michael saundersUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
michael's Story

michael joined Watsi on December 30th, 2015. Eight 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 Khin, a hard working day laborer from Thailand, to fund hysterectomy surgery.

Impact

michael has funded healthcare for 122 patients in 13 countries.

Patients funded by michael

Khin is a 49-year-old refugee living with her father, her daughter and her younger sister in a refugee camp, in Tak Province along the Thail-Burma border. Her family fled from Karen State, Burma to Thailand in 2017 because of the conflict in their area. Khin’s father is retired and her daughter is a student. Khin’s sister looks after their retired father at home. Khin Mar is a day labourer in the camp. However, the job is not available every day. Every month her family receives 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) on a cash card from the organization The Border Consortium. This amount combined with her monthly salary is enough to cover their daily needs. They receive free basic health care provided by the International Rescue Committee in the camp but surgical care is not available there. In the middle of 2023, Khin noticed pain in her lower abdomen. Still, she did not go to the hospital or clinic as she thought the process was normal for women who are getting older and close to menopause. However, in the beginning of November, she noticed that the pain worsened and now the pain is constant. She visited the hospital in the camp, where the medic gave her some medication and she returned home. The pain did not resolve and continued. On 13 November, she returned to the hospital in the camp where she met with the doctor and the doctor performed an ultrasound for her and told her that there is a mass in her uterus. The doctor told her that they will refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where she received another ultrasound, and the doctor diagnosed her with uterine myoma - a benign tumour in the uterus and also told her that she needs surgery to remove the mass as well as her whole uterus. Khin has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and back pain almost every day now. She cannot sleep as she worries that if she receives surgery, she will not be able to work and will not have income. At the same time, she also feels hard to perform her job well as she feels that her back pain makes it worse for her when she washes clothes. 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 which will heal her condition on December 4th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. After surgery, she will no longer in pain and she will be able to continue her job comfortably like before. Khin said, “if I do not work, I worry that I will not have enough income for my family and also when I heard that I need surgery, I worry about the surgery cost. When I heard that there will be a donor for me, my father and I are very happy as we know we cannot afford to pay for this expensive surgery.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Chisuka is a widow who lost her husband in February 2023. Chisuka has never had a child of her own but has been keeping three orphans aged 15, 10, and 6 years old for her late sister who passed on 5 years ago. Her husband had lost his first wife 30 years ago who left a 6-year-old son who has been brought up by Chisuka until now. He is a soldier who is married with one child. Chisuka and her late husband loved these orphans and brought them up like their own before death separated them. Chisuka shared that a month after losing her husband, she was chased out of her main house and most of her belongings were taken by her in-laws. Chisuka is now in the boys’ quarter together with her children while the main house is rented but the money is not shared with her. Her stepson withdrew his support after the death of his father. Chisuka started selling groundnut flour for a living. She likes praying and encouraging her children to work hard at school since life has changed for the worse. Chisuka was well until three years ago when she started experiencing cramping abdominal pains and felt a hard mass on the left side of her abdomen. Chisuka has been to different hospitals without much improvement. Of late Chisuka has had overwhelming abdominal pains, bleeding tendencies, loss of appetite leading to loss of weight, a lot of discomforts leading to more stress, weakness, and general body pain. On 24th January, Chisuka was booked and seen by the gynecologist at our medical partner's care center PIH who confirmed the diagnosis of multiple uterine fibroids through an ultrasound scan. She was notified about the need for a surgical intervention called total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) which is the removal of the uterus, including the cervix. Chisuka was then referred to the Watsi program due to her financial status. She is contributing what she can and needs help raising $1,363 to fund her surgery. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in a woman's uterus. Fibroids might become quite large leading to severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids continue to grow, both in size and number worsening the symptoms; the heavy bleeding may become worse causing anemia which may be fatal. After the surgery, it is expected that Chisuka will stop having unbearable abdominal pains and heavy bleeding and will continue taking care of her late sister’s children and living a more comfortable life. Chisuka, with tears in her eyes, said, “Please help me, I have faced more than I could, and now I need a breather and a comfortable life to let me render support to my children.”

$830raised
$533to go