Michael VillenaUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Michael's Story

Michael joined Watsi on April 11th, 2013. Nine years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Sena, a two-year-old boy from Ethiopia, to fund corrective surgery.

Impact

Michael has funded healthcare for 118 patients in 12 countries.

Patients funded by Michael

Kenay is a sweet eleven-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia who loves to play with his mom. He is the fourth child of his parents. Kenay has started weaning and is eating Plumpy Nut, a nutrition supplement donated by the government and organizations to children with malnutrition, as Kenay was underweight. Kenay’s dad is a farmer and has land, but because of the drought, they couldn’t harvest enough, even for the family’s consumption. Initially, Kenay got his emergency colostomy from Sekota Hospital, which was supported by the community. However, he became so sick and underweight that his mother and some family members lost hope in his ability to survive. Fortunately, his mom heard about our medical partner’s care center, BethanyKids, from a social worker, and upon learning that they could get treatment for his condition, their hope increased. Bethany Kids covered the family’s transportation and accommodation to bring Kenay to the hospital, where the medical team first put him on a nutrition program for over four months to treat malnutrition. Now, Kenay’s weight is normal, and he is fit for surgery. Kenay was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. The long journey with multiple issues with his colostomy care has significantly impacted the psychological health of his parents, and they are requesting financial assistance with his surgery cost. Kenay is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on November 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to cover Kenay’s procedure and care costs. After his recovery, Kenay will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Kenay’s mom said, “I hope my child will get treatment, and I hope he will heal after the treatment. I hope I will see him growing up and start a decent life.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Four year old Neserian lives with his family in a village in the Manyara region of Tanzania. The family has long depended upon agriculture and livestock keeping to sustain them. However, climate change has shadowed their agricultural activities, rendering them increasingly unreliable. Consequently, Neserian’s father has turned to selling cattle to support his household. But drought has led to the cattle being unable to feed properly, so that they fetch considerably less money at the market. Neserian's father works hard to meet the needs of his family. In October 2022, Neserian was alone at home, when he ventured too close to an open flame. His clothing caught fire, and he suffered burns to his right elbow and wrist. The neighbors came to his aid, and when his mother returned home, she brought him to a local hospital for care. Neserian remained at the hospital for a month. Despite the care that he received, Neserian has only a limited range of motion of his right arm. Sadly, the local hospital lacks the resources to address this. Neserian and his father traveled for nine hours to consult with doctors from our medical partner's care center the Plaster House NGO. After a thorough assessment, it was determined that Neserian would need to undergo a Z-plasty procedure, to release his right axilla and elbow, along with a full thickness skin graft on his right hand. The pinky on his right hand will need to be amputated. The surgical procedures are set for August 15th but the cost of treatment is beyond the means of Neserian's family, prompting them to appeal for your assistance in covering the $1,088 needed for Neserian's care. After he has healed completely, Neserian will be able to use his hand, and lead a full life, free from disability. Neserian’s father says: “We wish for him to be able to use his hand because he is about to start school, and we are worried it will be hard for him as his right hand is the one affected.”

$1,088raised
Fully funded

Nelson is a 79-year-old loving father from the Philippines. He lives with his partner and relies on their only son's financial support to meet their basic needs. He has a passion for gardening and loves to plant vegetables at home. Three years ago, Nelson's health took a downturn when he experienced bleeding during urination. After a consultation, he was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and was prescribed medication. However, the pain reoccurred, prompting further investigation. An ultrasound revealed the presence of a bladder stone, necessitating surgical intervention. Over time, Nelson's condition has deteriorated, leading to increased urinary frequency and pain, which severely hinders his daily activities. Fortunately, Nelson found his way to our medical partner World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP) who will be helping him receive the treatment he needs. He is scheduled to undergo a urinary cystolithectomy, the removal of the bladder stone, on July 21st. A portion of the cost of his treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising $1,128 to cover the remaining cost. After treatment, Nelson will hopefully have a pain-free and healthier life. Deeply appreciative of the support he received, Nelson shared, "I'm eternally grateful to Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines. Your generosity has given me hope to have a more comfortable life, and be free from all that I've been enduring for years."

$1,128raised
Fully funded