for the cardiac surgery that Jaebets needs to correct the defect. However, Jaebets' family also needs to be able to cover the $1,500 that it will cost for pre-surgical preparation, laboratory tests, medicines and follow-up appointments. The money is also needed to pay for the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jaebets and his family when they travel to the Cayman Islands for Jaebets' surgery, which is scheduled for November 17th. Jaebets said: "I am excited to have this surgery so that I can focus on school instead of on my heart."
Jackson is a loving 4-year-old child. His father is a small-scale farmer who grows mainly food crops for his family to eat. His income is very limited because he must work on other people's farms in addition to growing his own crops. Jackson was diagnosed with windswept deformity. He learned to stand and walk at the age of one year. He was walking and playing without any challenges. But after a few months, his parents noticed his left leg was slightly bent inwards at the knee. Over a few months, his left leg became worse making him walk with a limp. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Jackson has pain when he walks even for a short distance, making him not want to walk at all in fear of the pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson’s mother says, “At the dispensary, they told us to feed him with foods containing calcium, but it never helped him. He was suffering but I could not afford to take him to a bigger hospital.”
Kay is 43-year-old woman and garment factory worker. She lives alone on the border of Thailand and Burma. Kay supports her parents in Burma by sending them money every month. In her free time, she enjoys reading books about Buddhism. In the middle of 2021, Kay began experiencing pain and abnormal bleeding. By September of 2022, the pain and symptoms had worsened. Kay has been diagnosed with myoma, or a noncancerous growth in the uterus. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which would surgically remove her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Kay's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Kay is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on September 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain or abnormal bleeding. She will be able to go back to work, and to continue supporting her family. “When I recover fully, I will continue to work in the garment factory. I will save my money and I will pay back my debt. I will try to continue supporting my parents,” said Kay.
Dennis is a hardworking student and the firstborn in a family of two. He is in class eight and at the end of the year, he will be sitting for his national exams. He enjoys playing football with his friends. He lives with his single mother who works as a casual laborer getting work whenever she can. His mother describes Dennis as the only hope in their family. On 11th August, as he was playing with his friends, Dennis fell and sustained a closed fracture of the left arm. He is unable to use his hand which is in severe pain. His education is also affected. Dennis' mother does laundry for the neighbors to support her family's basic needs. With what she earns, she is unable to pay for her son's surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 2nd, Dennis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will be able to use his hand, experience no pain and he will go back to school. He will also continue enjoying playing football with his friends. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Dennis mother says, “I struggle a lot providing for my family. I am not in a position to pay my son's hospital bill. I plead for help so that he gets the required treatment and he may continue with his education. He is the hope of our family.”
Christian is a caring and helpful 13-year-old boy from the Philippines. He takes care of his two younger siblings and helps his mother sell vegetables. His father works multiple part-time jobs to help provide for their family. Since Christian was young, his mother noticed swelling in a sensitive area but did not seek medical attention due to Christian not complaining about it. In June, his mother scheduled him a circumcision, but the doctor deferred the procedure since they needed to first treat his condition. Christian was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia, right hydrocele, and left undescended testis. If left untreated, these conditions would cause Christian to eventually experience pain and discomfort, as well as an increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Fortunately, Christian will undergo hernia repair surgery on August 8th at our medical partner's care center, Our Lady of Peace Hospital. A portion of the cost of Christian's treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. Our medical partner is raising the remaining $845 to cover the cost of his surgery and care. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. His mother shares, "I'm worried that Christian's condition might worsen, but we are financially incapable to support his treatment. I am hoping to make him feel better before the school year starts. Thank you so much Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for this big help!"
Wennie is a hardworking 24-year-old from the Philippines who is currently unable to work due to her condition. She lives with her elder sister. Her sister's husband, who works as a fisherman, serves as their family's sole provider. Wennie experienced abdominal pain for five months before she decided to get herself checked at our partner care facility, Our Lady of Peace Hospital. There, Wennie was advised to undergo an ultrasound, which revealed she has gallstones that need to be surgically removed. Wennie reached out to our medical partner, the World Surgical Foundation Philippines, in hopes of receiving financial assistance for her much-needed treatment. She is now scheduled to undergo surgery on June 29th to treat her condition. A portion of the cost of her care is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and WSFP raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Wennie's procedure. “This surgery will free me from pain. Since we can't afford this treatment, your support is a big help for me,” Wennie shared. “I want to thank God, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and Watsi for helping me. Without all your support, we wouldn't know where else to find help."
Denis is a charming and friendly three-year-old boy. Denis's mother is a single mom, and she has a small business selling fruits and vegetables to support her family. Denis has a twin brother, along with another sibling. Denis has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition in which the knees angle inward and touch one another when his legs are straightened. This is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Denis's gait is affected. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Denis receive treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Denis's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, his family needs help raising $880 to fund his procedure and care. Denis’s mother shared, "now that my son’s insurance is not covering the surgery, I won’t have any means to raise the money. Please assist me."
Shedrack is a 17-year-old teenager and the fourth born child in a family of seven. He had to drop out of school last year, but hopes to learn masonry at a local technical school so that he can work and make a living for himself. He is currently helping in looking after his family's cattle. His parents are small scale farmers, and his father also works as a night guard. His father shared that he can't yet afford to send Shedrack to the technical school. Shedrack was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His legs bow inward at the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has had difficulty walking for four years now. His father says the problem started with a slight curve but over the years the curve has increased in size. Shedrack's aunt learned about Plaster House - a special site that provides a home to patients undergoing treatment at our medical partner's care center in Arusha, Tanzania. She informed Shedrack's father who brought him there seeking treatment. Unable to raise the funds needed for surgery, their family is asking for support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shedrack. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shedrack's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Shedrack says, “My legs hurt at the knees and carrying out daily life activities is now a big challenge.”
Dominic is an 11-year-old student in the second grade. He enjoys reading and playing with his friends in school. Dominic and his brother are twins, and they are the third-born children in their family. His father works as a mechanic in the village, while his mother works at home to take care of their family. Dominic was born with a condition that affects his feet and his ability to walk. He has difficulty walking, and often falls when he runs and plays with his friends in school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dominic receive treatment. On April 11th, he will undergo bilateral achilles tendon lengthening surgery, and serial casting for his knee. After surgery, he will be able to walk well and play with his friends easily. Now, he and his parents need help raising $1,224 to fund his procedure and care. Dominic's mother shared, "I will be happy to see him walking well like other children. Any support will be highly appreciated."
Myo Myint is a 34-year-old woman who is married with two sons and a daughter. Myo Myint, her husband, and her oldest son work as day laborers, but since April 2020, they have had difficulty finding work due to COVID-19. She proudly shared that her younger son and daughter are both students. In her free time, Myo Myint likes to listen to the news on the radio and walk around to collect sticks and branches that she uses for her cooking. Myo Myint has been experiencing difficulty with her vision in her right eye. She can only read for a few minutes before her eye begins to hurt and her vision becomes doubled. She visited a local hospital, where the doctor determined she has a cataract in her right eye and recommended lens replacement surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Myo Myint receive treatment. On March 1st, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Myo Myint's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Myo Myint shared, "I want to see clearly and find extra money to support my children to finish their education."