Michael joined Watsi on April 11th, 2013. Eight 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 Tumaini, an 11-month-old baby from Tanzania, to fund her clubfoot repair surgery.
Michael has funded healthcare for 104 patients in 12 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 104 patients in 12 countries.
Tumaini is an 11-month-old girl, daughter to small-scale subsistence farmers, and sister to eight siblings. She is active and attached to her mother. Her mother enjoys playing with her as she laughs and smiles when spoken to in their native language. Tumaini has clubfoot on both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Tumaini and her family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Tumaini's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Tumaini’s mother says, “I was worried when I saw my daughter’s leg. I am hopeful when I heard there is treatment for the condition my child has.”
Maxwell is a charming, five year old boy from Kenya. He and his three older siblings live with their single mother, who works as a laundry aide and also as a small scale farmer. Maxwell was born with clubfoot, for which he has received treatment with casting and orthotics since birth. However, due to financial challenges, he was unable to undergo serial casting and other necessary procedures, which has left him with pain when walking for long distances. Fortunately, Maxwell's family now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Maxwell's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Maxwell will be able to walk comfortably, without discomfort or pain. Maxwell's mother said: "I am requesting support from the donors to help my son undergo surgery so that he can have a normal life."
Meet Kosal, a 32-year-old husband and father who lives in Cambodia with his wife and three children. When he is not working, he enjoys playing volleyball, watching television, and spending time with his family. On June 12th, Kosal's left hand was burned at work by an electric shock. He visited a private clinic for wound care and medication and remained there for 15 days. Although he eventually returned home, the wound on his hand remained unhealed and has since become infected. He is currently experiencing pain and has a loss of sensation. Kosal traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), to seek treatment for his infected wound. On September 1st, surgeons at CSC's care center, Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, will perform a debridement and nerve graft procedure on his left wrist. This surgery should enable Kosal to heal completely and regain full motion of his hand. CSC is now seeking $572 to fund his procedure. Kosal says, "I hope my left hand heals and I can return to work again."
Sharon is a 23-year-old small-scale farmer from Kenya. She is married with two children, aged four years and one year old. Sharon and her husband grow and sell vegetables and take on casual labor jobs to help supplement their income. They have a three-room house for their family. A week ago, Sharon was grazing her sheep when she tripped on a root. She was located on a hill and fell from a high distance causing her to fracture her right leg. Unable to walk or stand, some neighbors heard her call for help and rushed her to the hospital. Sharon was experiencing severe pain, swelling, and skin traction on her right lower leg. She underwent an x-ray, which showed that she had a fracture on her right femur. She also underwent skeletal traction to realign the bone and keep it in place until she could undergo surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On November 29th, Sharon will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to mend her right femur and allow her to move again. AMH is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Sharon says: “It’s so unfortunate that I broke my leg at a time when my children needed me the most. I am now forced to stop breastfeeding my son, who is still young, but I am grateful as I am still alive. I need your help, and I believe that someday things will get back to normal, and I will be able to be there for my family.”
Mu is a 34-year-old wife and mother, living in Thailand. Mu lives with her husband, son, and two daughters in Mae Sot, Tak Province. Their family moved from Yangon, Burma to Thailand 14 years ago, in search of better job opportunities. Today, Mu is a homemaker, her son is a student, while her two daughters are still too young to study. Her husband is a dockworker in Mae Sot. Because their income is insufficient to cover their daily expenses, they sometimes have to borrow money from a neighbor. About two years ago, Mu developed a femoral hernia. Because of the hernia, Mu experiences severe pain in her left groin area, and she also has a lump that has been increasing in size, and which hangs down when she walks. Mu is very stressed about her condition, and because of chronic discomfort, she has been unable to keep up with her daily tasks. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Mu is scheduled for hernia repair surgery on October 27th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Mu's surgery and care, which should enable Mu to return to a life without the hardship she experiences now. Mu said: “I feel like I have to hold myself so this will not fall down when I walk, which makes me feel very uncomfortable. I want to receive surgery soon so that I can work to earn more money in the future. Now, my baby—our youngest daughter—is older so I will find a job after I have fully recovered from surgery.”
Meet Alex, a 15-year-old student, living in Kenya. Alex's mother is a single parent, working as a vendor. Alex aspires to enroll in a plant engineering course in the future. Last February, Alex was walking home from school along the side of the road, when a car veered off the road and hit him. After hearing a loud bang, the next thing that Alex remembers is waking up in the hospital with a fractured hip. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Alex is scheduled to have surgery to repair his hip on October 11th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. The procedure will cost $1,293 and Alex and his family need your help to fund this procedure. His treatment will enable him to walk without support again and he's excited to return to playing his beloved football. “My desire is to walk well without crutches and get back to the field to play football. I am requesting support from AMH to help me undergo surgery and resume my normal life,” Alex told us.
Tin is a 45-year-old man. Originally from Burma, he fled to Thailand over 20 years ago due to civil war. He currently lives with his wife, who works as a street vendor selling various snacks and vegetable, and one of his daughters, who is currently in school. His family also raises chickens, which they sell when they need cash. Tin previously worked as a farmer and a construction worker, but he has recently been unable to work due to his condition. In the future, he hopes to go back to work and help support his family. After an incident that occurred this past April that caused him to be hit in the left eye by a mango, Tin lost his vision in that eye and began to experience headaches, swelling, severe eye pain, and dizziness when attempting to stand. Tin eventually sought medical attention at a clinic. There, a medic checked his left eye, gave him a bottle of eye drops, and told him to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) since they could not treat him there. However, he did not go to MTC right away due to financial constraints. He instead hoped that his eye would recover over time with the help of eye drops. Although his pain was temporarily reduced, the bruising disappeared, and the swelling went down over time, he never regained his vision. The pain in his eye eventually returned, and he noticed that he had a white spot on his left pupil. As the white spot increased in size, his eye progressively became more painful and began to itch. He now experiences discharge and watering in his eye, as well as difficulty sleeping. At the beginning of this month, a small lump appeared near the white spot on his left pupil. The lump gradually increased in size until it bursted on August 13th. After the discharge and bleeding from the lump stopped, he asked his friend to take him to MTC right away. When he arrived at the clinic, he was told to come back on Monday since there were not any eye specialist medics working on the weekend. When Tin returned on Monday, a medic examined his left eye, and he was diagnosed with corneal perforation, a condition resulting from the cornea being penetrated and damaged. Tin was also told that his eye is infected. He now must undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, to remove his left eye as quickly as possible before the infection spreads to his right eye. Fortunately, Tin was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 17th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform an enucleation to remove his left eye. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Tin's life-changing procedure. Tin shares, “I feel very depressed and worried about my eye. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I lost vision in both of my eyes. I want to receive surgery quickly to prevent my right eye from becoming infected. Without your help, I don’t think I would be able to receive further treatment. Therefore, I want to say thank you to the donors and the organization for agreeing to support my treatment costs.”
Chhorn is a 56-year-old rice and vegetable farmer from Cambodia. He is married and has three sons and one daughter. Two of his sons are married and work in construction. Chhorn enjoys talking with friends, listening to the news on the radio, and watching TV. Two years ago, Chhorn began experiencing hip pain and is now unable to walk. He has avascular necrosis of the right and left hip, meaning a lack of blood supply is causing the death of the bone tissue in his hips. Fortunately, a neighbor told Chhorn about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC's care center, surgeons will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Chhorn of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for July 20th. Chhorn needs help raising $1,118 to pay for this procedure. Chhorn says, "I hope I can walk without pain after my surgery."
Saw Wah is a 14-year-old student who lives with his parents and five younger brothers. He is in grade six, but his youngest brother is too young to enroll in school and his four other brothers stopped going to school earlier this year. It has been a challenging time in their region and Saw Wah shared: “They do not want to attend school because fighting happens very often in this area. We have to run and hide in the jungle where we study and they do not like to study in the jungle." Saw Wah’s family raises chickens and two goats to help feed their family. They also go fishing and foraging for vegetables in the jungle. His father works as a day laborer when there is no work on the farm, and even though Saw Wah's family does not have a regular income, they have enough food and receive free basic healthcare at a clinic near their village. A few years ago, Saw Wah developed a runny nose with yellowish nasal discharge. At first, he thought this was normal and would go away on its own, but towards the end of April, Saw Wah's nose became entirely blocked. He could no longer breath through it and lost all sense of smell. He finally told his parents about his symptoms, and his father took him to the free clinic where the medic checked his nostrils and found a mass blocking the nasal passage in both of his nostrils. Saw Wah was told he would need to go to a larger hospital for further investigation. Doctors want Saw Wah to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $693 to cover the cost of Saw Wah's CT scan and care, scheduled for June 27th. Saw Wah said, “I cannot breathe well especially at night... I want to receive surgery soon so that I will be able to breath normally again.”
Rose is a 7-month-old baby from Haiti. She lives with her father and grandmother, and they shared that she loves to smile and play with her family! Rose has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result, Rose has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Rose will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is helping Rose receive treatment at Hospital Bernard Mevs, the only site in Haiti where the treatment she needs is available. On May 27th, Rose will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from her brain to reduce intracranial pressure and improve her quality of life. With this treatment, Rose will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Project Medishare is requesting $897 to cover the cost of her surgery. Rose's father shared that he hopes for a healthy life for Rose in the future.
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
Margaret is a humble and quiet 13-year-old student, and the youngest child of three children in her family. She enjoys school, and reading in particular. Her mother works as a casual laborer at a flower farm in the area, and she is separated from Margaret's father. Margaret has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which her feet are twisted out of shape. This causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Margaret receive treatment. On April 11th, she will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will no longer use a wheelchair while in school, and she will be able to walk on her own. Now, Margaret and her family need help raising $1,286 to fund Margaret's procedure and care. Margaret's mother shared, "I will not be able to afford the estimated hospital bill despite my love for my daughter and my wish to see her walking on her feet. I request help for my daughter to undergo surgery and resume her normal life."