Michelle Staton


United States

Michelle's Story

Michelle joined Watsi on March 19th, 2015. Two years ago, Michelle joined the Universal Fund and became the 1029th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 1,932 more people have joined! Michelle's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Frener, an infant from Kenya, to fund surgery.


Michelle has funded healthcare for 26 patients in 12 countries.

All patients funded by Michelle


Mugume is a 39-year-old married man from Uganda who has four children. He and his wife are peasant farmers, and he also does some trading to earn additional money. Even with the extra work, the family's income is minimal, making it difficult to save funds and also provide for the family's needs. Mugume has lived with left scrotal swelling since February 1996. He visited a hospital that year and was diagnosed with a hernia. Over the years, the swelling has increased, making him feel uncomfortable and weak. Mugume visited a hospital again last year and was correctly diagnosed with a hydrocele. A hydrocele is a sac of watery fluid around one or both testicles that causes swelling in the scrotum or groin. The fluid comes from the abdomen and travels along the same paths that the testes follow when they descend into the scrotum before or shortly after birth. While hydroceles may occur at any age, the cause of their development is generally unknown. Mugume will need surgery to treat the hydrocele. During the operation, the surgeon will make a small incision in the scrotum to remove the sac of fluid and then use stitches to close the path between the scrotum and abdomen so that no more fluid can accumulate. The process for Mugume to receive free surgical care has been lengthy, and his family cannot afford to pay for his treatment in a private hospital. If not treated, he will continue experiencing pain and discomfort. “The process for me to get free surgery has become very long, and I’ve lost hope that I will get treatment," shares Mugume. For $185, Mugume will undergo a hydrocele repair to decrease the scrotal swelling. Funding also covers the cost of a three-night hospital stay, an ultrasound scan, and medicine to prevent infection. Mugume hopes to have a successful operation so that he can concentrate on agriculture to earn more money for his family. "I will be glad if you help me," he says.

100% funded

Fully funded
Pa Lel

Originally from Burma, Pa Lel is a 52-year-old housewife and mother of six children who lives in Thailand. She used to work as an agricultural day laborer with her husband and son, but she stopped working two years ago after she was diagnosed with hypertension. When she is not tending to her family or home, she takes care of the piglets that she raises. In early June 2016, Pa Lel went to a wedding ceremony. Returning home after the wedding, she fell on a large stone while trying to cross the road and broke her elbow. Her husband tried to stitch it up, and then they immediately went to the hospital where doctors stabilized her arm. They told her she would need surgery to fix her arm, possibly inserting a metal rod. Currently, Pa Lel is experiencing much pain in her arm. She is not able to move around, cook or clean, or take care of her house and family. She must keep her arm bandaged and splinted so that it stays straight and elevated. The family's income—the combined earnings from Pa Lel's husband, son, and two of her daughters—is just enough to cover their daily expenses but leaves them unable to save money or pay for healthcare. To pay for transportation and other costs associated with getting medical treatment, Pa Lel had to borrow money from her neighbor. For $1,500, Pa Lel will undergo surgery—open reduction and internal fixation—to reposition and set her broken arm and enable proper healing. Funding also covers the costs of seven days of hospital care, including food, blood tests, and medicine. In the future, Pa Lel would like to return to Burma with her family.

100% funded

Fully funded