Michael joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. 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 Nickson, a 5-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund leg repair surgery so he can walk without difficulty.
Michael has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 11 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 11 countries.
Nickson is a 5-year-old boy from Tanzania. Both he and his older brother live with and are being raised by their hardworking mother. She single-handedly supports her children by working as a secretary. Two years ago, Nickson mother took him to a hospital where he was diagnosed with genu valgus, a condition that causes his leg to bow inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Nickson has difficulty walking and is at risk of developing more complications as he grows up if the condition is not corrected. Although the hospital he visited provided him with medication, it did not improve his condition. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center can help treat his condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nickson, which is scheduled to take place on August 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nickson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nickson's mother says, "I am a single mother with no husband supporting me. I try hard to provide, but it is not enough to afford my son's treatment cost."
Miriam is a hardworking 52-year-old woman who finds work as a laborer or doing housework. She is a single mother of six children and cares for her family single-handedly. Due to the lack of help, it was not easy for Miriam to give her children a good education. However, two of her kids are still in school and one works selling phone covers in Nairobi, Kenya's capital. At the beginning of June, Miriam started having concerning symptoms. After seeking medical help, Miriam was diagnosed with having multiple fibroids, meaning she has multiple tumors growing on her uterus. In order to eliminate her condition, she needs to undergo a hysterectomy–a procedure where surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $755 to fund Miriam's surgery. On July 1st, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Miriam will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Miriam shared, “I have always been okay, but this bleeding shocked me. I kindly ask for help so that I can be confident in my life tomorrow. My children depend fully on me for their support and guidance. I hope to have successful surgery so that I can get well and be there for my children.”
Bariki is six-year-old boy and the only child of her single mother. He's a charming, friendly, and social kid. Bariki is now old enough to start school because most of his age mates joined class one this year. Bariki couldn’t join the school because he was born with a disability of the legs making walking for him impossible. He was born with a right clubfoot and the left had a congenital deformity of the knee. Currently he has to pull himself around to be able to move from one place to another. Bariki’s mother depends on small-scale farming to be able to feed her child. She lives and farms on her parents’ land. Last year through our medical partner's outreach program they got to know Bariki and the need for him to have treatment to help him have a chance to walk. He went through treatment of manipulation and casting to correct his clubfoot, and this was successful. He has been to an orthopedic clinic trying to see whether his knee joint could be corrected to help him straighten his leg and stand but his knee cannot be released. To help Bariki have a chance to walk with ease he needs amputation above the knee so that when he is healed, he can use a prosthetic leg that will help him walk. Bariki’s mother shared, “I will be so happy if my son can be treated and be able to stand and walk instead of him crawling.”
Tecla is a shy and hardworking woman in her early 40s. She was born alone in her home and she now stays with her mother. Tecla did not complete schooling after she developed partial hearing loss at an early age. She also experienced a painful accident when she was young after she burnt her right fingers leaving her disabled. Due to this, Tecla does not work and depends on her mum for all her needs. They live together in a semi-permanent house. Starting five years ago, Tecla has been experiencing abdominal swelling and other symptoms. She has been diagnosed with a large fibroid uterus and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Surgical removal should be performed as soon as possible. Since Tecla does not have national health insurance, she is requesting help to pay for her treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $918 to fund Tecla's surgery. On April 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Tecla shared, "It has never been easy for me. My hope here is to get treated and be well and live a normal life.”
Caleb is a jovial and funny six-year-old student. Caleb's mother shared that Caleb likes to play and is always happy both at school and at home. Caleb has a twin brother and one older sibling. Caleb's mother takes care of their home and family while his father is a farmer. Caleb has a clubfoot, a condition that causes his foot to be misshapen making it difficult for Caleb to walk and wear shoes. Surgeons at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital will perform corrective surgery on March 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMF), is helping Caleb's parents raise $1,286 to fund the procedure. After treatment, Caleb will be able to walk well, play with his friends at home and school, and continue with his studies without any interruption. Caleb's mother shared, "I would love to see my son walking like other children without difficulties. I would greatly appreciate any assistance."
Daw Khin is a 45-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, who are retired and supported by Daw Khin's sister, who earns an income from renting out their land. Daw Khin used to work as a teacher before her condition made it difficult for her to continue teaching her students. Around June 2020, Daw Khin began to feel very tired and experienced heart palpitations. She shared that it felt like she could not breathe while teaching. Because these episodes happened infrequently, she did not seek treatment at the time; however, in December 2020, her condition worsened, and she went to a local hospital. After receiving an electrocardiogram, doctors determined she has an enlarged heart and an abnormal heartbeat and prescribed medication to help Daw Khin feel better. Since Daw Khin's symptoms continued, her sister brought her to a cardiologist in April 2021. Upon review, Daw Khin's condition was diagnosed as an atrial septal defect, a birth condition in which there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. The cardiologist informed her that she would need surgery, but the cost was too high for Daw Khin's family, so they returned home with medications. Daw Khin currently experiences headaches, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue and heart palpitations when talking or walking short distances. Fortunately, a friend visited Daw Khin in June and told her about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Daw Khin contacted BCMF and learned that BCMF will be able to help her finally heal. On February 6th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund her procedure. Daw Khin shared, "I would like to teach all my students again in the future. I like teaching students."
Srey Nath is a bright young student who loves to read books and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She has two older brothers and lives with her parents who are rainy day rice farmers. They also grow vegetables and keep cows and chickens to feed their family and make extra money at the local market. Over the past several years, Srey Nath's back has curved which limits her movement and lung expansion. She has trouble standing up straight or walking, and is easily winded when she is active due to difficulty expanding her lungs. She shared that she feels embarrassed with her friends and very shy about how her back looks. She loves school but doesn't want to attend now because of the abnormal curvature of her spine, and the chronic pain it causes. Srey Nath's neighbors told her family to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre for a diagnosis and treatment. Surgeons have diagnosed her with scoliosis of the thoracic spine. She needs expanding rods in her back to straighten her spine as she grows to avoid any further medical problems. Srey Nath and her parents traveled two and a half hours to seek treatment and need help raising $1,500 for this specialty surgery. Srey Nath's mother said: "My daughter needs this surgery to grow normally and become a teacher. I hope we can raise the money so she can fulfill her dream someday."
Nerold is a 5-year-old boy from Haiti. He is cherished by his family who want to see him healthy and active as he grows. Nerold has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Nerold underwent surgery but has been experiencing problems with a shunt he had placed 6 months ago. It began to malfunction causing him infection and severe pain from the increasing pressure in his head. Without treatment, Nerold will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Nerold at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on November 19th. This critical treatment will place a new shunt to drain the excess fluid from Nerold's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Nerold will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Nerold's mother shared that she was devastated when the original shunt stopped working. She is relieved that with this new surgery he will continue to have a chance for a happy life.
Naw Blut lives with her husband, toddler son, and parents in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. She is a homemaker, her parents are retired, and her husband works at the Water and Sanitation Department in the refugee camp. Their family's monthly income of 2,694 baht ($89.80 USD) is just enough to cover their daily needs as they currently have to buy formula milk for Naw Blut's toddler. Naw Blut has been receiving a antenatal care at the clinic at the refugee camp. Earlier this month, Naw Blut went for her follow-up appointment and since she was 37 weeks pregnant and had previously had an emergency C-section, she was told she would need to see a specialist about her delivery. The next day, staff from the organization that helps run the camp (Malteser International (MI) Thailand), brought her to Mae Sariang Hospital. After she met the doctor, the doctor said she could not give birth vaginally because of the status of her pregnancy and her last delivery. The team has scheduled her to undergo a c-section to safely delivery her baby. As Naw Blut cannot afford to pay for the procedure, MI staff referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial support.
Hashim is a seven-year-old student and the third-born child in his family of three children. Hashim started his primary school education early this year and he is currently in grade one. His mother is concerned he may have learning challenges as he has delayed talking in comparison to his younger sibling. Hashim’s mother is a single mom who works hard selling vegetables for a living. Hashim has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, where his legs bow outward so that his knees do not 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 gets tied after a short walk and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Hashim. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Hashim's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Hashim’s mother says “It is through people’s kindness, help, and support for us to make it here to Plaster house. Please help my son.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”
Savoeun is a 50-year-old mother and grandmother. She has one son, one daughter, and two grandchildren. Her husband passed away more than ten years ago, and she currently lives with her daughter. Savoeun's children work in a garment factory while Savoeun takes care of her grandchildren. She likes to cook, watch news on the TV, and read stories to her grandchildren. Three years ago, Savoeun developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photophobia, blurry vision, itchiness, and occasional tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Savoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On June 25th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. CSC is requesting $229 to fund this procedure. Savoeun wants to be independent, "I hope after surgery I can see clearly, go outside by myself, cook easily, and take care of my grandchildren. I do not want to make my children take care of me too."