Michelle MoralesMONTHLY DONOR
Michelle's Story

Michelle joined Watsi on January 31st, 2017. Six years ago, Michelle joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michelle's most recent donation supported Saw Myo, a 14-year-old boy from Burma, to fund surgery to remove a spinal tumor so he can live without pain and go to school.

Impact

Michelle has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 12 countries.

All patients funded by Michelle

Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Askaw is a 47-year-old woman who lives with her father, husband, two sons and her daughter-in-law. Her husband is currently unemployed while her oldest son and her daughter-in-law are farmers. Her youngest son is a day labourer, finding work whenever he can. Askaw is a homemaker and looks after her father who is retired. In her free time, she loves to read, sing, and go to church every Sunday. Toward the end of 2018, Askaw noticed that the vision in both her eyes was blurred. In early 2019, unable to afford seeking treatment at a hospital or a clinic, she purchased eyeglasses for herself at a shop. Although the eyeglasses helped her see better at first, a year later her vision worsened and she could no longer see even with the eyeglasses. She purchased a new pair of glasses, but her vision worsened again. Finally in December she was able to go to an ophthalmologist's clinic with the help and financial support of her brother. After the ophthalmologist examined her eyes, she was told to go to a hospital for further investigation because she likely needed surgery. Askaw's brother knew of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) which could help make her care possible even though it was out of reach financially for their family. Currently, Askaw can see very little in her left eye and she can only perceive light with her right eye. She cannot read anymore, and finds it difficult to pay for items when shopping since she cannot see the money. When she cooks, she will often mix-up the ingredients. She shared that sometimes, when she is alone, she will cry and feels sad about her symptoms. She said, “When I cook, I will mix-up the ingredients because I cannot see clearly. Now I am no longer able to cook and I have also stopped cleaning as it is so hard to clean with my poor vision."

$769raised
Fully funded

Zin is a 15-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in Tak Province in Thailand. He and his sisters are all students. His father is an agriculture day laborer and his mother is a homemaker. In his free time, Zin likes to play football with his friends. He also helps his father with his work when he has time to earn pocket money. Early morning on December 28th, Zin and his friend rode out on his friend's motorcycle to the field to help Zin's father. While driving on the dirt road, Zin's friend suddenly lost control and their motorcycle slide off the road. Zin, who was sitting behind his friend, hit his leg against a metal post beside the road andthey both fell off the motorcycle. Currently, Zin is experiencing a lot of pain in his left thigh and hip. He cannot move his leg, walk, nor go to the bathroom by himself. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Zin will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The emergency procedure is scheduled for December 28th and will cost $1,500. This treatment will help Zin heal, regain mobility in his left leg, and live pain free. He will be able to take care of himself again without requiring help from others. Zin's mother said, "I was very worried when I learned that I would need to deposit a large amount of money so that my son could receive surgery. We do not even have enough money to buy enough food to last us until the end of the month. I really needed your help and I was extremely happy when I saw your staff and was told that donors could help pay for my son's treatment! Thank you in advance to all the donors and the organization for helping my son!"

$1,500raised
Fully funded