Michael joined Watsi on July 29th, 2013. Twelve months ago, Michael became the 5353rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 648 more people have become monthly donors! Michael's most recent donation traveled 3,900 miles to support Edwin, an aspiring engineer from Kenya, to fund a mobility restoring surgery on his foot.
Michael has funded healthcare for 17 patients in 10 countries.
Edwin is a fifteen year old boy from Kenya. He was brought by his mother to a medical camp organized by our partner hospital, Cure International. He is in the eighth grade and very bright. His mother is a housewife while the father is a mason. Edwin was born with a condition known as hemiplegia, a weakness that results from damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle movements. This damage may occur before, during or shortly after birth. Therefore, the entire left side of his body is weak and he cannot see with his left eye. He is currently not able to walk and he keeps falling. The condition is worsening and lowering his self-esteem which is affecting his schoolwork. He is an aspiring engineer but is worried that the condition will hinder him from achieving his goals. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. They are now requesting your help to fund this $1,224 surgery that will repair a congenital foot deformity. “My prayer is for my son to receive help, undergo the surgery, and continue with his life like other children. I would love to see him healthy and able to pursue his dream. I would greatly appreciate any kind of help,” Edwin’s mother shared.
Elimlim is the oldest in a family of three children. He and his siblings depend on their mother because their father passed away in 2019. They live together in a single traditional Masai house made of mud, sticks, and grass. He is currently a full-time student and his healthcare would normally be covered by his university, but due to COVID-19 he is no longer receiving those benefits. In 2017, Elilim was hit by a stray bullet during a school shooting. Since then, he has undergone a series of surgeries to repair his fractured leg. Now, Elimlim has to undergo another bone transport surgery in order for him to walk again. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. They are requesting $1,500 to help fund the cost of his surgery and care. We need your help to cover the cost of his treatment. This life-changing surgery will significantly improve Elimlim's quality of life. "I will be happy to get well so that my whole family does not have to take care of me anymore," shared Elimlim.
Patrick is a motorbike taxi operator from Kenya. He is the firstborn child in a family of 6 children. He lives with his grandmother as his mother’s rented space is too small for the entire family. He did not proceed with higher education due to financial challenges. His mother separated with his father so she is raising their family and Patrick used to rely on his motorcycle business to make ends meet. A week ago, Patrick was involved in a motorcycle accident suffering facial bruises and a right femur fracture. He is in pain and unable to stand on his own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 26th, Patrick will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Patrick says, “Thank you for assisting me. I am hopeful that soon my leg will be fixed.”
Yosephe is a young boy from Ethiopia. He is shy but he loves to play with toys with his two sisters and his mom. His dad is a farmer and a daily laborer with a small plot of land. His mom is also a farmer and they farm their land together. Their harvest is limited to feed the family throughout the year and the father works other hard labor to support his family. Yosephe was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Yosephe has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Yosephe will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 7th. AMHF is requesting $717 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Yosephe’s father said, “I am a poor farmer. But I hope my child will be much better with education and a good career. I hope he will lead his life in good health and have a better quality of life.”
Keang is a 37-year-old factory worker from Cambodia. She is married with a daughter and her husband works as a construction worker. She enjoys doing her housework, cooking, and taking care of her daughter. Ten years ago, she went to the river to look for snails for food. When she was dunking in deep water her right ear filled with water. Since that day she has had ear discharge and pain. Keang also had a serious ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her right ear to perforate. For this reason, Keang experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and hearing loss. She cannot communicate clearly with others or fully perform her job at the factory. Keang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 23rd, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that my sister will able to hear clearly with no infection so she can feel better and do her job well," Keang's sister said.
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.