Michael ScheinholtzUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Michael's Story

Michael joined Watsi on April 19th, 2013. Four years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 9,000 miles to support Edina, a hardworking mother of seven from Malawi, to fund thyroid surgery.

Impact

Michael has funded healthcare for 138 patients in 14 countries.

Patients funded by Michael

Edina, a 41-year-old mother of seven, works as a vegetable seller, earning about $2.97 per day for her family's upkeep. She finds joy interacting with her customers and has a fondness for chicken and nsima, a Malawian staple porridge made from maize flour. Four years ago, Edina discovered a small, painless swelling on the right side of her neck. After seeking medical advice at a nearby hospital, she was diagnosed with goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland. She was instructed to wait for an opportunity for surgery, but her condition has worsened, causing breathlessness, neck pain, and difficulty lifting heavy objects. This has affected her work capacity and resulted in a decrease in income. Inspired by a fellow community member's journey to seek help, Edina visited our medical partner's care facility, Partners in Hope Medical Centre, where a surgeon reconfirmed the need for a thyroidectomy, the surgical removal of all or part of your thyroid gland. Faced with financial hardships, Edina is seeking support for her surgery treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Edina receive treatment. On March 20th, surgeons at PIH will perform a thyroidectomy to relieve her symptoms and help her resume her vegetable business at full capacity. Now, Edina needs help to fund this $1,015 procedure. Edina says, “I feel so fortunate to get the opportunity for support. Thank you so much, I believe surgery will help me get back to normal life."

$336raised
$679to go

Babi is a cute toddler from Ethiopia. He is an only child and loves to play with toy cars; he pushes the toy making the sound 'uuuuuvvvv', saying it's a car. His father, who has a 5th-grade education, used to work in the horticulture industry as a laborer, but he lost his wife a year back to tuberculosis and has been trying to balance everything on his own. After his mom's death, Babi had no one to take care of him besides his dad, so his dad decided to leave his job to take care of his child and try to get him the necessary treatment. Babi experienced a bowel obstruction, and he got three surgeries at Negele Arsi General Hospital, but he still had complications with his bowel. There is a small window for corrective surgery, but colostomy closure is preferred since the opening is too small. Babi's father has suffered with the whole process and feels he is highly affected psychologically as Babi cannot make a stool in a normal way. Earlier, Babi underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Babi's case, his colostomy requires closure to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,009 to cover Babi's colostomy closure cost. Once completed, he can grow up more comfortably and confidently. Babi's dad said, "After he gets the treatment and heals, I hope he will go to school and lead a good life in the future."

$1,009raised
Fully funded

Linah, a baby girl from Arusha, was born with clubfoot, a condition characterized by the foot being twisted out of shape. To provide her with an opportunity for a healthy and active life, medical intervention is necessary. Unfortunately, her parents, who are self-employed, are unable to shoulder the financial weight of her treatment. Linah's mother earns a living by selling vegetables at the local market, while her father supports the family through small-scale farming. Despite their modest income, they are determined to provide the best possible future for their children. Linah has an older brother who is just one year old, and her parents are acutely aware of the potential lifelong consequences of untreated clubfoot. They believe that pursuing early treatment will allow Linah to grow up without enduring any disabilities or the social impact. Her father's personal experience influenced the decision to bring Linah to our medical partner's care center: Plaster House. He was also once treated at the facility, and the positive outcome of his treatment has instilled confidence in their family regarding Plaster House's expertise and commitment to providing quality care. Linah's mother wishes to see her daughter receive the same level of treatment and care that her spouse received in the past. However, due to the family's limited financial resources, they cannot afford the costs associated with Linah's treatment. Thankfully, Linah had the opportunity to visit Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, our medical partner's care center. On June 13th, skilled surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery for her. Our medical partner is seeking $935 to cover the costs of Linah's treatment. Following the intervention, she will be able to lead a rewarding life without the burdens imposed by clubfoot. Linah’s mother says, "I wish for my daughter to get good care and the best treatment that will give her a chance to live a life free from disability."

$935raised
Fully funded

Denis is a 22-year-old motorbike driver - the third born in a family of six. His parents separated and now he lives with his mother. He shared that he dropped out of school in grade seven because his parents were not in a position to provide for all of them. His other siblings have been adopted by family members. Denis is single and is hoping to marry when he has a stable income. Currently, he is employed riding a motorbike as a taxi and his daily income is not always guaranteed. Denis needs to undergo surgery so that he can continue doing his normal activities and also reach his desired life of having a stable income and a family. When Denis visiting our medical partner's hospital, he was walking with a crutch and could not put any weight on his left leg. He had an x-ray film that showed a complete fracture of his left femur. His condition causes him pain and he is unable to continue with his work. Denis' family is not in a position to pay the medical fees, and his treatment will be a big financial burden to them. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 13, Denis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Denis needs to undergo surgery so that he can continue doing his normal activities and also reach his desired life of having a stable income and a family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Denis says, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties. I really look forward to getting well so that I can fully depend on myself as before.”

$1,145raised
Fully funded

Angela is a 32-year-old woman from Kenya. She is a single mother to four children between the ages of 4 and 13 years old. Her husband left to marry another woman, and Angela works hard to provide for her children. She was fetching firewood to sell to hotels and homes but became too ill to carry out this work. She also worked in a hotel as a cleaner, but the income was insufficient for their needs. Now, after taking her children to school, Angela stays in the area to carry water and wash clothes for residents. She also receives some financial support from her family. Angela shared that life has been challenging, but she is thankful to be alive and raising support for her treatment needs. Angela first met our medical partner's surgical team during a medical camp they hosted in her hometown a few months ago. During that visit, she was diagnosed with a non-toxic multinodular goiter. Angela’s symptoms began a few years back, including experiencing swelling on her neck and difficulty eating, swallowing, and breathing. She cannot sleep at night and becomes fatigued quickly. Angela needs to undergo surgery to heal and prevent her symptoms from worsening. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Angela receive treatment. On March 16th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH’s care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to fund Angela’s surgery. Angela said: “Life is so hard, and sometimes I want to give up, but when I remember my children, I encourage myself to keep going only for their sake. When I get treated, I can work hard and provide for them without difficulty. Kindly help me.”

$936raised
Fully funded

David is a 24-year-old male from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of four children raised by his mother. He works at a timber workshop near his home. In June 2020, David was involved in an accident where he was hit from the side by a motorbike. He was taken to the nearest public hospital and received emergency care. An x-ray revealed that he had an open right tibia fracture that needed surgery. Following his initial surgery, he has since had several additional surgeries due to the severity of the injury. In October 2022, he was referred to the care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for specialized review and care. His doctors quickly realized that he still walks with a limp, and his ankle is stiff with bloody discharge from the incision site. His doctors determined that a deeper examination was needed, and he ended up having a hardware removal surgery. However, the region where the fracture occurred is still severely infected, and he risks losing his right leg due to the infection. The doctors have recommended an additional procedure to remedy the remaining issues and clean the infection. Fortunately, AMH has scheduled David for a second-stage bone transport in hopes of avoiding amputation and helping him walk again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure and provide for David's post-operative care. David says, “I feel exhausted and worried. I am unable to walk despite having several surgeries. I hope this surgery [helps] to save my leg.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded