Michael joined Watsi on August 2nd, 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 8,800 miles to support Sreyleak, a student from Cambodia, to fund an ear procedure so she can return to school.
Michael has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Sreyleak is a 14-year-old student. Her parents are food sellers, and she has one brother and one sister, both of whom are in grade school. When Sreyleak is not at school or working, she likes to read books, exercise, and help her parents with their work. One month ago, Sreyleak had a severe ear infection that caused an abnormal skin growth to develop behind the eardrum. For this reason, Sreyleak experiences persistent uncomfortable symptoms and it is now difficult for her to communicate with her family and friends. Sreyleak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 2nd, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear so that the surgeons can remove the growth. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sreyleak shares, "I hope that painful feeling can stop so that I can do my schoolwork in comfort, and enjoy playing with my friends."
Rady is an 11-year-old, sixth grade student. He is the only child in his family. Rady's father works in construction, and in the future Rady wants to become a policeman. One year ago, Rady had an ear infection that caused cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. The growth made Rady experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school and communicate with his friends Rady traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 1st, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Rady would like his life to return to normal, "I hope my ear will improve soon so I can return to school and see and hear my friends."
Rexa is a 47-year-old mother from Malawi. She has four children, and her sister lives together with their family. Rexa has been selling second-hand clothes called kaunjika locally, but had to pause her business last December due to her health condition. Rexa’s husband is an electrician and is currently unemployed. Two of their children are in college, and they shared that their family is struggling to pay their school fees. Rexa also cares for her mom, who lives in the village. Last December, Rexa started having sharp pains in her abdomen radiating to the back and both legs. Her husband has taken her to many hospitals to figure out the cause of her pain, and it has cost their family a significant amount of money. After being evaluated for peptic ulcers, heart, liver, and kidney problems to no avail, she finally was diagnosed in April with uterine fibroids. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. These growths may become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number, and could result in increased heavy bleeding or a fatal case of anemia. Rexa was referred to Partners in Hope Medical Center for further review and the gynecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, which will remove her uterus and cervix and hopefully cure her of this pain. However, she has no insurance and is unable to pay for the cost of her care due to her family's earnings. Rexa will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on May 28th, and African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,363 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After the surgery, Rexa is hopeful that she will stop having abdominal pains and can return to normal life, which can help her resume her business and support her family members again. Rexa's husband shared, “I am excited that finally there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. When my wife feels pain, I also feel pain and I fail to go and look for work to support the family. I strongly believe that this surgery will bring an end to our misery and sleepless nights. Now we will stop begging relatives for support with even transport money to the hospital, I am very grateful to the donors!”
John is a 16-year-old and a bright seventh grade student. He is the youngest of two children and lives with his grandmother. He's also found a mentor in his church pastor who offers guidance and counseling. His family relies on their local church for food and living expenses. John 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, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping John to receive treatment. John is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 30th at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. John’s grandmother shared, “My grandson has had a traumatizing childhood which left him with poor self-esteem. Finding out about this condition made the situation worse, and his low self-esteem is more visible. I am hopeful that through getting this surgery, his self-esteem will improve and slowly but surely my grandson will be happy again.”
Meet Fidelis, a 5-year-old beautiful girl. Her mother told us that she likes playing and singing, “Fidelis likes singing in church and reciting bible memory verses." Fidelis's mother is a single mum working as a vendor selling vegetables within their home area. Fidelis was born with clubfoot deformity, she has tried many treatments at a government hospital and at Cure Hospital. Her condition has continued to recur and has greatly affected her mobility. Her mother is concerned and worried for her as Fidelis is not able to walk, run with her friends, and sometimes stays lonely at home because her friends focus on her disability. Fidelis has clubfoot of of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Fortunately, Fidelis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Fidelis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, the hope is that Fidelis will finally be able to wear shoes well, run, walk, and play with her friends at home and at school. Her mother also hopes her self-esteem will improve. “I would like my daughter to undergo surgery so she can walk well without any hardship and continue with her education uninterrupted,” Fidelis’s mother told us.
Htun is a 50-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife, son, and two daughters in Thailand. Htun and his wife work as agricultural day laborers, but Htun had to stop working after he injured his eye. Currently, Htun can only perceive light with both of his eyes, but he cannot clearly see objects. Although he is not in pain, he needs someone to assist him when he walks or eats. He also cannot work nor do any household chores as a result of losing his vision. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Htun. On March 2nd, doctors will perform the lens replacement surgery, and they will remove Htun's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After his surgery, Htun will be able to see clearly and get back to all that he needs to do in the day. Htun said, “I am sad and depressed that I cannot see nor do anything. I feel sorry that my wife has had to accompany me everywhere and do every little thing for me such as helping me eat and go to the bathroom. I want to regain my vision quickly and I want to go back to work.”
Jelly is a 50-year-old woman living in Thailand. She lives with her youngest son, cousin, younger brother, sister-in-law as well as her niece and nephew in Mae La Refugee Camp. In the camp, Jelly and her household receive 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) every month on a cash card, to purchase rations. Jelly looks after the household chores, while her cousin and her sister-in-law are teachers at a school, each earning 1,000 baht (approx. 34 USD) per month. Her brother is a famous cook in the camp who earns a few hundred baht cooking for public events. Jelly's niece and her son are students, and her other son studies at a migrant school in nearby Mae Sot. She cannot support him financially and he receives a scholarship to study for free. Jelly loves going to church every Sunday with her family, and also loves to play with her niece and nephew. Three months ago, Jelly was brought to Mae Sot Hospital when she developed blurry vision. At the hospital, an ophthalmologist checked both of her eyes. After the examination, the doctor diagnosed her left eye with a cataract, a condition where the lens in the eye gradually becomes clouded. Currently, Jelly can only ascertain if it is dark or bright outside with her left eye. She is unable to see distant things clearly with her right eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement eye surgery for Jelly. On February 2nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Jelly's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, Jelly needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Jelly shared, "My blurred vision causes me stress and it is difficult for me to do anything. When I cook, the smoke makes my eyes dry so I cannot see anything and now I am in too much discomfort to cook for my family because of my blurred vision.”
Vuthy is a 26-year-old construction worker and both of his parents are farmers. He has one brother and three sisters. In his free time Vuthy enjoys listening to music, playing games on his phone, doing house work, and meeting up with his friends. In 2015, Vuthy was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a closed fracture of his right knee. His family took him to a government hospital where pins were placed to heal the fracture. The bone has healed but the knee and thigh are stiff and he still has a lot of difficulty walking. When Vuthy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On December 25th, surgeons at CSC will perform a quadricepsplasty procedure of his right knee to help him walk again. Now, Vuthy needs help to fund this $430 procedure. Vuthy said, "I am hoping that once I am better from the surgery I can walk easily and my leg will feel better at last."
Yar is a 18-year-old girl from Thailand. She lives with her parents, three younger sisters and three younger brothers in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Yar and her parents are all too ill to work and are homemakers, while her siblings are students. Her family relies on the monthly food allowance they receive from an organization to get by. They also grow vegetables for themselves to supplement this income. Yar completed grade nine, but felt too ill to return to school this year. In her free time, she likes to weave traditional Karen bags for her siblings and help her mother with household chores. One day in early January 2020, Yar started to experience neck pain, fevers, and chills. When she went to the refugee camp’s hospital, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), she was diagnosed with tonsillitis and was given oral paink medication and antibiotics. During her follow-up appointment, the medic gave her more of the same medications. After her follow-up appointment, Yar felt a small growth with her tongue inside her bottom left jaw behind her front teeth. She told the medic about this at her next appointment, but it was not checked out and she received more oral medication each week until the beginning of June 2020. During this time, the mass increased in size. In June, she was referred to Umphang Hospital, which then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for surgery. IRC brought Yar to MSH, where she received a physical examination, a CT-scan, and a biopsy of the mass. The CT result indicated that the mass was benign. In July, when she went back to MSH for her follow-up appointment, the doctor removed the mass in her mouth as well as five of her lower front teeth during surgery. Since the surgery, Yar has experienced swelling where the mass was removed. Daily, she experiences an achy pain in her lower left jaw, her neck and her back. The mass has also returned and is increasing in size. IRC referred Yar to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing treatment in Chiang Mai Hospital. After reviewing a CT scan to confirm her diagnosis, the doctor in Chiang Mai recommended she move forward with surgery to remove the tumor. Now, she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 3rd. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Yar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery but I believe that I will be recovered after that so I am happy."
Mary is a businesswoman from Kenya. She is married and is a mother of three adult children. Two months ago, while relaxing at home, Mary felt a lump in her breast with a burning sensation. She ignored it at first, but it gradually became painful. Worried, she visited Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital in mid-September for medical attention and care. After review, doctors ordered a CT scan and a core biopsy, which confirmed her worst fear - that she had breast cancer. The biopsy test found an infiltrating ductal carcinoma, but luckily she had no metastasis yet. Doctors recommend she undergo a mastectomy procedure as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the deadly cancerous cells. Although she is struggling to come to terms with the shocking news, Mary's main worry now is the high, unaffordable cost of the surgery. She runs a small kiosk that generates little profit each day. Her husband is a small-scale farmer who owns one cow. The family relies on the proceeds from their eatery and milk sales to survive. Sadly, they had to sell their only cow to raise money for Mary’s treatment. However, the money from the sale is barely enough to cover the cost of mastectomy surgery. Her kids do not have stable jobs, and Mary says they are struggling. She has no national health insurance or any medical coverage, and is thus appealing for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 23rd. After treatment, Mary will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Mary shared, “I am shocked that I was diagnosed with this deadly cancer. But I am more worried that I am unable to afford the only procedure that can stop the spread of the disease. I wasn’t prepared for a procedure of this magnitude. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Meet Britney, a 14-year-old girl from a village in Meru County. Britney likes socializing and playing handball. She aspires to become a doctor in future to help patients who are going through tough times in the hospital. Britney is the second born in a family of three children. Her father is a small businessman while her mother is a farmer. While playing with a few other girls, Britney slipped in the field and injured her left foot. She has been to different hospitals for x-rays and seeking treatment, but her condition has been worsening. It affects her mobility and is causing her to feel pain anytime she walks. Britney cannot stand for long and doing household duties is also a challenge for her now. Surgery will be of great impact as she will be able to walk without any challenge and the pain which she has been feeling whenever she walks, will be alleviated. “I want my foot to be corrected so that I can walk well like other girls,” Britney told us.
Neth is an 11-year-old second grade student from Cambodia. She lives with her mother, grandmother, and one younger brother. Neth's mother works in a factory and her grandmother is a merchant. Five years ago, Neth had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Now Neth experiences difficulty hearing, ear discharge, tinnitus, and fevers. She cannot hear well at school and is embarrassed by the ear discharge. Neth traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 2nd, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care at the hospital. Her mother says, "I hope my kid's ear will improve and she will not have discharge anymore."