Michael joined Watsi on June 8th, 2016. Five years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation supported Duncan, a strong and optimistic man from Kenya, for pain-relieving spinal fusion surgery.
Michael has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 11 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 11 countries.
Duncan is a 28 year old man who is currently single and unable to work due to his condition. Duncan experienced trauma in early 2010 after a road traffic accident that caused spine injury and hearing loss. At the time of the accident, Duncan had a loss of consciousness, memory loss, and was even paraplegic at one point. He also had tinnitus in his right ear but with earlier support from Watsi donors, he got a hearing aid fitted and can now communicate well. Duncan now walks on a crutch, however, his pain worsens with movement, and radiates to his lower limbs. Because of his condition, Duncan has been in and out of hospitals. He is supposed to visit the hospital regularly. For convenience, he currently lives with his relatives nearby in Nairobi. His parents are elderly farmers in his ancestral home in Kisii in rural Kenya. Duncan is currently struggling to walk. An MRI exam identified canal stenosis and bone degeneration, so doctors have recommended surgery. He is scheduled for L4/5, L5/S1 Decompression, and Spine Fusion to avert chances of being immobile for the rest of his life. The hospital is requesting $1,500 to perform his surgery and his health insurance coverage will not cover this care. He currently relies on well-wishers to pay for his medical bills. Duncan told us, “I cannot walk well without support. I am also in pain and very uncomfortable. I hope to get better soon.”
Queen is a six-year-old girl and the first born child in a family of two children. She and her younger brother are cared for by their grandparents as their mother sadly passed away in 2018 and their father is absent. Queen has been happily helping her grandmother with little home chores like washing dishes, sweeping the compound, and sometimes cooking. Both grandparents depend entirely on small scale farming of maize, vegetables, and bananas. As her name suggests, Queen is a nice and charming student who was to join first-grade early this year but unfortunately during the December holidays last year, she was involved in a painful fire accident. One day, Queen was helping her grandmother prepare porridge on a three stone fire place. Unknowingly, her dress caught on fire and badly injured her legs. Her wound healed, but burn scar contractures developed because of the tightened the skin around her legs. As a result, this has limited her ability to stand, walk, and enjoy her daily activities with her grandmother. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Queen receive treatment to relieve her pain. On August 5th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her walk again. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Queen’s uncle says: “She used to be the one helping her grandmother who has already aged up but with her condition right now her grandmother has to help her do everything. Please help my niece.”
Nuriya is 2-year-old toddler from Ethiopia who loves his mom and dad very much and always wants to be with them. Nuriya enjoys chatting and playing with his parents. Now he also has a three-month-old baby sister. His parents are working hard to raise them both. They shared that they went through a lot as a previous immigrant in Saudi Arabia and their family now decided to stay in their home country to raise a family and support it from their homeland. Nuriya's grandparents gave his parents a small piece of land that they are now farming. However, the fruit that they farm is only enough to maintain the daily needs of the family. Nuriya was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Nuriya is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nuriya was also born with another birth condition that Watsi donors supported for treatment and his family is tremendously grateful for support. Nuriya's mother is inspired by the care he is receiving, “I hope he will be a doctor in the future. Just as the doctor who treated him and changed his health in the past, I want him to grow and treat so many kids with sickness and disability.”
Olivia is a 3-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a small city in the north central part of Haiti. Her father works in a local hospital and her mother is a homemaker. She is their only child. Olivia has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Olivia will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On June 4th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in her heart with a patch, and dissect the blockage of her valve. Another organization, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $18,000 to pay for surgery. Olivia'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 Olivia's family overseas. From father: "Our family will pray for everyone who is helping to save our daughter's life."
Emmanuel is a newborn baby and the second child in his family. His mother used to sell maize in a market near their home before she gave birth to Emmanuel. After giving birth, she hasn't yet returned to her business since she has been taking care of Emmanuel. They shared that his father works on a construction site and the daily work is hard to come by. Since birth, Emmanuel has had a left inguinal hernia. If not treated, the hernia may result in intestinal tissue damage or even death. Fortunately, on May 8th, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $444 to fund Emmanuel's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Emmanuel’s mother says, “As a family, it is very hard for us to raise money for Emmanuel’s surgery due to our poor financial capabilities. Any financial help offered to us will be highly appreciated.”
Htoo is a 6-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Burma. Htoo and his siblings were born in the refugee camp. Htoo’s mother is a homemaker, while Htoo’s older brother and sisters go to primary school and Htoo attends kindergarten. His father used to work as a day labourer, but has been unemployed since the pandemic began. Currently, they have no income and receive some financial support for their daily expenses. Luckily, Htoo's family receives free basic healthcare and education in the camp. In late October 2020, Htoo was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. If he stands up for a short period of time, or walks, the right side of his private area will swell. Around twice a week, Htoo shares with his parents that this area is hurting him and he feels uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htoo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Htoo's father shared, “Most of the time, my son is very active and playful. He will only rest when he complains about the pain.”
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is 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, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”
James is a very playful and jovial boy. He loves to play with his friends and, his grandmother shared, they would play with anything because toys are hard to come by. One day James and his friends found a calabash and chose to play with it. While they were playing, one of them took the calabash and threw it to James. The calabash hit James at his right hip and he fell down. He struggled to stand up and immediately started limping and crying out of pain. He was rushed home to his grandmother where she took him to a nearby facility. James was given some pain medication and then sent home. His grandmother shared that a few days down the line his situation was not getting any better and he could not walk. James's grandmother sourced some funds and brought him to Kijabe Hospital for examination. Upon review, the doctor requested scans to develop a treatment plan, but due to lack of money to pay for the scan, his grandmother decided to go back home and look for money. While at home, it was took her a long time to raise the required amount for the scans. One day their church pastor visited to check on how they are adapting to life after the death of James’s mother. During the visit, he noticed that James was barely moving. He was concerned and asked his grandmother what was wrong. James's grandmother explained what happened and the current situation they are in. The pastor brought James back to Kijabe Hospital for the scans. When the doctor reviewed the scans, they immediately admitted James as an emergency case and a surgery was done helping to save his leg. During a regular clinic follow-up yesterday, his doctor noticed that the wound was oozing and was concerned about an infection. An x-ray was done and showed that his leg again needs emergency surgery to treat his condition. James is the youngest of four children. His father separated with his mother, and left James and his siblings to his mother. A few years later, James's mother died and his grandmother has taken full responsibility of the four children. To earn a living, his grandmother does laundry and ploughs farms for their neighbors. She does not have another source of income. James's first surgery was supported by Friends of Kijabe Hospital, but his grandmother is appealing for financial help for the surgery that is now needed for James. James’ grandmother shared, “At home after the first surgery, I was very happy to see James slowly trying to play with his friends again. Those were happy moments that I never thought James would experience again. I am requesting for financial help to put back a smile on his face."
Jenipher is a 48-year-old mother of three from Kenya. She is married and lives in Umoja area in Nairobi County. In August 2020, Jenipher started experiencing heavy bleeding. She visited a hospital in Umoja, where the doctor suggested that the bleeding may be a result of menopause. She was put on medication for hormonal imbalance and hematinic for blood cell production. Unfortunately, the bleeding continued, so she was referred by a friend to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Nazareth Hospital. There, Jenipher had an ultrasound, which unfortunately showed that she had a cervical mass. The gynaecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. However, this procedure is very costly for Jenipher and her family. Currently, they depend on her husband’s income from his small business as a carpenter. Since she was let go from her job as a school secretary due to the school's bankruptcy, Jenipher has tried her hand in several small businesses. Lately, she is unable to do much because the bleeding leaves her feeling very drained and uncomfortable. She hopes to get better and help her 20-year-old daughter start a boutique business that can supplement their family’s income. If left untreated, Jenipher's bleeding will continue and may lead to severe anaemia. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $755 to fund Jenipher's surgery. On October 30th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Jenipher will be able to resume her daily activities free of fatigue and pain. Jenipher shared, “I am hopeful that surgery will help me get better so that my daughter and I can start a small boutique business to enable us to take care of my grandchild.”
Debora is a three-weeks-old beautiful baby girl and the firstborn child to her young parents. Both parents are small-scale farmers and depend fully on what they harvest for their daily living. Debora was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Debora is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Debora's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd. This procedure will hopefully spare Debora from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Debora’s mother shared with us, “Please help my daughter I am scared. I would love to see my daughter grow up into a big girl but this condition is putting her life at risk.”
Sinzo is a cheerful girl from Tanzania. She is seven years old and is the youngest in her family of seven children. Her parents separately when she was about three years old and she has been living with her mother ever since. Sinzo has a mass on the left side of her chest, which has caused her pain, and she shared makes her feel sad and crying when the pain starts. When she is not feeling the pain, she always wants to help her mother with home chores like washing dishes and cooking. Sinzo also wants to play with other kids, but from past experiences her mother says other kids pick on her and most of the time hurt her, so she prefers she stay home. She said she does this trying to protect her from the discrimination she is going through. Due to this her mother also decided not to take her to school since she doesn't want her daughter to be discriminated against. Sinzo's condition is congenital as her mother shared that she was born with a small swelling on the left side of her chest too. The doctors at the local hospital where she was delivered advised them not to worry and give her time to grow so that they can see if there is a need for surgery. When she was two years old, her mass had grown significantly and made Sinzo really uncomfortable and caused her a lot of pain. Her mother tried to ask Sinzo's father to find means to take her to hospital, but she shared that the father never showed any plans or took action. Sinzo's mother kept asking for the father’s support, but this lead to violence in their family and eventually Sinzo's mother decided to leave her husband’s home. She left with Sinzo and moved back to her parents’ home. Sinzo's mother depends on small-scale farming to be able to support herself and her daughter. Sinzo's mother says she has tried seeking help for her daughter from their local hospital but they were sent to the referral hospital and with very little income she has never been able to do so. Through our Medical Partner's outreach team, they learned of Sinzo's condition and helped connect her to treatment. She has now been scheduled for surgery and her mother is requesting funding support. Sinzo’s mother says, “It hurts me to see my daughter in this state, please help fund my daughter’s treatment cost as I am not able to find such an amount of money.”