michael joined Watsi on December 30th, 2015. Four years ago, michael became the 1713th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,278 more people have become monthly donors! michael's most recent donation traveled 5,700 miles to support Phayuok, a student from Cambodia, to fund a post-burn surgery on his hands.
michael has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 11 countries.
Phayuok is a 10-year-old student from Cambodia. He lives with his parents and younger sister. His parents are construction workers. Phayouk is in grade three of elementary school and wants to be a policeman when he grows up. For now, he enjoys reading books to his sister and playing soccer. Eight years ago, Phayouk suffered burns on both of his hands. Since then his fingers have been contracted, and he has always found it difficult to pick things up or use everyday tools such as a spoon or a pencil. When Phayuok's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On July 8th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to to release the contracture of his fingers and help him use his hands well again. Now, he needs help to fund this $477 procedure. His mother said, "I hope after this surgery he can have a normal life using his hands, pick things up easily, and write well at school."
Thoeun is a 37-year-old monk from Cambodia. He is the oldest of eight siblings who are all married and live elsewhere. He normally lives with other monks, but his parents are taking care of him while he is injured. He reads books every day, prays and does house work. Two months ago, Thoeun fell from a hammock, resulting in a compression of his spine. He soon began to feel weakness and numbness in his legs. Now he cannot stand or walk, and occasionally feels acute pain in his lower back. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help. Doctors will perform a laminectomy, a surgical procedure that removes a portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina in order to relieve pressure on his spine. Once he has recovered from the procedure, his nerves will function normally and he will be able to walk. Our medical partner is now asking for $1,500 to help cover the cost of his surgery. Thoeun shared, "I hope that I can soon return to my duties as a monk. I can't stay with my parents and make them take care of me anymore. When I get better I want to thank them and take care of them in return."
Patrick is a motorbike taxi operator from Kenya. He is the firstborn child in a family of 6 children. He lives with his grandmother as his mother’s rented space is too small for the entire family. He did not proceed with higher education due to financial challenges. His mother separated with his father so she is raising their family and Patrick used to rely on his motorcycle business to make ends meet. A week ago, Patrick was involved in a motorcycle accident suffering facial bruises and a right femur fracture. He is in pain and unable to stand on his own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 26th, Patrick will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Patrick says, “Thank you for assisting me. I am hopeful that soon my leg will be fixed.”
Tola is a 28-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He lives with his parents in the Takeo province. He has two sisters and four brothers. His favorite sport is football and after work he helps his parents at home. When he was a child, he began experiencing ear pain, discharge, and discomfort. When he tried cleaning the ear discharge himself with cotton at home it only made his condition worse. Tola had a serious ear infection, which caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Tola experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. He has difficulty hearing clearly at work and throughout his day. Tola traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 29th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right 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. "I hope that after surgery I can hear everything better, my ear infection will stop, and especially that the discharge will go away. I want to go back to working at the construction site to support my parents and family," Tola said.
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."
Maxwell is a two-year-old boy from Kenya. Maxwell’s mother works casually in construction sites. His father left them when he learned of his son’s condition. Maxwell is an only child and lives with his mother in a single-rental house in Kiharo Village in Central Kenya. Maxwell 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, Maxwell is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “Life is very tough. I earn very little from helping out on construction sites and it cannot cater for the surgery my son needs. Please help me,” says Maxwell’s mother.
Ko Myo Zaw is a 41-year-old man who lives with his wife in Burma. He and his wife used to work as a seamster and sew children’s clothing. However, Ko Myo stopped working more than a year ago because of his poor health and he now relies on his wife’s income. On the 18th of June 2018, Ko Myo developed pain in his left waist after sitting for a long time. He then had to stand up every two hours to reduce the pain. This continued for a few more months, until he was no longer able to work. A year after he first experienced these symptoms, he went to Myawaddy Hospital to see a doctor. He received an x-ray and ultrasound which revealed he has a kidney stone in his left kidney. The doctor gave him medication to breakup the stone and Ko Myo took the medication for one year. The medication reduced the pain during the first month, but returned a month after that. By the 29th of May 2019, he could no longer take the pain and went to see the doctor at Myawaddy Hospital. The doctor then gave him stronger medications to reduce the pain and break up the stone. At the suggestion of a neighbor, he decided to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) across the border in Thailand, which he was told provides charitable health care. On 5th of October 2019, he arrived at MTC. The next day, he was brought to the local hospital where he received an ultrasound and an appointment to undergo laser treatment to breakup the kidney stone. He took out a loan to pay for the first round of treatment on November 24th, 2019. When he returned to the clinic in January to undergo a follow-up ultrasound, he was told they also found stones in his right kidney. Unable to pay for further treatment, Ko Myo was referred to Watsi Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance in accessing further treatment. Ko Myo's next appointment to undergo a second round of laser treatment will be on Jaunary 28th. He will complete treatment for the kidney stone in his left kidney, before he receives treatment for the stones in his other kidney. Currently, Ko Myo still has pain in his waist. Sometimes he feels tired and the area around his left waist feels hot. "Once I recover I would like to go back to work and pay back my loan," said Ko Myo.
Arobo is a student from Ethiopia with three siblings who are also students. He is a nice boy who is outgoing and playful. Arobo loves to play football with his friends and loves to read books. Arobo’s mother is a widower and their family lives in a remote area. Her income is very limited even to sustain the basic need of the family. Arobo 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, Arobo is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on December 12. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Arobo's brother said “We hope he will be healed from his condition after this surgery. And if he heals our mother, I and our sisters will be relived from worry. And he will also be well psychologically.”
Dina is a pretty little girl from Kenya. She is the 4th born and last born in the family. the family hails from Nyamakoroto village in Nyamira county. Her mother is a single parent who works as a casual laborer in a tea farm within the locality. Dina has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Dina traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 01. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Dina's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. "I will appreciate any kind of assistance enhanced to make my daughter walk without straining. Thank you so much,” Josephine, Dina’s mother told us.
Judith is a middle-aged woman with lower back pain problem that has persisted for over 8 years. Judith has tried managing the condition with injections, medical pills and physiotherapy sessions. The interventions have not been fruitful as she recently started using a walking stick to attain balance. Judith was referred to our facility by a neighbour and upon MRI imaging, she had spinal fusion surgery recommended. If not treated, the pain will persist which might weaken her walking gait further. Judith is a mother of three children and used to work on their farm for subsistence farming but has since stopped. Her husband is employed as a timber yard operator. The family is not able to raise the total funds needed for her surgery and they appeal for financial assistance.
Due is a 26-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his family in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State. Due is a farmer while his wife looks after their four-month-old son. In 2018, Due noticed a lump by the size of the tip of a thumb on his right breast. He did not seek treatment until the lump slowly increased in size. He then went to a hospital in Hpa-An in early January 2019. At the hospital, he received an x-ray and was told that he would need surgery to remove the mass. Because he had no money to pay for the surgery, he just went home. With the help of a medic near his area, he was connected with BCMF who sent him to Mae Sot Hospital for a CT scan. The result confirmed the mass and the need to remove it. Currently, there is redness and swelling at his breast mass. It is also itchy and painful sometimes. Due sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. he is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 23. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Due said, “I look ugly with my breast mass. It is itchy and painful sometimes. The symptoms of my breast mass put me in stress. I want it to go away from me as soon as possible”.
Kyaw Myat is a five-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his family in a village in Sagaing Division. Kyaw Myat’s father is a subsistence farmer and sometimes he also works as a day laborer on other villagers’ farms. His mother is a homemaker and takes care of Kyaw Myat’s brother at home. When he was two, Kyaw Myat started to walk. But the following year, his limbs became weak and he could no longer walk properly. Kyaw Myat’s head had also gradually increased in size and he could not control his urine. He was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and received treatment for it. However, he was also diagnosed with an abnormal growth in his head. The mass is putting pressure on an artery in his head, which makes affects his ability to walk properly. Currently, Kyaw Myat cannot walk properly and sometimes, he complains that he has a headache and watery eyes. Kyaw Myat sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 23rd. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Kyaw Myat's father said, "I almost give up on my son's treatment because he has a lot of medical problems. However, when I discussed his treatment with my wife, we know that we couldn't give up on him."