Mike joined Watsi on February 12th, 2015. Five years ago, Mike became the 906th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,544 more people have become monthly donors! Mike's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Sarah, a maize farmer from Uganda, to fund a hysterectomy.
Mike has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 11 countries.
Sarah is a maize farmer from Uganda. She has been blessed with three children, ranging from 25 to 4 years old. Sarah shared with us that her husband died in 2008 due to HIV/AIDS. Since then, Sarah has been taking care of her children and providing them with basic needs and education through the farming she does. Since eight years ago, Sarah has been experiencing pain and abdominal bleeding. She has now been diagnosed with Uterine Leiomyomas and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $662 to fund Sarah's surgery. On September 8th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Sarah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Sarah shared with us, “I am optimistic and hopeful that my surgery will be successful, I have spoken to a few people who have had a hysterectomy and they have all said they are glad they have had it done.”
Joseph is a two-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the last born of his mother who has eight children. His father is polygamous with two wives, Joseph's mother being the first wife. The second wife has five children making a family of fourteen children. Four children in the family have been able to join school but the rest have not had a chance to attend yet. Joseph's older siblings who do not go to school help their parents to look after their cattle of five cows and five goats. Both parents depend on small-scale farming of maize, beans, and vegetable for their food and they are able to sell a goat once in a while to be able to get money to buy other commodities. Joseph was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Joseph is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Joseph's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 10th and will hopefully spare Joseph from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Joseph’s mother shared, “The money needed to pay our son’s surgery cost is too high for us to afford, kindly help us.”
Vin is a five-year-old child from Cambodia. She is the oldest of three children. Her mother works in a factory, and her father is a farmer. She has not yet started school but she loves to paint at home and help her mother cook. She also helps taking care of her younger siblings. Since birth, Vin has had nevus, or mole, on her cheek. It has grown larger as time has passed. As it grows bigger, it could start to cause further complications. She also experiences difficulty socializing with other children because of her condition. When Vin's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On July 9th, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a skin flap procedure to to replace the skin of the nevus with healthy skin. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Vin's mother shared, "I hope that after this surgery, she will look healthy and normal, and will not have any more problems."
Joseph is a brave 8-year-old boy from Karanjee Village in Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of 3 children and he is in seventh grade. He and his siblings live with their mother who is a casual laborer working in neighbor’s farms to earn an income for their family. Joseph was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Joseph has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Joseph will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 11th. AMH is requesting $506 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. "My boy is now getting big and I would not like to risk his future with infertility. Kindly support us as I am the breadwinner with no one to turn to. I hope my son will have successful corrective treatment so that he can be like other boys,” said Josephs’ mother.
Hla is a 41-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in a village in Kawkareik Township in Karen State. Hla is a homemaker, raises livestock, and looks after her niece while her sister teaches at a nursery school in the village. Her two younger sons and her brother-in-law are subsistence farmers who grow rice on rented land. Hla’s oldest son is a distance education student in university. One year ago, Hla felt a painless growth when she touched her lower abdomen. That same day, she went to see a traditional birth attendant (TBA) about this. The TBA told her that she had a gastric problem. The next day, Hla went to see a traditional healer receive blessed water in the hopes it would make the growth disappear. Although she drank the blessed water for around two months, the growth remained. As she did not think that the growth would make her seriously ill, she did not go to a clinic. In January 2020, Hla felt like the growth was increasing in size. She decided to visit Kawkareik Private Clinic where the doctor performed an ultrasound. She was told that she had a mass in her uterus. The doctor provided her with painkillers and she was told to only take it when she is in pain. Hla has been experiencing back pain and the mass increases in size day by day. She has been diagnosed with a uterine mass and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Hla's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Hla is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on March 13th. 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 back pain and she will be able continue working and helping out at home. Hla said, "I'm very scared when I heard that I need to receive surgery. When I got home, my family and friends encouraged me to not be afraid because there were many other people who had the same condition who recovered and became healthy again."
Daniel is a one-month-old infant from Tanzania. He is the youngest in a family of three children. His mother is a stay-at-home mother looking after the children while the father works as a secondhand clothes seller for a living. Since birth, Daniel has had bilateral inguinal hernia. If not treated, the hernia may result in intestinal tissue damage or even death. Fortunately, on April 7th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $539 to fund Daniel's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Daniel’s mother says, “Please help my son have this surgery, the doctor says he can’t wait for long or else his condition will continue worsening and we are unable to afford the treatment cost.”
Misgune is a 3-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia with one older brother. He loves to play and laugh with his mom. He's exclusively fed by breast milk. Misgune’s mom is a house wife; she dropped out of school at grade 9 when she got pregnant. She used to do a bit of small business before she gave birth to him. Misgune's dad is a daily laborer. They live in a rented house and their family's income is unpredictable and limited for the expenses of the basic needs of the family. Misgune 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. Misgune is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on March 10th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Misgune's procedure and care. After his recovery, Misgune will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Misgune's mom said, “It is my hope that my baby will get healthy and as normal as other boys. I hope I will raise him well and educate him. I hope I will start working again and support my children. ”
Colar is a 53-year-old woman who lives with her husband in Karen State in Burma. She has two sons who are students across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Both Colar and her husband are subsistence farmers but are no longer able to work on the farm due to their poor health. Their limited income comes from breeding and selling pigs and goats. In June 2018, Colar began to suffer from significant lower abdominal and back pain, constipation, headaches, frequent urination, blood in her urine and nausea. Her neighbor advised her to treat the pain with traditional medicine, initially believing this was caused by the fruit she was eating in the forest. However, after a week of severe pain, Colar lost consciousness and her neighbor called her brother who works as a medic at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). Her brother advised them to bring Colar to MTC for treatment. At MTC, Colar underwent a blood test, urine test and ultrasound afterwards, the doctor at MTC diagnosed her with a renal stone in her left kidney and advised her she would need surgery. Colar still suffers from constant pain and discomfort, she is very worried about the upcoming surgery, her health, and how she is going to support her husband and two sons who are still students. Colar said the constant worry for her health and her husband's is causing them significant anxiety and depression. When she feels well enough, she likes to forage in the forest for fruits and vegetables and tend to her garden. When Colar recovers from surgery and her health improves, she hopes to grow enough fruit and vegetables to feed her family and to sell.
Khin is 38-year-old woman in Thailand. Originally from Mon State, Burma, Khin went to one of the refugee camps in Thailand to visit her cousins and search for job opportunities four years ago. However, Khin met her husband there and ended up moving in with her parents-in-law, four brothers-in-law and a nephew in the camp. Since 2016, Khin has been experiencing abnormal bleeding, pain in her back and suprapubic area which increases whenever she walks long distances. She has been diagnosed with uterine myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Khin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Khin is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain or discomfort and will be able to return to work full-time.
Joe is a 12-year-old student from Thailand. He moved to Mae Sot in early 2019, in search for better education. He now lives at a boarding house while studying at a migrant learning center. Joe noticed his blurred vision since he was five years old. Although he told his parents about it, his parents thought it was not that serious; they just told him that his eye sight will get better with time. As Joe did not experience any pain, aside from blurry vision, Joe stopped complaining about his problem to his parents. Joe continue to have a blurred vision, especially in his left eye. After he moved to Mae Sot, he told his uncle about his eye sight. His uncle made arrangements for him to meet with a medic, who later found that Joe has a cataract on his left eye and that it needs to be fixed in order for Joe to regain a clear vision in his left eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Joe. On December 10th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Joe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Joe said, “I don’t know yet of what I want to be in the future, but all I’m looking forward to is to ride a bicycle and play with my friends without any difficulty seeing.”
Three weeks ago, Ko was foraging for bamboo roots in the jungle when a bamboo twig sprang back and hit him in his left eye. His left eye started to hurt right away, and he stopped foraging. When he went back home, he did not apply any medication because he thought his eye would get better on its own. The next day however, he could not open his left eye and had a sharp pain in his injured eye as well as a headache. When he asked his wife to check his eye, she told him that it was red and that he had a white dot on his pupil. He then went to Chaung Son Clinic, a free clinic. he health worker at the clinic gave him an antibacterial ointment to apply inside his eye every day and seek further treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand right away. The next day, Ko went to MTC. At the clinic, he received an eye examination, one weeks’ worth of ointment and a bottle of eye drops to apply twice a day. He was asked to come back a week later. When he went back on the 14th of October. After he received another eye examination, the doctor told him that he wanted to admit him at the hospital right away. His left eye was infected, and he needed antibiotics. If the treatment would not work, the doctor told him that they would probably have to remove his eyeball. Unable to pay for his own admission, MTC referred him to Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance in accessing further treatment. Currently, Ko's left eye is teary, he has a severe headache and sharp pain in his left eye. Because the antibiotics did not work, he now has to remove his left eye. His injury has also impacted his family, as he is currently unable to work. Unable to leave his children with any money for food while he receives treatment, his children now have to work on a farm as daily labourers for 2,400 kyat (approx. 2 USD) each per day, to pay for their own meals. Luckily, they have not missed any school, as schools are closed until November for the holidays. "I worry about my eye and I worry for my children too. We left [our children] with our neighbor and they told us not to worry about my children getting food because they will look after them [when they go back to school]. I feel really grateful for my neighbors, BCMF and [BCMF’s] donors for supporting my treatment and everything they have done for me," said Ko.
Nuriya is a cute child from Ethiopia. Nuriya's mother was in Saudi Arabia for four years doing domestic work and her employers did not pay her during this time. She asked for her salary several times but they refused to pay her. Finally she decided to go home and they send her home without her payment. Nuriya’s father was also immigrant in Saudi Arabia for eight years. He went to Saudi Arabia illegally by sea and was caught and deported back to Ethiopia several times but he kept using his savings to go back. Once Nuriya’s parents were back in Ethiopia, they decided to stay and start a family. Their families have decided to help them and accommodate them until they find work. Nuriya’s father has not found work and now he plans to buy oxen and start farming. Nuriya 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. Nuriya is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on October 07. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nuriya's procedure and care. After his recovery, Nuriya will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Nuriya’s mother said “We can’t afford the medical bill. We are here through the support of another organization. We are living under the support of our relatives. Nuriya’s colostomy operation was done by the government. I believe the child will get better soon."