Michael joined Watsi on July 29th, 2013. Seven months ago, Michael became the 5353rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 475 more people have become monthly donors! Michael's most recent donation traveled 5,400 miles to support Moe, a refugee from Thailand, to fund surgery for an ovarian tumor.
Michael has funded healthcare for 12 patients in 8 countries.
Moe is a 31-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and four-year-old son in Mae La Refugee Camp (MLRC) in Tha Song Yang District of Tak Province. She has lived there for 20 years after her parents moved from Bilin Township, Bago Division in Burma because of the civil war. Moe is a homemaker who does all the household chores while her husband is a farmer who works on rented land outside of the camp, where he plants corn and beans. To make some extra income, Moe also sells snacks from home. Their combined income is enough to cover basic family expenses. As for healthcare, they receive free basic care in the camp provided by International Rescue Committee (IRC). A few months ago, Moe started to feel a mass in her lower abdomen while she was lying down after eating dinner. She thought it was strange and told her neighbor about it the next day. Her neighbor told her that this was normal for someone gaining weight, which she suggested Moe was. Upon hearing this, she did not seek treatment, agreeing with her neighbor’s conclusion. However, she soon felt that the mass was increasing in size, which did not seem normal. On February 13th, 2020, she decided it was time to go to the clinic in the camp for further investigation. The medic at the camp examined to her and told her that she likely had a cyst in her lower abdomen, but they could not diagnose her further. The medic informed the doctor at the camp and the doctor discussed the situation with IRC staff, who then referred Moe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. She was referred to MSH on February 17th for an ultrasound. Upon going to MSH, doctors performed an ultrasound and told her that she has a mass in her uterus. Since the mass was already large, however, the ultrasound did not show a clear result whether the mass was outside or inside her uterus. For this reason, the doctor recommended a computed tomography (CT) scan on February 25th. Moe returned home and came back to MSH for the CT scan according to the appointment date. On the day of the scan, she also received a blood test and urine test before being informed that she would have to come back on February 27th to get the results. When she returned, the doctor explained to her that there is a large tumor in her right ovary and that she needs surgery to remove it, followed by a tissue biopsy to confirm whether the growth is cancerous. Currently, Moe has a burning pain in her lower right abdomen. Sometimes the pain gets worse, which makes it difficult for her sleep or eat well. For this reason, she said that she lost her appetite and weight. When she eats, she feels discomfort as her stomach becomes tight and full, even she eats very little. She feels like the mass is gradually getting bigger and she feels more comfortable lying down instead of sitting or walking. Moe sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 24th and is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Moe said, “Both my husband and I became worried when we heard that there was mass in my uterus. We worry that my whole uterus might need to be removed and we will no longer be able to have more children. Now, the doctor told me that only the tumor will be removed and that I most likely will be able to have children in the future. Me and my husband want to have one or two more children, so we were very happy when we heard that my uterus would not to be removed.”
Su is a 43-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and four-year-old son in Shwe Pyi Thar Township in Burma. Her husband works as a day laborer at a construction site while she does all the household chores. Su was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of her mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. In 2010, Su started to experience severe coughing so she went to see a doctor at Tun Foundation Clinic in Yangon. The doctor noticed that she has abnormal breathing and told her that she has a heart problem and she would not be able to have baby. The doctor also provided her with three days’ worth of medication and suggested she go to Yangon General Hospital (YGH) to meet with a cardiologist. The next day, she went to YGH and she received an echocardiogram and x-ray. Following this, the doctor told her that she would need surgery right away. She was told that the surgery would cost around five million kyat (approx. 5,000 USD) but she could not afford to pay such a large sum. When she told the doctor this, she received medication to stabilize her heart condition and was provided with a follow-up appointment. In 2015, she started to feel tired whenever she walked for more than 10 minutes or if she used the stairs. She went back to Tun Foundation Clinic where she received medications to stabilize her condition. Currently, she cannot sleep or eat well. She also suffers from fatigue and rapid breathing. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Su. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Su said, “I worry a lot that I will have a stroke if I do not take my medication daily. But it is had for my husband to come up with money [for my medication]. I want to live long with my family. When I talked to Watsi's partner BCMF, I felt like I had been released from the worry of paying for my surgery. Thank you so much!”
John is a peasant farmer from central Kenya. Seven years ago, he was riding a motorcycle as a passenger when they were involved in a road accident. The other rider died while John was fortunate to survive. However, he suffered a severe right tibia fracture that was managed with an implant weeks later. His condition improved until 2017 when he fell and the same fractured area was impacted. The treatment he received developed infections last October and John was recommended to have bone transport surgery to correct the condition. He now requires second stage bone transport as part of the treatment and John is not able to provide the funds for the planned surgery. John is not able to ambulate easily and without prompt intervention, he might suffer fracture infections. John relies on his ancestral piece of land to make ends meet. Currently, his wife is the sole bread winner of the family. The father of three children lives in his ancestral land. His eldest child is educated by his brother since he is not able to fund all their needs. John says, “I am hopeful that soon I will be able to care for my children and walk with ease.”
On May 28th 2019, Min was playing tag with his friend in front of his house, when he decided to climb up a tree. Unfortunately, the tree was slippery due to the rainy season, and Min slipped and fell out of the tree. At first, he was able to stand on his right leg, but he was not able to walk. When Min’s mother heard the news, she immediately came to see him. In the morning, his mother and grandmother rented a car and brought him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). The staff at MTC then sent him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an X-ray, which indicated that his left femur was broken. After they received the results of his X-ray, MTC referred Min to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for help in accessing the treatment he needed. On May 31st, Min underwent surgery to place a metal rod into his leg. He was discharged from the hospital on June 5th. Within the past two months, Min returned to MSH for three follow-up visits. At his most recent follow-up, he was told his prognosis was good, and he was scheduled for surgery to remove the metal rod on January 2nd, 2020. “I feel normal again,” he said. “I’m no longer in pain. I can walk, sit, and take a shower by myself again. Before, I couldn’t do anything. I could only lay on my back and watch as people around me had to do everything. After my second surgery I want to work with my older brother in the factory.”
Paw is a 62-year-old widow from Thailand. She lives with her older brother in Thaw Lae Hta Village, Mae Sariang Town, Mae Hong Son Province. Paw has works as a homemaker taking care of her brother who cannot work due to congenital mental and physical disabilities. Paw has a younger sister in the same town who supports her financially and is her main source of income. Since 2014, Paw has been experiencing some abnormal pain in her right lower abdomen. She has been diagnosed with a myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Paw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Paw is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Paw will no longer abdominal pain and she will be able to take care of her brother. Paw said, "Since 2019, I have been experiencing increased levels of pain in my right lower abdomen, increased back pain, and difficulty sleeping. Riding a motorbike aggravates the pain even more. I also experience dysuria and sometimes it takes me longer to use the bathroom. My appetite is good, but I cannot eat as much as I want because I experiences abdominal tightness, difficulty breathing, and fullness in my stomach when I eat too much."
Lily is a young girl from Tanzania. Lily is a playful and friendly girl, the fifth born in a family of six children. She is in kindergarten. Lilly walks with difficulties due to the genu valgus condition. Her parents noticed Lily's knocked knees, that had changed her walking style. Unable to seek better treatment plan for her, the parents decided to pray for her. Unfortunately, nothing was changing. Lily's uncle referred them to a facility near their village, before being referred to our hospital. Upon review, Lily was diagnosed with genu valgus and a distal femoral osteotomy surgery recommended. Upon successful treatment, Lily will be able to walk with ease and regain an upright gait. Lily comes from a humble background. Her parents are peasant farmers relying on their small piece of land to earn a living. They delayed taking Lily to the hospital due to financial lack. The mother is afraid that without money, she still will not be able to afford care for her beloved girl. They appeal for help Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Lily. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 11. Treatment will hopefully restore Lily's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Lily’s mother says, “I would love to see my daughter’s legs normal but we are unable to afford the cost, kindly help her.”
Peter is a young student from Kenya. For three years, Peter has had an inguinal hernia. This condition causes him pain and discomfort. Fortunately, on August 7, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $423 to fund Peter's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “I want to be an engineer when I grow up," says Peter.
Antony is an 11-month-old boy from Guatemala. He was born prematurely, and since birth he has experienced frequent illness. He has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. This means he has little energy to grow, and his immune system is weak and vulnerable to illness. He is also at risk of chronic disease and delayed development. Fortunately, Antony began malnutrition treatment on November 14, 2016. Antony lives with his parents and grandparents in rural Guatemala. He is an active baby who likes to crawl and play with his neighbor. His father works odd jobs to support the family. While his parents want the best for their son, their resources are already stretched thin. They cannot afford to pay for Antony's $512 treatment. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Antony recover. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age, and his immune system will grow stronger. Community health workers will teach his mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet from limited resources. Treatment will give Antony a chance to grow healthy and strong. "Sometimes I despair because I don't what to do with him," says Antony's mother. "That is why I turn to you all, to ask for your help so that my son can get better. I'm grateful for what you will do for my son, because when he is big I want him to be a doctor and attend to patients."
Ricardo has hydrocephalus, a condition that causes excess fluid to build up in the brain causing life-threatening seizures, fever, and brain swelling. Ricardo’s young mother is a cosmetology student who works hard providing beauty services in her community to support her son. "Ricardo is my first child and I don’t want to lose him,” she says. “I feel very grateful to the hospital for their help." With our support of $1,260, doctors at our partner hospital will perform surgery on Ricardo to drain the excess fluid from his brain. This procedure will alleviate Ricardo's symptoms and allow his head to grow into a normal shape. If Ricardo doesn't receive the surgery, more fluid will build on his brain causing harmful side effects. Let's help Ricardo get the surgery he needs to grow up healthy!
Meet Lizzy, an extraordinary woman who lives in a small village in western Panama. She has 13 children, and is also a grandmother, and a great grandmother, Lizzy is the matriarch of her family. Since bearing so many children, she now lives with an umbilical hernia - where parts of her intestines are pushed through the abdominal muscles and bulge out under her skin. Every time Lizzy carries something, uses the bathroom, coughs, or even sits, she is in discomfort. If the blood supply to the herniated intestines is constricted, she is at risk of life-threatening complications. Lizzy has been living with this condition for 10 years, and has not been able to afford proper medical care. For $1200, our medical partners at Floating Doctors will perform a surgical repair of her umbilical hernia and provide follow-up medical care. Her doctor says, “This care will allow Lizzy to be free from constant pain, free from the constant risk of strangulation of her bowels, and free to concentrate on spending time with her large family and continuing to be the guiding presence in their lives.”
Kalu is a 16-year-old girl who recently fell from a tree while she was collecting leaves for her family's cattle. She fractured her hip and broke a tooth in the fall. Kalu's family farms for a living but they must often supplement their income by taking on hard labor jobs, like carrying sand for construction sites. Kalu's brother took out a loan just to get her to the hospital, but the family cannot afford the treatment she needs to recover properly. Kalu is in a lot of pain and has difficulty moving her right leg. Surgery can correct her fracture and allow Kalu to avoid long-term deformity and disability. After she recovers, Kalu hopes to continue to help her family and complete her education. She is studying in grade seven and is looking forward to advancing to at least grade ten. Let's help Kalu live without pain so she can pursue her dreams!
Topiwo is a 17-year-old boy who lives with his mother, father, and siblings in Tanzania. Topiwo is hardworking and energetic but has difficulty walking due to a condition called bilateral genu valgus, commonly known as "knock knees." This condition increases Topiwo's risk of early osteoarthritis and can only be corrected by surgery. Topiwo loves animals and enjoys looking after his father's cattle. Although Topiwo has only completed primary school, he dreams of continuing his education so that he can become a veterinarian. Topiwo's parents are subsistence farmers and must spend their earnings on supporting their family. For $500, we can fund Topiwo's operation and enable him to walk normally and live a healthy life.