Mikko joined Watsi on August 4th, 2015. Seven years ago, Mikko joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mikko's most recent donation traveled 5,300 miles to support Klyn, a bright 12-year-old boy from Haiti, to fund surgery that will finally heal his heart condition.
Mikko has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Mikko has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Klyn is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a small town in central Haiti with his parents, grandparents, and several other relatives. He likes school, especially science and math. Klyn was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The defect means there is a hole between the two upper chambers of Klyn's heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which leaves him often weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has arranged for Klyn and his mother to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery since this treatment is not available within Haiti. On May 24th, doctors will first attempt to use a catheter to close the opening between Klyn's upper cardiac chambers. If that's not possible, they will need to perform open-heart surgery and use a patch to close the hole in Klyn's heart. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 for Klyn's care. His family is raising $1,500 to help cover remaining costs of the procedure and related care, including travel expenses for Klyn. Klyn's mother says, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"
Nan Hla is a 65-year-old nun. She lives alone, as she is the only nun in her monastery of monks in Karen State in Burma. Nan Hla shared that she meditates daily, and the community supports her with meals. Her son, who also lives in Burma, can sometimes provide Nan Hla with extra money to buy additional snacks. On February 20th, Nan Hla began to experience severe stomach pains. She visited a local hospital the next day, where she received an ultrasound and x-ray, but her test results were not clear. As a result, she was referred to another hospital for a CT scan a few days later. The CT scan indicated she has common bile duct stones. Currently, Nan Hla is experiencing heartburn, jaundice, and a poor appetite, as she feels nauseous after she eats any solid food. Doctors have advised her to undergo a cholecystectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nan Hla's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Nan Hla receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo a cholecystectomy. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nan Hla's procedure and care. Nan Hla shared, "I have never experienced these kinds of symptoms before. This is a very bad experience to go through. I pray that all the donors will be healthy. May all your work be successful."
Guy is an 8-year-old student from Haiti. Her lives with his parents and younger brother and sister in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. He likes going to school and dressing up for church. Guy has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through his body, leaving him sickly and weak. Guy will fly to nearby Dominican Republic to receive treatment as the care he needs is not currently available in Haiti. On February 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for his surgery. Guy's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and his check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Guy's family overseas. His mom is relieved that his surgery is finally happening and shared: "I am looking forward to seeing my son gaining weight and strength after his surgery!"
Sean is in 6th grade and lives with his parents and his older brother. His parents are rainy day rice farmers and have several cows for milk. Sean likes to read and watch TV and loves it when his mom makes curry soup for dinner. He would like to be a policeman when he is older. Sean has a rare genetic disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which mostly affects boys. He suffers from chronic pain and progressive muscle weakness in both his legs. He has an uneasy gait and difficulty climbing stairs. His neighbors told his parents about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, and urged them to visit for diagnosis and treatment. While there is no cure for his genetic disease, surgeons plan to release and lengthen his Achilles tendons on both legs, which will allow him to walk more easily. Sean needs help with the $541 cost of the procedure, subsequent leg casts, and physical therapy. His mother said: "It is hard to see our son in pain when he tries to walk; we are grateful the doctors will be able to help him walk again."
Purity is a sweet two-year-old and the youngest of her widowed mother’s two children. Purity’s mother works as a primary school teacher and has national health insurance for herself and her children, however, their insurance does not cover Purity’s surgery needs. Purity was diagnosed with genu varus, a condition in which her legs bow outward at the knee. This is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Purity has difficulty walking long distances. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Purity receive treatment. On January 4th, she will undergo corrective surgery to restore her mobility, allow her to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease her risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund Purity’s surgery. Purity’s mother shared, “My salary is not enough to pay rent, take care of my two children, and still afford to pay for Purity’s surgery. Please help us.”
Taw is a 30-year-old woman who lives with her family in a refugee camp in Thailand. Originally from Burma, Taw fled to the refugee camp with her father in 2008 due to a civil war in her village. She used to work as a midwife in the hospital in the refugee camp but became a homemaker after getting married in 2017. Her father is unemployed, while her niece, nephew, and son go to school. Her husband worked as a day laborer outside the refugee camp. However, since COVID-19 cases were detected in the camp and there was an increase in cases in Thailand, schools were closed, and her husband can no longer leave the camp for work. The family shared that they rely on support from a local organization called the Border Consortium, which is not enough for their daily needs, so they must stretch the income until the end of each month. In her free time, Taw loves to play with her son and cook her favorite foods. Taw is expecting her second child soon. Due to her first delivery via Cesarean section and complications during birth, Taw’s doctors recommended that she deliver by a Cesarean section to ensure her and the baby’s safety. On November 15th, Taw will undergo a Cesarean section at our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BMCF is requesting $1500 to fund this procedure. Taw shared, “I have one son now, so I would like to have a girl this time. After I have weaned my baby, I want to work as a midwife again at the hospital.”
Mark Andrei is a five-year-old boy from the Philippines. Mark Andrei loves to draw and dreams of becoming a policeman someday. His father is a farmer—earning lower than the minimum wage that is approved by the Department of Labor in the Philippines; while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Mark Andrei was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Mark Andrei is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on November 10th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Mark Andrei's procedure and care. After his recovery, Mark Andrei will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. “We are thankful that there are organizations like WSFP and WATSI who are providing surgeries like this. This surgery will help increase Mark Andrei's confidence to interact with his classmates without being afraid of getting bullied,” shared Donnalyn, Mark Andrei's mother.
Thidar is a 43-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker while her two daughters are students. However, the school in their village is closed due to the teachers being on strike following the country's coup earlier this year. Thidar was diagnosed with diabetes 13 years ago, and recently noticed that her toe on her left foot was becoming black. After visiting a local clinic, Thidar was diagnosed with having an ulcer and was prescribed medication as treatment. Unfortunately, the ulcer was not responding to medication and various treatments. Thidar then was advised to visit an hospital where the doctor's further noticed more of her toes were swollen and black as well. Thidar was diagnosed with gangrene, a rare infection where blood flow does not reach your extremities. Our medical partner, the Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $694 for surgery on Thidar's foot to treat the gangrene. Currently, Thidar is in pain especially at night. She is unable to sleep well and is worried about her foot and her family's financial situation. She told us, "In the future I want to open a shop in my home,” she said. “Thank you so much to all the donors and supporters.”
Mary is an elderly woman and a farmer from the Rift Valley region in Kenya. She now lives alone after losing her husband a few years ago. Her 4 children have left the nest and live separately with their own families. She does small scale farming to meet her daily needs. Her social-economic status is low and therefore she is unable to meet the cost of surgery. On August 26th, she was a passenger on a motorcycle when the motorcycle got into an accident. She was rushed to the hospital for first aid and debridement of the open wound on her right foot. She is in pain and unable to walk. At Kapsowar hospital, she had an x-ray done and was diagnosed with a fracture. She needs a surgery, but is unable to raise the funds needed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 30th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help her walk again with ease. She will also be free from pain and the infections caused by the open wound will be cleared. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1016 to fund this procedure. Mary said, “My hope is to get treated early for fast recovery so that I can walk and work again.”
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."
Brian was born last night and is the first born in his family. His father works in a newly opened bakery and shared that he earns very little money, while his mother makes and sells pots to earn a living. After Brian was born, he was examined by the pediatric surgery team and diagnosed with anorectal malformations. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Brian to receive treatment. On June 2nd, at AMH's care center, he is scheduled to undergo a colostomy surgery to enable him to pass stool. Now, AMH is requesting $592 to fund Brian's surgery. Brian’s father shared, “we are hoping and praying that our son will get treated despite the fact that we are not financially stable to afford the surgery.”