michael joined Watsi on December 30th, 2015. 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 5,400 miles to support Su, a 10-year-old girl from Thailand, to fund hip replacement surgery to allow her to walk without pain.
michael has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 13 countries.
michael has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 13 countries.
Su is 10-year-old girl who lives in Thailand. Both of her parents work for a community based organization helping others in their area. In her free time, Su likes to draw pictures and play with her friends. Su was born with clubfeet and a dislocated hip. She received corrective surgery in Chiang Mai with the help of our medical partner BCMF after she was born. During her last visit to the hospital when she was young, the doctor told her mother that they only had to return to the hospital when she outgrew her clubfeet correction shoes. However, her parents could never bring her back. In additional to financial constraints, their legal documents expired, and later when they had legal documents, they could not go to Chiang Mai due to covid-19 travel restrictions. In June 2022, Su started to experience pain in her right foot whenever she walked more than 10 minutes. She also experienced pain in her right hip for the first time when she walked. The doctor at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed her with a dislocated hip and referred her to the larger hospital Chiang Mai for further treatment. In October an MRI was performed for Su and it was determined that she may need two surgeries: one for hrt hip and another for her clubfeet condition. The first surgery is for a hip replacement and the doctor scheduled her for surgery on November 25th so she can be out of pain as quickly as possible. Her family needs $1500 for her hip replacement surgery. Su's father said, "I am hopeful for my daughter to receive surgery soon. After surgery, I hope that she will be able to walk like other children and she will not be shy when she grows up. Now, when she goes to school, some of her friends tease her that she cannot walk properly like other children."
Hellen is a charming and playful 3-year-old girl, living with her mother. They live with Hellen's grandparents who are also helping to raise her. The grandparents are small scale farmers, who rely on the crops that they grow, and on any income their surplus crops generate. While Hellen was born a healthy child, her mother noticed that when she began to walk, her legs bent outwards. Ultimately, Hellen was diagnosed with bilateral varus, a condition which is typically caused by the accumulation of excess fluoride in the bones, which results from the drinking of contaminated water. Hellen now walks with a limp, and has pain in her knees when she walks. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Hellen. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 17th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment will hopefully restore Hellen's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of any future complications. Hellen’s mother says: “I have watched my daughter's legs move from bad to worse for two years, but I cannot afford to seek treatment for her. I am in dire need of your support.”
Sok Khorn is a 73-year-old widow with three sons, four daughters, and many grandchildren. Her husband passed away during the Khmer Rouge era, so she lives with her oldest daughter who is a farmer. She helps with cooking for the family, caring for her grandchildren, and likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio. Three years ago, Sok Khorn developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her photophobia and blurry vision. Doing household tasks has become frustrating for Sok Khorn and she feels like there is a film covering her eye. When Sok Khorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On May 13th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again. Now, she needs your help to fund this $253 procedure. She says "I hope after surgery I can be more independent, and help my daughter with the house and my grandchildren."
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!"
Alogius is a tutor and loving father. His wife is a farmer and together they have three children, and also care for his late brother’s three children. Alogius shared that it’s challenging to provide for his family’s daily needs and school fees and still have enough money for their healthcare. As a result, he has to sell properties to meet the cost of medical care. Five years ago, Alogius developed a supraumbilical hernia. He could not receive treatment before due to limited funds, but when he learned about the Watsi program, he traveled to Nyakibale Hospital hoping to finally have treatment. Upon review, doctors determined that they could heal his condition through surgery. Alogius will undergo hernia repair surgery on April 12th and our medical partner is requesting $230 to fund his procedure, which will allow him to live more comfortably and confidently upon recovery. Alogius says, “I think I will regain my health back when I am operated with your support. I will be able to work well as I used to before and will be able to support my family and continue educating my children.”
Alejandro is a tech-savvy 11-year-old boy from western Bolivia who just finished fifth grade. He loves everything related to computers and video games. He lives with his parents, who are both schoolteachers, and his two younger brothers. Alejandro was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alejandro is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 27th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alejandro's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alejandro and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alejandro shares, "I am excited to be allowed to play soccer once I have recovered from my surgery!"
Nedjee is a 17-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three siblings in a neighborhood outside of the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Nedjee has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that Nedjee needs for her birth condition is not available within her country. Fortunately, Nedjee will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 25th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Nedjee's family is requesting assistance to cover the costs of Nedjee's surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing the funds needed to cover the cost of surgery. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover the surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Nedjee and her family overseas. Nedjee's mother shared, "Our family is all praying that this surgery will go well and that our daughter's heart will be stronger afterward."
Thay is a one-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, grandfather, three sisters and a brother in a village. Thay's mother looks after her and her brother at home, her grandfather is retired, and her sisters go to school. Thay's father works as a porter, but has has difficulty finding work for over a month. With the increasing number of internally displaced people settling in their village due to the humanitarian crisis, there are now many individuals competing for the same work. When Thay was around eight months old, her parents noticed that her head was increasing in size. As a result, Thay cannot yet sit up or crawl. She is only able to turn her head, and will cry if she cannot see her parents. Thay was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has causes fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure, Thay is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Thay, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th and, once completed, will greatly improve Thay's quality of life as she grows up. Thay's father said, "I am thankful to every organisation and everyone for supporting my daughter’s treatment cost. Because of you, I believe that my daughter will receive surgery and be healthy and live a normal life after treatment."
Sokhom is a 66-year-old retired rice farmer. Sadly, Sokhom's husband passed away many years ago. Now, she lives with her daughter, who also works as a rice farmer, and she has five grandchildren. In her free time, she likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio and visit the pagoda near her home. Three years ago, Sokhom developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her sensitivity to light, blurry vision, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places on her own. When Sokhom learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On February 24th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Sokhom shared, "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly. I want to be able to do more of my housework and help my daughter take care of my grandchildren."
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
Bo is an eighth grader who lives in the school dormitory during the school year. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, cook, and garden. He recently had his arm is amputated to help treat his bone cancer condition, so he is no longer able to play guitar anymore. His parents and his siblings live on the Thai-Burma border. His brother and his mother are day labourers while his father is retired. In May 2021, Bo began to experience pain in the top of his left forearm, close to his shoulder. In June 2021, the top of his left forearm began to swell until it spread towards his shoulder. The swelling grew very large, encompassing his left shoulder and upper forearm. Bo was in a lot of pain and could not use his left arm. Doctors diagnosed him with bone cancer and amputated his left arm to help stop his cancer from spreading further. He has also undergone chemo treatment after his amputation and now his doctor wants to do an MRI to assess his prognosis and plan for any further treatment that may be needed to protect his health. An MRI is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Bo's MRI and care, scheduled for March 11th. Bo said, "Since I finished my surgery and finished chemo injection, I am able to continue my studies without any pain. I hope that I will be able to continue my studies until I gradate from school."
Kyaw is a 50-year-old man who lives alone in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. He used to work as a day laborer for a grocery shop, loading and unloading items from cars. However, he stopped working one month ago, when the vision in his right eye worsened. In his free time, he enjoys reading books and cleaning in his house. Kyaw has a cataract in his right eye and can't see more than light in that eye. Because of his vision, he will often not recognize his friends while he walks past them. Though he likes to read, it now gives him headaches. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help. They are requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Kyaw. On February 23rd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Kyaw's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this procedure. Kyaw shared, “I am so happy that you will support the cost of my surgery. I hope your organisation will continue to help patients in the future. Thank you so much for helping me."