Michael joined Watsi on June 8th, 2016. Six years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation supported Gabriel, a 12 year old boy from Tanzania, to fund leg surgery so he can go to school.
Michael has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 13 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 13 countries.
Gabriel is a friendly and social 12-year-old boy, living in a remote Maasai community in Tanzania. Unlike his five siblings, Gabriel does not attend school because of a condition on his right leg. He is unable to walk the long distance required to get to school, and instead, he stays home. He used to help his parents tend to their livestock, but this has gotten more difficult. Gabriel was diagnosed with right genu valgus, a condition which often results from contaminated drinking water. His right leg bows inward, so that both of his knees touch. Because of pain and difficulty walking, Gabriel can no longer herd cattle or fetch water, or assist his parents in other ways. Gabriel needs surgery to correct his leg, so that he will be able to walk more easily and return to school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Gabriel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Gabriel's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Gabriel says: "I have wanted to join school, but I can’t walk every day to and from school with my leg."
Christian, who lives in the Philippines, is a hardworking father with a 7-month-old daughter. He works as an on-call waiter, while his wife is currently a student. With Christian’s limited income, he is worried about supporting all of his family’s needs and financing his medical treatment. In April, Christian was diagnosed with a hernia which requires surgery. Correcting the hernia will better enable Christian to find a new job and higher pay, and improve his ability to care for his family. With the help of our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, Christian is scheduled for surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital on May 3rd, for which they are requesting $1,130 to fund his procedure and care. “I always fail my physical exams because of my condition, and I'm burdened by it because, as a father, I need to support my family,” Christian shared. “This surgery will be a big help to our family so thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping,” he added.
Sokha is a 54-year-old womanwho has a calm, quiet presence. Her husband is a Khmer language teacher at primary school. They have one daughter, who is in the twelfth grade. Sokha's family is very important to her, so she spends much of her time cooking and cleaning, as well as with her close relatives. About thirty years ago, Sokha developed a severe ear infection, which caused her tympanic membrane, or eardrum, in her left ear to perforate. As a result, Sokha has experienced tinnitus and discharge for as long as she can remember, especially when she has a cold or upper respiratory infection. She has developed increased hearing loss and has difficulty communicating with others, as she needs to lip-read to make her replies. Sokha has visited treatment centers but shared that the medication is expensive and has not relieved her symptoms. Upon learning about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), Sokha traveled to their care center for treatment. On March 7th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear, and surgeons will close the perforation. CSC is requesting $464 to fund her procedure, which covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. After thirty years of symptoms, Soksa shared that she hopes she will have improved hearing and no more infections after her surgery!
Joseph is a friendly and playful six-year-old boy and the eldest in a family of four children. Joseph is currently in kindergarten, and he loves counting numbers. In his free time, he enjoys playing football. Joseph's parents raise livestock to make a living. When Joseph was three years old, he burned his left hand in a fire. Now, he has limited use of his left hand, because his fingers have contracted and he is unable to move them freely. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joseph receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him regain use of his hand. Now, he and his family need help raising $874 to fund his procedure and care. Joseph’s father shared, "it has been a bad season for livestock keepers and I am not able to afford the cost."
Julius is a 44-year-old man with two children. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Julius used to buy old clothes to sell, but the business was so greatly affected by the pandemic that he has had to search for other work to survive. He now takes on labor jobs at construction sites. Julius was in a hit-and-run accident where a driver lost control of the vehicle and hit him while walking along the side path. Julius was thrown over the car and sustained an open fracture on his left leg. As a result, he is experiencing pain and is at risk of developing an infection or malunion, which occurs when a fractured bone heals in an abnormal position. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Julius heal. On February 7th, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure known as an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery, Julius will no longer be in pain, and he will be able to walk and work again. AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Julius shared, “I depend on my legs because, for construction work, you have to climb. However, I thank God I am alive. I kindly request help so that my leg can get well. I can then go back to my hustles and sustain myself."
Dom is a 43-year-old woman who married with three daughters and one grandchild. Dom used to be a pottery maker but has been unable to work due to the pain she is experiencing. Dom makes pottery in her province of Cambodai, called Kampong Chhnang, which is known for its beautiful ceramics that are sold all over the country. Dom has been experiencing acute pain in her right hip for several weeks. The cause is unknown but, as a result of the pain, she is unable to walk and must use a wheelchair. Dom shared that she feels unwell, cannot sleep, and has lost her appetite. She visited her local hospital, where doctors diagnosed her condition as a fracture of the femoral neck and referred her to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. Fortunately, on January 5th, surgeons as CSC will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Dom of her pain and allow her to walk easily. CSC is requesting $1,087 to pay for Dom's procedure. Dom shared, "I hope the doctors will discover why I cannot walk and fix it. I want to be able to walk again, have no pain, and take care of my family."
Poe is a 45-year-old man who lives with his wife in a hut in a village in Myawaddy Township in Burma. Poe and his wife are agricultural day labourers, but he had to stop working two to three months ago, when his condition worsened. The income she earns is usually just enough to cover their daily expenses, but if she cannot find work, they have to borrow money to make ends meet. Around seven years ago, Poe got bamboo splinters in his left foot while working on a farm. He was able to pick out the splinters and applied traditional medicine to his foot, which healed. A little while later, he developed pain where he had the splinters before and went to a nearby clinic. A nurse checked his foot but told him that she could not find anything wrong with his foot. The nurse gave him pain medication and Poe went back home. After he took the medication, he felt better. Six or seven months later, his pain returned, and he also developed an infection. When he went back to the clinic, the nurse checked his foot and told him to go to a hospital since he signs of a severe infection. The nurse also gave him medication. He then went to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he had the ulcer cleaned with an antiseptic solution and was given medication. When he went home, he felt better. Two years ago, the pain and ulcer returned but in a larger area then previously. He went back to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he received an x-ray. He was told that his foot was infected due to his previous injury. His foot was cleaned again with an antiseptic solution, and he was given antibiotics. After he took the medication, he felt better again. Just a few months ago, Poe’s foot started to hurt again. However, he was not worried about his foot because the last time his foot had hurt, he had had the ulcers drained. When the pain and swelling increased in his foot, he was no longer able to work. Although he wanted to go to the hospital, he did not have enough money to go this time since he was not working. His brother then told him to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in nearby Mon State since it is more affordable. When Poe arrived at MCLH at the end of November, he was admitted after the doctor examined his foot. He received another x-ray and was told that the ulcers and an infection had spread to multiple areas. He was also told that because of how advanced his condition is, his foot could never heal fully, and the only option at this point was to amputate his foot. “I’ve been to many hospitals and clinics already,” said Poe. “The doctor told me that if I amputate my foot my condition will no longer return. So I am happy to go ahead with the procedure.” Currently, Poe’s left ankle and feet is swollen and painful. The pain is worse at night and when the temperature drops. He has multiple ulcers in his foot with discharge and he feels extremely uncomfortable. Some areas of his foot are itchy and painful while he has lost sensation in the top of his foot and areas around his ankle. Cannot put any weight on his left foot due to the pain and has to be pushed in a wheelchair since he arrived at MCLH. He's hopeful about feeling better soon and getting back to working. Poe shared, “In the future I want to buy one or two cows to breed and rear them to earn an income. I also want to grow and sell vegetables."
Jhonatan Mercado is a creative four-year-old from Venezuela. A year ago his family moved to Medellin in Colombia seeking for a better future for their kids. Jhonatan is an older brother in a family of two children, his little brother is one year old. Jhonatan he loves to play with his mom with Legos. He already loves soccer too. Jhonatan Mercado has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jhonatan Mercado's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1500 to fund Jhonatan Mercado's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without pain or further complications. His mother said "We are really glad that finally we found help, we have been in different treatments since he was 6 months old but now we have a lot of faith in this procedure and in Doctor Miguel."
Susan is a 59-year-old homemaker who together with her husband have five children. Unfortunately, her husband had a stroke and Susan is unemployed, so their family depends greatly on their land. For two months, Susan has been experiencing heavy bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine cancer, and she needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $755 to fund Susan's surgery. On September 15th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Susan will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Susan shared, "I am very scared because the doctor said I have cancer, but I trust in God and hope to see my tomorrow. Please plead for help on my behalf so that my life can be saved and I can continue caring for my family."
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.”