M

Michael Woerlen

MONTHLY DONOR

Germany

Michael's Story

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.

Impact

Michael has funded healthcare for 12 patients in 8 countries.

All patients funded by Michael

Moe

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.”

74% funded

74%funded
$1,119raised
$381to go
Su

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!”

66% funded

66%funded
$1,002raised
$498to go
Paw

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."

72% funded

72%funded
$1,086raised
$413to go
Antony

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."

100% funded

$512raised
Fully funded