Michael joined Watsi on August 2nd, 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 1,900 miles to support Marc, a bright teenager with big goals from Haiti, to fund surgery that will repair the birth defect in his heart.
Michael has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 11 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 11 countries.
Marc is a 16-year-old boy who lives in an urban neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, with his parents and four younger siblings. He is in his first year of high school and would like to eventually become either an engineer or a teacher. Marc was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The birth defect means there's a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which often leaves Marc weak and short of breath. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. There is not a local pediatric cardiac surgical team in Haiti, but our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to accompany Marc to the Dominican Republic. There, on May 25th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole in his heart. "I have been waiting for this chance for many years," Marc said, "and I am very happy the time is almost here!" The Rotarian-based organization Gift of Life International is contributing $5,000 toward Marc's surgery. His family needs to raise $1,500 to help cover remaining medical costs and travel for Marc.
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Deborah is a nine-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, several siblings, and her grandparents. She enjoys singing and listening to music in her free time. Deborah has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, where a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through her body, leaving her feeling sick and weak. To receive treatment, Deborah will fly to Dominican Republic. On March 2nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in her heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Deborah's family needs help raising money to fund the costs of her surgery prep. The $1,500 prep bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Deborah's family overseas for her surgery. Deborah's father shared, "our family has been praying for years for this surgery to happen, and would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping!"
Marimar is from Samar, an island approximately 530 km away from the capital city of Manila. She's been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. She saw several doctors in her province after experiencing shooting pains in her stomach whenever she walked. Eventually, her condition has gotten severe to the point that she had to stop working due to her worsening symptoms. Due to the lack of equipment and specialists in their province, she has needed to travel to Manila to get the surgery she needs to heal. If left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Luckily, her brother who works in construction in Manila is able to host her to stay with him until she undergoes surgery and afterward as she heals. Her surgery is scheduled for February 1st and our medical partner World Surgical Foundation Philippines is raising $1,253 to fund her procedure and care. After recovering, Marimar will be able to work again to support her family in Samar. Looking forward to a better future, Marimar shared, "after the surgery, I hope to be able to live and work again without the excruciating pain."
Vin is a 34-year-old driver from Cambodia. He lives in the capital city with his wife and two sons. Vin's wife is a factory worker. Two years ago, Vin had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his right ear to perforate. Vin now experiences pain, ear discharge, and tinnitus. He cannot communicate clearly with others. Vin visited our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 23rd, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Vin says, "I hope my hearing will improve and all the ear discharge will finally stop."
Eneti is a 49-year-old woman with one son. She is a part-time nursery teacher while her husband is a carpenter. Their family has a rented house and does not own land for farming, which means the income from their jobs is very important for their family. For the last year, Eneti has been experiencing very difficult abdominal pains. She visited a clinic in her home area where she was referred for an ultrasound scan. The scan showed that she had fibroids and a cystic mass in her uterus. Uterine fibroids are growths in the uterus often made up of muscular and connective tissues. They are often non-cancerous but can cause uncomfortable symptoms. Eneti came to Partners in Hope Hospital to request a review as the abdominal pains and bleeding are significantly affecting the quality of her life. After consultation with the gynecologist, he confirmed the diagnosis and recommended a total abdominal hysterectomy. A total abdominal hysterectomy is the removal of the whole uterus and cervix as a treatment for the condition. Eneti hopes to have a safe surgery that will enable her to return to her normal activities. However, she is requesting financial assistance as she is not in a financial position to afford the surgery. Luckily, our partner African Mission Healthcare can help. Eneti is scheduled to undergo surgery on November 20th. The medical center is requesting $1,363 to cover Eneti's treatment and care. "I hope after the surgery I will be able to work and do the things that I haven’t been able to do because of the pain,” says Eneti.
Joseph is a 9-year-old boy and bright student. His family hails from the Mathare neighborhood in Nairobi County in Kenya and he is the 1st born in a family of 2. Joseph's family lives in a one-roomed rental house in a difficult area of the capital city. His mother is a cook at a nearby school and father is a casual laborer at construction sites within Nairobi. They don't earn much and it is often hard to get by. At the age of 1, when Joseph was learning to walk, he accidentally fell on a pot of boiling water and sustained severe burns on his left hand. He was rushed to Machakos General Hospital where he was given first aid to prevent the burn from extending and also relieve the pain. His left hand now has severe contractures and he cannot use it in his normal duties. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Joseph receive treatment. On October 27th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. The surgery will restore the functioning of his hand and enable him to live a comfortable life. However, his family is not in a position to raise the required amount of money. Now, they need help to fund this $840 procedure. Joseph's mother says, “We are unable to raise the estimated cost of this surgery but we would like to see our son using his hand fully. Any help for my son to undergo surgery will be appreciated."
Susan is a 59-year-old homemaker who together with her husband have five children. Unfortunately, her husband had a stroke and Susan is unemployed, so their family depends greatly on their land. For two months, Susan has been experiencing heavy bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine cancer, and she needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $755 to fund Susan's surgery. On September 15th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Susan will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Susan shared, "I am very scared because the doctor said I have cancer, but I trust in God and hope to see my tomorrow. Please plead for help on my behalf so that my life can be saved and I can continue caring for my family."
Cosmas is a 7-month-old baby and the last born in his family. His mother lost her job a few months ago due to spending more time at the hospital with him. She now solely relies on her talent for crocheting to earn a living. She specializes in making bags, sweaters, and socks. Cosmas' father left their family a few years ago, after the birth of the first-born child. After he was treated, Cosmas’ father came back briefly, then left a few weeks later. He does not support them in any way, thus Cosmas' mother is appealing for financial help for his medical care. Cosmas underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Cosmas' case, his colostomy requires closure to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Cosmas. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 2nd and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Cosmas’ mother says, “having raised my other child who also had some health complications and made it through successfully, I am determined that we will find a way for Cosmas’ surgery.”
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!”