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 Dom, a traditional pottery maker from Cambodia, to fund hip replacement surgery so she can walk again.
Michael has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 12 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 12 countries.
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.”
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.”