Michele joined Watsi on February 24th, 2015. Nine years ago, Michele joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michele's most recent donation traveled 9,000 miles to support Daresi, a mother of three children from Malawi, to fund thyroid removal surgery.
Michele has funded healthcare for 112 patients in 15 countries.
Michele has funded healthcare for 112 patients in 15 countries.
Daresi shared, "I am seeking help for my treatment to resume my business and support my family." Daresi is a married mother of three children aged 12, 7, and 2. She has a small-scale business selling different items like shoes and earns about $26 per month. Daresi was well until six months ago when she noticed a swelling on the right side of her neck. In October, Daresi's doctor, upon review of her test results and scans, confirmed a diagnosis of goiter and the need for a thyroidectomy, which is the removal of part of the thyroid gland. Goiter is a neck swelling condition resulting from enlargement of the thyroid gland that causes pain and breathlessness that may be life-threatening when not treated.
Htwe is a 61-year-old man living with his wife, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece, in a refugee camp in Thailand. His wife and his brother-in-law are day laborers, while his sister-in-law is a homemaker. His niece is a student. Htwe is currently unemployed. Since 2021, Htwe has lived with an incarcerated inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him discomfort when he walks and pain. It is because of his condition that Htwe has been unable to work. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htwe's hernia repair surgery, which is scheduled for October 12th at Mae Sot General Hospital. Once he has recovered, Htwe's symptoms should finally be resolved, allowing him to return to work, and to a more comfortable life. Htwe said: "I want to recover so that I can find work to make money for my family. Now we have a hard time trying to make ends meet, as we do not have a regular income. I am the only one that eats without work. Thank you to all the kind people who are supporting my costs."
Lydia finished high school last year and has dreams of attending university, but she started experiencing some pain in her abdomen last December. She experienced the pain for one month before going to the hospital for an examination. After an abdomen CT scan, Lydia was diagnosed with Cystic liver disease. She was booked for surgery after the family raised enough money through fundraising. During the surgery, Lydia experienced complications when anesthesia was being administered and the surgery had to be cancelled. She was admitted to the ICU for a few days, recovered, and was discharged, but all the money her family raised was used to pay the hospital bill, and the family had to get a loan to clear the bill. While at home, Lydia recovered well, and during the last clinic review, she was finally ready for liver surgery. Their family has completely exhausted their funds and is appealing for any financial help to facilitate their daughter's treatment, hoping that after her complete healing, she can pursue her dreams. Lydia shared, “I really want to be helpful at home and maybe get a job to help my family but I can’t. This condition is very painful. I hope I will be treated soon enough and recover well.”
Thu Zar is a 47-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her daughter and son-in-law. She is a homemaker, her daughter is a babysitter and her son-in-law is a construction worker. Thu Zar spends most of her time doing household chores, allowing her daughter and son-in-law to concentrate on their work. Since March 2023, Thu Zar has been experiencing occasional heavy bleeding and a gradual enlargement of her abdomen which she had initially thought was caused from gaining weight. Now, she has been diagnosed with leiomyoma--a tumor in the uterus, also known as uterine fibroids. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thu Zar's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thu Zar is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on August 21st. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Thu Zar will no longer have her worrying symptoms. Thu Zar said, “Because of my condition, I feel worried, fearful, and sad. At the same time, I feel relieved and happy that my condition is treatable through surgery and that it is not cancerous. I am grateful to everyone for their support in facilitating my treatment."
Agnes is a mother of three children, aged between 3 to 7 years old. She works as a tailor who mends clothes for a living while her husband works on construction sites. Income from this job is inconsistent and often negligible. They live in a one-room rental house in a semi-rural town. Earlier this month, Agnes was involved in a road accident while traveling from church. She reports that the brakes of the car they were traveling in failed and they rolled off the road. She was rushed to Kijabe Hospital where she was stabilized and an X-ray revealed a right distal radius fracture. It is difficult for her to use her hand, and she is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 14th, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her heal without a deformity. It will also enable her to use her hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Agnes says, “This accident got us unaware. I broke my arm but I am glad it can be rectified. I thank God my life was saved but I still need this treatment to avoid having a deformity. ”
Christian is a 24-year-old from the Philippines. He discontinued his studies to help his family with their finances. Currently, they depend on Christian, as well as his brother and his father, who both work in construction. Since birth, Christian has dealt with indirect inguinal hernia. This type of hernia causes him pain and limits his mobility. This also prevents him from engaging in physical activities or sports. Additionally, Christian also noticed that the hernia is growing in size, which worries his family. Fortunately, on May 31st, Christian will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. A portion of the cost of Christian's treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is raising the remaining $1103 to cover the cost of his surgery and care. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Christian shared, "These limitations caused by my condition frustrate me as I long to contribute to my family's financial stability. Through this surgery, I will be physically fit and will have the chance to land a well-paying job and finally be able to support my family. So to Watsi and the World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you!"
Sein is a 40-year-old father of three from Thailand. Sein and his family are day laborers. During his free time, he likes to watch movies on his mobile phone. During the evening of May 8th, 2023, Sein and his wife were walking around their neighborhood after it had rained. Suddenly, Sein slipped on the slushy and muddy road, falling and hitting his right knee on the concrete beside the road. The fall caused him to fracture his right patella. Sein feels pain around his right knee and it is still slightly swollen and inflamed. Due to the pain, he cannot move his right leg and he feels uncomfortable with his leg in a cast. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Sein will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 12th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help him walk and work again, and he will no longer be in pain. Sein said, "I want to thank my neighbors and you [BCMF] and everyone else for helping me. I hope I can make a full recovery. When I've recovered fully, I will work hard for my family and I will fulfill my children’s wishes of going to Bangkok and working there for the betterment of their lives."
Zoe, who is six months old, lives with her parents and two older sisters in La Paz, Bolivia. Her father is a dentist, while her mother stays home to take care of the children. When Zoe was born, she was diagnosed with Down syndrome and patent ductus arteriosus, a condition where there is a hole between two major blood vessels near the heart. As a result of this condition, blood leaks through the hole, leaving her weak and unable to gain weight, as her blood isn't properly oxygenated. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,500 to fund surgery to correct Zoe's condition. The operation is scheduled for April 19th at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría, where doctors will sew the hole shut, allowing for her blood to flow completely through her heart. Zoe should grow stronger after she has recovered from surgery. Zoe's mother said: "Our family is very hopeful that Zoe will gain an appetite and become stronger after her surgery!"
A cheerful grandmother from Kenya, Susan is blessed with eight children. One of her sons died while he was still young, and the others got married moved away. She is a widow, and lives with her grandson who goes to a nearby primary school. Susana's children, like her, did not go beyond the primary level of their education. She lives in a semi-arid area of the county where they plant millet and sorghum as their main socio-economic activity. The area is affected by insecurity issues and bandits have affected their way of doing things. She took a long time to come to seek medical attention since her home area was not safe at that time. Susana recently fell while carrying firewood and sustained an injury to her left humerus. Susana came into the hospital with her arm splinted in the company of her daughter hoping to find the help she needs to return her normal life. Susana had an X-ray that showed that she had a fracture of the proximal humerus. The splint was removed during the examination, as she had developed a cast sore that got infected. It was thoroughly cleaned and dressed, and she was discharged home with antibiotics. Currently, Susana cannot lift or move her hand due to pain. The fracture is more than a month old and so she needs a complex procedure in order to align her broken bone, allowing her to heal quickly. Her economic status is challenging and she cannot afford to pay for her procedure. She is appealing for help from all well-wishers reading her story. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 21st, Susana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The treatment will help Susana to do activities by herself. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Susana says, "It’s really hard to depend on people in activities such as bathing. I am so disturbed when I see my children leave their houses for my sake. Kindly help me so that I may be able to depend on myself and for them to be able to work and provide for their families.”
Christine is a five-month-old baby girl from Kenya. She is the youngest child in a family of three children. Her parents separated before she was born, and she and her siblings went to live with her mother and grandmother. Sadly, her grandmother has passed away, and the family now relies on other family members. Unfortunately, a while ago, her mother was involved in an accident that makes it difficult for her to work. Christine has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Christine has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Christine will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Christine receive treatment. On January 18th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will drain the excess fluid from her brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Christine will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Now, Christine and her family need help raising $720 to fund her procedure and care. Christine’s mother shared, “it is very stressful as sometimes she cries a lot and I cannot tell what’s wrong.”
Ju is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand where she lives with her friend. She used to work as an assistant cook with her friend until her accident. In her free time, she enjoys exercising and watching movies. On January 2nd, her friend was driving Ju home from work on her motorcycle when they were in an accident. When Ju regained consciousness three days later, she found herself in a hospital and learned that she had fractured her left pelvis. She cannot walk, and cannot sit up due to the pain. She has to stay in a reclining position. She experiences pain in her left pelvis, especially at night when it is cooler. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ju will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 18th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help her walk again and regain her independence. She will no longer be in pain and she will be able to work again. "I planned to earn money, but instead I brought a problem home. Now my mom has had to come here to help look after me. I feel stressed because now I am in debt. I will need to go back to work to earn money and pay back my debt", Ju said.
Meet Dennis, a 12 year old boy living in Kenya with his parents and two younger siblings. When Dennis isn't in school - where math is his favorite subject - he enjoys playing with friends and reading books. Dennis' father works as a casual laborer, while his mother is a housewife. Dennis was healthy at birth, but at the age of two, his left foot started to bend inwards. His parents brought him to numerous hospitals, but his condition remained unresolved. This is very frustrating for Dennis, who has to walk on tiptoes, and is in pain when he walks. Doctors at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, diagnosed Dennis with a clubfoot. Now he is scheduled to undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AIC Cure International Hospital on January 16th. This procedure which will allow Dennis to wear shoes and to walk with ease. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Dennis' life changing procedure. “Our joy will be to see Dennis walking and playing like other children,” Dennis’s mother told us.