Michael Verruto


United States   •   Born on March 20

Michael's Story

Michael joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Four years ago, Michael became the 465th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,975 more people have become monthly donors! Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Nyo, a woman from Burma, to fund gynecological surgery.


Michael has funded healthcare for 36 patients in 10 countries.

All patients funded by Michael


Abubakar is eight months old and is the youngest in a family with two children. Abubakar and his family live in a one-room rental house in Nairobi's suburbs. His mother is a stay-at-home mom, while his father works on the assembly line at a mineral water company. At four months of age, he was diagnosed with a condition known as hydrocephalus, a condition in which an excess of fluids builds up in the skull, causing the brain to swell. Abubakar, an otherwise cheerful baby, has turned irritable due to the increased intra-cranial pressure from the fluid in his brain. If he does not get treated, he will be at risk of impaired vision, delayed development, permanent brain damage, and even death. At birth, Abubakar looked normal and was able to feed well. Four months later, his mother noticed his head growing at an abnormally fast rate compared with his body. Alarmed by this, Abubakar's parents took him for a traditional Kenyan treatment that is alleged to keep the head from growing too big. The treatment involves dipping a wooden stick in hot oil and placing it on directly on the baby's head. Abubakar went through this treatment twice. “We burnt his head severely, but it has not helped a thing,” says Abubakar’s mother. Naturally, the treatment did not stop the head from growing and only left the baby with conspicuous lesions all over the skull. At this point, Abubakar's grandmother suggested that the family seek specialized treatment. The family went to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, where they sought the advice of a neuro-specialist. The specialist recommended that Abubakar have surgery to drain the fluid from his brain. His surgery is scheduled for May 26. Abubakar's parents' combined income is barely enough to cover daily expenses, let alone any costly medical procedures. However, the family was able to raise $52 to go towards the surgery. Our medical partner is requesting $685 to help fund the surgery. After surgery, Abubakar will be able to grow normally and be free from his condition.

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Joan is a playful two-year-old girl who loves to draw. She lives with her family in a bamboo shanty house, and her parents are both fishermen. Joan has developed a bloated belly, has low energy, and often gets colds and coughs. Joan has been diagnosed with moderately acute malnutrition. Malnutrition threatens Joan’s growth and development and could even be fatal if not addressed. Fortunately, she will begin $184 malnutrition treatment on February 23. Joan will be treated by International Care Ministries (ICM), a Watsi medical partner. One out of five children under five in ICM communities is either severely or moderately malnourished. Worldwide, poor nutrition is associated with nearly half of all deaths in young children. In remote communities and urban slums of the Philippines, the lack of clean water and unclean environments add risk to potentially fatal childhood diseases. ICM’s home-based feeding program provides nutrient-enriched food packs to ensure malnourished children get additional food to regain normal weight and achieve optimum physical and mental development. After identifying a child as malnourished, staff and community volunteers make weekly visits to monitor this child’s progress. To help sustain the health of the child, ICM’s professional staff educate the mother, guardian, or other family members about proper nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, and organic vegetable gardening. Her mother says, "My dream for Joan is for her to finish her studies."

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