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, 2,082 more people have joined! Michelle's most recent donation traveled 2,000 miles to support Asdrubal, a toddler from Dominican Republic, to fund overseas transportation for heart surgery.
Michelle has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 13 countries.
Asdrubal is 19 months old and lives with his twin sister, mother, aunt, and grandparents. His father works on a cargo ship and is usually out of the country. Asdrubal was born with a cardiac condition called pulmonic stenosis, in which one of the heart's four valves is too small. This causes his heart to work much harder than it should to push blood through, leading to heart failure and leaving him sickly and weak. Although Asdrubal is not from Haiti, his surgery is taking place with our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance. He needs overseas prep and transportation for his surgery. He is scheduled to be transported on May 22. Asdrubal will be receiving help from Gift of Life International to fund his surgery in the amount of $4,500. However, his transportation will cost $1,500 more. Therefore, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting that amount in funding. His mother says, "My family would like to say thank you to everyone for your kindness toward us and our son."
Met is a 66-year-old lotus farmer from Cambodia. She is married with one son, one daughter, and three grandchildren. In her free time, Met likes to listen to monks pray at the pagoda. About four months ago, Met developed entropion of her right eyelid, a condition that causes her eyelid to turn inward. It is difficult for her to see clearly, do her work, or go anywhere outside by herself. On May 22, eye surgeons will perform lid correction surgery on Met's right eye to treat the entropion. After the procedure, Met will be able to see clearly and comfortably again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, requests $266 to cover her treatment.
Frener is a two-week-old girl from Nyanza Province, Kenya. At birth, she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus —a condition where fluid accumulates in the skull, causing the brain to swell. Frener is her parents' first child. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom, and her father is a subsistence farmer. Their daughter's condition has taken an emotional toll on the young parents, who have hopes of having more children. After her diagnosis, Frener was referred for specialized treatment. On May 8, surgeons will operate to drain the excess fluid from the young patient's skull to prevent brain damage and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover Frener's treatment. “The mention of Watsi was more than good news to me. I will appreciate anyone who will be willing to help fund for my daughter’s surgical care,” says Frener’s father.
Govinda is a 59-year-old man who lives with his wife and children. His family is entirely dependent on agriculture. While his wife looks after the cattle, he tends to the farm with his son. This income keeps the family fed for only four months of the entire year. Govinda has had a painful hernia for ten years. His hernia has made it very difficult for him to walk. Recently, unable to tolerate the pain any longer, he traveled to our medical partner's care center, Bayalpata Hospital. He is scheduled for hernia repair surgery on February 7. Our medical partner, Possible, is requesting $451 to fund this procedure. After treatment, Govinda will be able to walk and tend to his farm without any pain.
Bereket is a seven-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia who lives with his parents. His father is a farmer, and his mother is a housewife. Bereket was born with birth defect called anorectal malformation. His bowel does not function normally. Fortunately, on March 28, Bereket will undergo the corrective surgery he needs to live a healthy life. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure. This treatment will allow Bereket to live a healthy, normal life.
Judith is a vibrant, independent 49-year-old woman from Malawi. She lives alone, but she is very close with her extended family, especially her sister. Judith likes to spend time with her sister and friends. She also enjoys reading her Bible. Judith has been experiencing gynecological issues for a large part of her adult life. Unfortunately, in the last six months, her condition has worsened. She has developed very uncomfortable symptoms, including irregular bleeding. At our medical partner's care center, Nkhoma Hospital, Judith was diagnosed with uterine fibroids. Though these fibrous growths are not cancerous, Judith needs a hysterectomy to relieve her symptoms and ensure that the fibroids do not return. During the hysterectomy, surgeons will remove all or part of her uterus. $643 will cover the costs of this operation. After recovering from her surgery, Judith will be able to return to a normal life. She says, "I am looking forward to being a new me!"
Kabugho is a 42-year old wife and mother of six children from Uganda. In 2008, Kabugho developed a swelling in her left groin region. The swelling continued to increase in size, and it became painful at the beginning of 2016. Thus, she went to our medical partner's care center, Holy Family Virika Hospital, and was diagnosed with a left inguinal hernia. Without treatment, she is at risk of intestinal obstruction and blockage of blood flow to the intestines. Fortunately, she is scheduled to undergo a repair surgery on January 4. Both Kabugho and her husband are farmers. Their income is limited and seasonal, and they pay for their children’s education in installments. Prior to the diagnosis, Kabugho had never visited a hospital due to lack of money. She was relieved to hear that Watsi could help her receive financial support. For this reason, our medical partner is requesting $249 to fund Kabugho's hernia repair. “I have a lot of pain, but I don’t have money for my surgery,” says Kabugho.
Muhumuza is a 31-year-old father of three children and farmer from Uganda. He earns a living by cultivating and selling tomatoes and onions. In 2014, Muhumuza noticed a small but painless swelling in his right groin. As the swelling increased in size and grew painful, Muhumuza started using herbs to reduce the pain. Muhumuza reports feeling weak often and experiencing pain when lifting heavy items. At the suggestion of a friend, Muhumuza visited our medical partner’s care center, Holy Family Virika Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a right inguinal hernia. An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. Without treatment, Muhumuza may experience intestinal blockage or damage. Fortunately, on January 11, Muhumuza will undergo a hernia repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $249 to fund the procedure. After the procedure, Muhumuza hopes to continue farming to support himself and his family.
Deyvin is a 22-month-old boy from Guatemala. His parents have had trouble affording foods rich in calories, protein, and nutrients. He has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. This means he has little energy to grow, and his immune system is weak and vulnerable to illness. He is also at risk of chronic disease and delayed development. Fortunately, Deyvin began malnutrition treatment on November 24, 2016. Deyvin's favorite foods are eggs, black beans, and rice. He loves to play hide-and-seek with his cousin, Brenda. He lives with his family in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. His father works as a day laborer on a bean plantation, but he cannot afford this $512 treatment. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Deyvin recover. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age, and his immune system will grow stronger. Community health workers will teach his mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet from limited resources. Treatment will give Deyvin a chance to grow healthy and strong. "I am appreciative of the support that you will give my son," says Deyvin's mother, "and I hope to learn many things about how to feed my son what he needs to grow."
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.
Tollors is a 40-year-old farmer living in Cambodia with his two sons and two daughters. He spends his time fishing, listening to the news, and finding more work to support his children. In June 2016, Tollors dislocated his left elbow in a motor vehicle accident. He has had persistent pain and has been unable to bend his left elbow. He and his family sought traditional Khmer medication to help his symptoms, but it has not been effective. Tollors and his wife traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, for further evaluation. His doctors recommended he have a joint stabilization procedure, inserting a pin to stabilize the elbow joint. They tell us that $450 will cover Tollors's cost of the procedure, supplies, medications, and four days of inpatient care. Following his procedure and recovery, Tollors will have better mobility of his left elbow, and his pain will resolve. "I hope my husband can use his elbow normally again and not be in pain after his operation," Tollors's wife shares.
10-year-old Robe, a boy from Ethiopia, was born with a birth defect of the urethra called hypospadias. That means the male urinary opening is not at the usual location on the head of the penis. Robe’s opening is away from the head of the penis. As a result of this he can’t urinate standing as any other boys. This condition affects him and his parents psychologically. They are worried about their son's condition. Robe parents live 300 kilometers from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His parents are poor farmers who are affected by the 2015, drought of El Nino weather phenomenon for about seven years now. They are now suffering severe poverty and they even get their food from government and other concerned bodies. And for this reason they can’t pay the medical bill. For $1155, Robe will undergo surgery to correct his hypospadias, allowing him to urinate properly and increasing his self-esteem.