Michael joined Watsi on July 29th, 2013. One year ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 3,900 miles to support Faith, a beautiful four-month-old baby from Kenya, to fund spinal surgery to prevent future complications so she can grow in good health.
Michael has funded healthcare for 35 patients in 10 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 35 patients in 10 countries.
Faith is a beautiful four-month-old baby from Kenya. She is the youngest of two children. To support their family, her mother is a stay-at-home mom, and her father herds and sells cattle. Faith was born at home with several congenital conditions. Her parents took her to a nearby facility for examination, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and clubfoot. They were referred to another facility where a medical device, called a shunt, was used to help treat the hydrocephalus, draining the excess fluid from her brain. On discharge, the hospital referred her and her family to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, where Faith was examined and scheduled for spina bifida repair surgery. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Faith 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 $1,151 to cover the cost of Faith's spina bifida closure surgery. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 13th. This procedure will hopefully spare Faith from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Faith’s father says, “When I saw the problems that my child has, I was worried that she would never receive treatment. I am hopeful she will receive treatment with your help.”
Thi is a 37-year-old woman who lives and works at a garment factory in Tak Province near the Thai border with Burma. Through her work, she receives free meals and board in addition to 4,000 baht (approx. 133 USD) per month. In her free time, she likes to watch political news and read books. She is also learning Thai to help her communicate with others in Thailand. Since April 17, Thi has been experiencing severe pain due to a mass in her ovary. She feels very unwell and often has a headache. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumor and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thi's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thi is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on June 14th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Thi will be no longer in pain and will be able to work without feeling pain. Thi said, "I want to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can return to my work after I am fully recovered."
Jamesly is an 11-year-old boy who lives with his parents and older brother in Haiti. He shared that he likes to play with his friends. Jamesly has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, increasing intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Jamesly has developed headaches, and he is unable to walk. Without treatment, Jamesly will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Jamesly at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only hospital in the country where Jamesly can receive the treatment that is critical to resolving his hydrocephalus. This life-changing surgery is scheduled for May 12th, and it should allow Jamesly to develop into a strong and healthy young man. His family is hopeful the surgery will enable Jamesly to go back to school, and be able to play with his friends.
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
Glory lives with her grandmother in the village to attend school, while her four younger siblings live with her parents in the city. She is currently in form four and would like to be newscaster when she completes her studies. Last December, Glory developed an infection on her right hand. This affected her studies to some extent, but she was determined to go to school to complete her final year. However, the wound has now contracted as it healed, making her unable to straighten her fingers. This injury has made it difficult to hold a pen well enough to write, but she has continued her studies as best as she can. Glory's family learned that she needs surgery to heal her condition and to be able to fully use her hand in the future. Her father could not afford the cost of the surgery out of his wages earned in his construction job. But, when he heard about the visiting plastic surgery team over the radio, he decided to seek help. Now, African Mission Healthcare is seeking support to fund her surgery, which will allow her better mobility in her hand. Glory says, “It was hard for me to accept that my finger would need to be amputated but the surgeons have assured me that it will help me use my other fingers better making carrying out daily activities easier than now. Especially in my studies.”
Naw Hser is a 47-year-old woman who lives with her older brother, her two daughters, two son-in-laws, two grandsons and one granddaughter in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Everyone in Naw Hser’s family is currently unemployed since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late March 2020, when their refugee camp was placed under lockdown. Making things harder, the price of food has increased so the monthly 2,050 baht (approx. 68 USD) support they receive on a cash card is not enough to purchase necessities. By the end of each month, they have to purchase food from the shop on credit, which they try to pay back at the end of the month. They also grow vegetables in their neighbour’s garden, sharing the food they grow with them. This has made funding for medical care for their family very limited right now. In early 2019, Naw Hser started to become very tired when she walked short distances. She also experiences back and lower abdominal pain almost every day. This has impacted her appetite and she has lost weight over the past year. She shared that she cannot sleep at night because of the pain and because of the stress she feels about her condition. She is worried it is not treatable and her family feels sad seeing her in pain. Naw Hser has been diagnosed with uterine myoma. She has been advised by her doctor to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Naw Hser's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Naw Hser is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on January 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and she will be able to get back to more of her normal life. Once Naw Hser recovers, she is looking forward to being able to live happily with her family as she wishes. Naw Hser said, “I want to live happily with my children and look after my grandchildren. Now, my daughters do not want me to cook or wash clothes for my grandchildren anymore. They want me to rest because of my condition. They really feel sad when they see me in pain and sometimes, I also cannot control my tears when I see them cry. I really want to have surgery to recover.”
Da is a 67-year-old man who lives with his wife and son in a village on the border area of Thailand. Da cannot work since his vision deteriorated three years ago and his wife is a homemaker. His son works as a day labourer getting work when he can. In his free time, Da shared that he likes to listen to gospel songs. Starting three years ago, Da's right pupil gradually turned white. The vision in his eye also blurred over time. When he went to Mae Sot Hospital, the doctor diagnosed him with cataracts in both his eyes and told him he would need surgery to be able to see clearly again. The doctor scheduled him to receive surgery for his right eye first on December 28th. Currently, Da cannot see anything and can only perceive light. He needs someone to guide him to the bathroom and help him take a shower because he cannot see. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Da. Doctors can perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Da's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Da said, "I feel like I am in the darkness as I cannot see now. I hope that I will be able to see after surgery."
Marvens is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He enjoys going to school and would like to continue to university and study business in the future. Marvens has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Marvens will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment as it is not available within Haiti. On November 26th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for surgery. Marvens'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 Marvens's family overseas. Marvens wanted to share: "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal my heart so that I can be normal and healthy."
Kyaw is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his mother and two older brothers in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Kyaw is a student in grade two but unfortunately, due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in camp, all schools in the camp have been closed since July 1st. His oldest brother is unemployed and his mother is homemaker. Kyaw’s family receives 1,240 baht (approx. 41.30 USD) per month which is just enough for their monthly expenses. Kyaw’s mother also grows vegetables in a small garden just for themselves. In his free time, Kyaw like to watches movies and play with his friends. Kyaw also like to watch and listen to fairy tales before he falls asleep. At noon on October 24th, Kyaw climbed a tamarind tree to collect its fruits, carrying a bag with his favorite toy inside. He hung the bag on a tree branch, but his toy fell out when he accidentally bumped into his bag with his shoulder. While climbing down to retrieve his toy, his foot slipped, and he fell out of the tree onto his right arm. He immediately experienced severe pain in his right wrist and saw that it looked deformed. The next day, International Rescue Committee (IRC) referred Kyaw and his mother to nearby Mae Sot Hospital. There Kyaw received an x-ray and a doctor told Kyaw and his mother that Kyaw’s right wrist was fractured and that he would need to undergo surgery for it to heal properly. Currently, Kyaw is experiencing severe pain in his right hand, and his right wrist is swollen and looks deformed. He cannot grab anything with his right hand, and he cannot raise his arm above his head. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Kyaw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for October 27th and will cost $1,500. This treatment will help Kyaw be able to use his hand again and he will no longer be in pain after surgery. Kyaw said, “I am so happy to receive support from the organization and I am thankful to the donors who will support me. I am so happy to have a chance to undergo surgery to repair my wrist. I want my hand to heal and be like before so that I can grab anything I want to.”
Nin is a 27-year-old rainy day farmer from Cambodia. He has 3 older sibling. Nin shared that he enjoys playing volleyball, football, fishing, and plays chess with his friends. In July 2021, Nin was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a mandible injury and paralysis of his shoulder. After the accident, he had his mandible fixed at a local government hospital. He was also diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Nin still has no shoulder abduction, no elbow or wrist flexion, and has no sensation at the level of his forearm. Nin needs nerve reconstruction surgery to repair the injured nerves. Nin traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 6th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Nin hopes that he can use his hand again as soon as possible.
Naw Lah is a 24-year-old woman who lives in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. She is 40 weeks pregnant with her first child. She recently went into labor and was brought to our medical partner's care center by Malteser International (MI) Thailand staff. The doctor there initially expected her to deliver the baby vaginally, but when labor stopped progressing, the obstetrician suspected that her baby was in distress. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Naw Law to deliver her baby safely. On August 25th, she will undergo an emergency C-Section at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care.
Lucy is a 31-year-old preschool teacher and a mother of two children. Her husband is a boda boda taxi driver who earns about two dollars a day, and the family lives together in their ancestral home. In June 2021, Lucy sustained a vertebral fracture and was admitted to the hospital for observation and spinal decompression. She underwent spine surgery and was discharged back home. At a follow-up appointment, doctors noticed that she was having difficulties breathing and walking, and that her surgical wound was infected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Lucy receive treatment for the infection. On July 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help her heal and prevent sepsis. Now, Lucy needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Lucy shared, “I am unable to walk and even stopped working due to my condition. I need the surgery to be able to recover and get back to normal.”