Michael VillenaMONTHLY DONOR
Michael's Story

Michael joined Watsi on April 11th, 2013. Seven years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Gideon, a sweet 4-year-old from Tanzania, to fund life-changing surgery on his legs.

Impact

Michael has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 12 countries.

All patients funded by Michael

Gideon is four years old and the last-born in his family of six children. He is a playful, charming, friendly, and happy boy. Gideon comes from the southern highlands of Tanzania close to Katavi National Park. Gideon has not yet started school, but his father says when he gets to be six years old, he will enroll him. Most children in this region join school starting at the age of six due to the long distance they must walk to school. Parents must wait for their children to grow strong enough to walk to and from school before enrolling them. Gideon’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, beans, and vegetables and only sell a few of their harvests to get money to buy other basics for their family. Gideon has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, where his legs bow inward so that they touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he experiences pain and discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Gideon. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Gideon's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, including school in the future, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Gideon’s father says “My son walks with a gait and falls down a lot. He also complains of pain after a long day of play.”

71%funded
$625raised
$255to go

Samuel is a hardworking laborer getting jobs whenever he can to earn a living. He's a 37-year-old single man who hails from Kawaida Village in Kenya. His parents separated many years back, and his mother has brought their family up single-handedly. He shared that their family has lived a very difficult life making it hard for them to acquire an education. Samuel lives with his mother in a single rented house. He does mechanic jobs when available while his mother sells fruits at the roadside near their home. On the evening of September 8th 2021, as Samuel was going home, he was hit by a motorbike. He sustained an open fracture of his left tibia. He was taken to Kiambu County Hospital where the wound was treated and later the doctor advised them to have a fracture surgery. His mother could not afford the cost and took him home. Last week, our medical partner's Community Health Worker heard about Samuel and brought him to the hospital for possible support. He has pain, difficulty walking, and has been fully depending on his mother. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 28th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). The surgery will rid him of the pain, bring healing, and eventually, Samuel will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Samuel says, “It is now almost 2 months, I have had pain and difficulties going anywhere and I have to fully depend on my mother. I am also worried that my leg could be amputated if I don't get treated in time. I plead for help so that I can be independent and go back to work and support my mother.”

$1,049raised
Fully funded

D is a 38-year-old man who lives by himself and used to wash cars in a mechanic's shop until his accident. Unfortunately, he had to quit his job because of his condition and he has had no income since. On April 2nd, his friends asked him to pick mangos. After climbing up the tree, the branch he was holding onto suddenly broke and he fell onto a rock. He broke his right lower leg in the fall. Unable to stand up by himself, his two friends supported him and arranged for his transportation to a local hospital. At the hospital, he received an x-ray and the doctor wrapped his lower leg in a bandage. He scheduled a follow-up appointment for the following week and went home. However, D did not go back to the hospital because he had no money. Two weeks later, he visited a local clinic because he was still in pain. He was referred to our medical partner's care center where an x-ray showed that he had broken both of the bones in his right lower leg and he was told that he would need surgery. Currently, he cannot walk and experiences pain in his lower right leg when he moves. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, D will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 23rd and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help D walk again and he will be able to find work after he has made a full recovery. D shared, "I lost my job after my leg was injured. I no longer have an income or a place to live. I do not have anyone I can depend on and I feel like I have no more hope living with this condition."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Samuel is a 53-year-old fisherman. He is a father of two children aged 18 and 16 years old. He separated from his wife 5 years ago, and has been taking care of the children since the separation. In December 2020, Samuel was pricked by a poisonous thorn on his foot, which left a wound running from his foot to ankle that has become severely infected. He is in pain and unable to walk comfortably. The wound threatens his mobility and could result in amputation if not urgently attended to. Initially, Samuel tried treating the wound with herbs, but there was no improvement. He visited a nearby mission facility for a checkup and dressing, where doctors treated and washed the wound, but it continued to worsen. On April 1st, Samuel was driven by a well-wisher to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital and upon review, doctors recommended an urgent debridement and skin grafting surgery. However, the cost of care is difficult for Samuel to afford. He had been depending on support from the local missionaries to pay for his previous medical bills and medication. Samuel appeals for financial support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Samuel receive treatment. On April 2nd, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to clean off the wound and prevent further infection. Now, Samuel needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Samuel shared, “This wound is worsening by the day. I currently limp but I might lose the leg if I don’t get some surgical intervention. My fishing venture cannot even pay for the surgery.”

$1,185raised
Fully funded