Michael joined Watsi on March 21st, 2016. Four years ago, Michael became the 1851st member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,102 more people have become monthly donors! Michael's most recent donation supported Kyaw, a father from Thailand, to fund mobility-restoring surgery on his left leg.
Michael has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 11 countries.
Kyaw is a 37-year-old man who lives with his wife in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He has two daughters that they support and who live with their maternal aunt in Burma. His wife is an agricultural day laborer while Kyaw has been a homemaker for the past two years. Unfortunately, his wife has been unable to find work for the past two months, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Even when she was working, the income she earned was not enough to cover their basic necessities and sometimes they would have to purchase items from the shop on credit. In 2013, Kyawa was injured in a car accident that took his brother's life. His doctors implanted a steel rod to repair his fractured left leg. He was told that he would need to have the steel removed in three to six years. Recently, Kyaw started experiencing pain in his left leg again. He traveled to Mae Sot Hospital to have the steel removed so that his leg could finish healing properly. Our medical parter, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of his surgery. A surgery that will alleviate his pain and enable him to walk again. Now, we are asking for your help in funding Kyaw's life-changing treatment. Kyaw shared, “I am very upset about my leg. I want to work like other people but because of my condition no one will offer me a job. I'm also worried about my wife and daughters' future. As a father I want to fulfill their needs which I can’t at present. Instead I rely on my wife's income. If the surgery doesn't help to improve my condition, I'm worried that my leg will be amputated. My wife is also worried that my condition will worsen, but she urges me to be strong and accept our fate.”
Joshua is a two-month-old baby and the youngest in a family of three children from Tanzania. His parents are small-scale farmers; his father owns a few cattle and they also have a small farm where they plant food for home consumption. Joshua has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Joshua has been experiencing challenges since birth. Without treatment, Joshua will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,362 to cover the cost of surgery for Joshua that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th and will drain the excess fluid from Joshua's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Joshua will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Joshua's father shared, "Please help treat our baby, he needs to undergo a surgery which due to financial challenges, we are not able to afford. Please help us."
Sim is a 70-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has six children, seven grandchildren, and enjoys watching Khmer movies in her free time. Five months ago, Sim developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sim learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for six and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 1st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $211 procedure. "I hope that I will no longer have to worry about my mother's condition and she will be able to see clearly after her operation," said Sin's daughter.
Nwe is a 36-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in Thingangkuun Township in Yangon Division. Nwe works as a seamstress at home while her husband works in a factory. In her free time, Nwe likes to play with her nephew who lives close by and also loves to watch movies at home. Nwe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Nwe experiences tiredness especially when she walks for longer periods of time. If she feels tired, she also experiences heart palpitations. Sometimes, she also suffers from dizziness. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Nwe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 24th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Nwe shared, “I feel stressed about my condition. I am afraid to have surgery but there is no other option. I hope that after I have fully recovered from my surgery, I will be able to work as seamstress again.” Nwe’s husband is also worried for her and he has had to take time off from work to accompany her to all her appointments. He said, “I get paid daily for my work and if I do not work regularly then I have less income. Before, we were able to save some money from our work but since my wife was diagnosed with a heart problem and started to see the doctor for tests and medications, we can no longer save any money.”
Adere is a nice thirteen year old boy who loves to go to school and study. He is in grade six and loves music. He spends his free time listening to country music and also loves to dance with his friends. His parents are farmers of teff and maize. But their harvest from their farm is very limited because of the hot and dry landscape. The population in the area is mostly supported by the government and NGOs for food and other basic needs. His parents have 12 children. Three of them are dependently living and the rest of the children are supported by their parents. Adere was born with congenital anomaly called Bladder Exstrophy. The child’s bladder is open to the air and not within the body. He leaks urine directly to his abdomen. As a result, he has bladder exposed to dirt which can cause infections and injury. Adere suffers from pain from irritation of the bladder, infection, and a bad smell from the continuous urinary leakage for the past years. In his classroom, he sits far from other students in the back alone. He mostly prefers to be alone, psychologically affected by the bad smell. His parents are always very worried and concerned because of his condition. They took him to a clinic in their area when he was a child, and the clinic told them this has to be treated in referral hospital. Their village is very rural that they couldn’t get to a hospital and the parents couldn’t bring him to the capital. Adere's brother said, “I believe he will have a normal life, free from any smell and psychological concerns.”
Kyin is a farmer from Burma. She grows vegetable with her husband and her son on her husband’s relatives’ land for free. Their relatives own land that is available for half of the year after the rice is harvested. By selling the vegetables they grow, they earn a living. Kyin has been diagnosed with cataract and glaucoma in her right eye. She is sensitive to the light and her vision has deteriorated. She can only make out shapes and colors. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Kyin. On January 21st, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Kyin's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "In the future after I recover, I would like to continue growing vegetables," said Kyin.
Guerdina is a student from Haiti. She lives in a small village in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and 4 siblings. She likes going to school and would like to become a teacher. Guerdina has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Guerdina will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement.. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Guerdina's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Guerdina's family overseas. "I am hopeful that after my surgery I will feel healthy and normal," said Guerdina.
Khin is a 39-year-old woman who lives with her family in Hpa-An Township, Karen State, Burma. Both her children are in preschool. She and her husband are subsistence farmers, growing rice during the rainy season on rented land. The rest of the year, her husband collects leaves used to make roofs, works as a daily labourer or collects branches to sell. Khin was born with a scar the size of an ant bite on her upper lip. Her parents thought that it would disappear or heal on its own but the scar developed into a growth and increased in size. Her parents passed away when she was young and after that she went to live with her brother’s family. By the time she was around 20 years old, the growth had become large and soft, covering the area between her upper lips and her nose. When the pain became unbearable in 2005, her uncle dropped her off at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, a free clinic close to where her uncle used to work. At this point, the growth had become so large that dragged her upper lip down and extended into her nostrils. At MTC, she was seen by doctors and medics, before she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. At this point, the growth had worsened, and she was bleeding from her lips. In April 2006, Khin went to Chiang Mai Hospital and had the hemangioma removed surgically. The growth later has returned. Overtime, the hemangioma has increased in size and become hard. It has now expanded into Khin’s nostrils, especially her left nostril, which causes her to have difficulty breathing at times. She feels uncomfortable but is not in pain. Sometimes she also feels like she has a blood clot in her nostrils during her nosebleeds. Because the nosebleed can start at any time and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, her life revolves around managing her nosebleeds. She is unable to work or sleep properly, and if she is about to have a nosebleed, she is unable to eat. The nosebleeds have also affected her ability to earn an income for her children and continues to impact her social life. “When I socialise, I do not feel comfortable and some people think I have a disease that I can infect them with,” said Khin. “So, I hope to get better after surgery, and I hope I will no longer have nosebleeds. I don’t want to bleed, and I want to socialise with my friends and family happily. [Right now] my friends won’t even touch me.”
Myar is a 34-year-old from Pin Lounge Township, Shan State, Burma. She lives with her husband and four children who are all students. Myar and her husband work as farmers and grown rice, corn and onion depending on the season. In July 2018, Myar moved to Singapore and worked as a domestic worker. After one month of working in Singapore, Myar started to get frequent headaches and felt tired. A few days later, she wanted to go to a clinic but Myar’s employer told her not to go because the treatment cost is very expensive there. However, she feels pain in her chest and couldn’t work anymore. Myar’s sister who stays in Mae Sot asked her to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot. On July 25th 2019, Myar arrived to Mae Sot Clinic and was referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an echocardiogram. The echo result shows that Myar's heart has a hole and the doctor told her that she would need to undergo surgery. Currently, Myar feels uncomfortable while sleeping because of her chest pain. She sometimes has high fever and she also has difficulty breathing. She is tired very easily. Myar said, “When I am fully recovered, I will work hard with my husband and pay back my debt. I will also support my children so that they can receive an education.”
Gedeon is a student from Haiti. He lives in Port-au-Prince with his mother and two older sisters. He is in high school and would like to study to become a doctor. Gedeon has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart was severely damaged as a result of an infection suffered in childhood; as a result, his heart cannot adequately pump blood through his body. Gedeon will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On September 16th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will replace his damaged valve with an artificial implant. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $40,000 to pay for surgery. Gedeon's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Gedeon's family overseas. Gedeon said, "I am excited to be able to visit a new country and to get my heart back to normal."
Than is a 57-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and her sister. Than was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Than has difficulty breathing and her heartbeat is fast. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Than. The treatment is scheduled to take place on August 12 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably.
Netsanet is a young student from Ethiopia. She was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Netsanet is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 23. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Netsanet's procedure and care. After her recovery, Netsanet will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother says, “I can’t afford the medical bill. We managed to come to hospital through the support of another organization."