Michael joined Watsi on August 2nd, 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 2,600 miles to support Paola, a bright 9-year-old girl from Colombia, to fund clubfoot repair to allow her to walk, run, and play.
Michael has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 14 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 14 countries.
Paola is a brilliant little star from Colombia. She was born in Putumayo a region in the south of Colombia, and lives with her mother, brother and grandparents. Her brother is 10 years old and they love painting and drawing together. She is really good at school, and loves math. Paola has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Paola's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 22nd. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1,500 to fund Paola's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk without pain and continue studying without further complications. Her mother said: "I hope you can help my little girl, I struggle a lot seeing her suffering and not being able to help her or stop her pain."
Moses is a playful four-year-old boy from Nyandarua County in Kenya. He is the seventh and youngest child in his family. Both of his parents are peasant farmers. Moses was a healthy child at birth. However, last year his mother noticed an unusual bending of his legs towards each other, known as knock knees. At that time, Moses' mother was told to wait until Moses was older before considering treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund hemiepiphysiodesis surgery for Moses, which is scheduled for April 18th at AIC Cure International Hospital. This procedure, also known as guided growth, will gradually correct Moses' angular limb deformity, enabling him to walk comfortably as he grows older. “I will appreciate any kind of support purposed to help my boy walk normally like other children.” Moses’s mother told us.
Peter, who is 45 years old, lives with his wife and five young children in Pokot county in Kenya. Peter was a successful dairy farmer until drought and famine decimated his herd of cows, rendering it impossible for him to earn sufficient money to provide for his family. Currently, he works as a small scale potato farmer, while his wife is a homemaker, caring for their children. Not too long ago, Peter was involved in a road traffic accident, while heading to the farm. He lost control of his motorbike, and fractured his tibia. In order to heal, Peter needs surgery on his leg, a procedure that he cannot afford with his limited earnings from the farm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On March 28th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. After this procedure, Peter will no longer be in pain, and once he has fully recovered, he will be able to return to work and to provide for his family. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,145 to fund his surgery and medical care. Peter says: "I am the only person who works to provide for my family. My wife looks after the children at home as they are still young and need more attention. I feel bad when I cannot help them. Kindly help me so that they may not suffer."
Meet Clerize: a beautiful and bright 4-year-old. She is the 1st born in a family of two and her family hails from a small village in rural Kenya. We met her at our Nyandarua medical camp outreach accompanied by her grandmother. Clerize's grandmother is a farmer while her father, who is separated with his wife, works as a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) driver. Clerize was born healthy however at the age of three, her grandmother noticed an unusual walking style. She stared tiptoeing and would fall every time she tried to walk. For lack of information and because of the distance, they didn’t take her to the hospital. Later their family heard about CURE hospital medical camp in Nyandarua and brought her to be seen by the doctors. The medical team diagnosed Clerize with clubfoot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Clerize's family has now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 26th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Clerize's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and is looking forward to attending school. “I am pleading for help to help my granddaughter undergo surgery so that she can resume with her normal life and walking,” Clerize's grandmother told us.
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."
Milka is a 48-year-old woman. She is the mother of three children, between 6 and 26 years. She works harvesting tea at a tea plantation, while her husband gets jobs working at construction sites. Their income is not enough to pay for life-saving surgery, and they do not have medical coverage. Milka woke up one morning at the beginning of February this past year and discovered a lump in her right breast. It was painless at first, but later became painful. She went to a clinic in her local area, but was referred to a bigger facility that offers cancer care. She came to Kijabe Hospital this month where she had an ultrasound, mammogram, and a core biopsy that revealed cancer. Milka has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Doctors recommend a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing, or spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Milka. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 8th. After treatment, Milka will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Milka says, "I might be scared that I am losing my breast, but I know it is important to stop the cancer.”
Andy lives in a neighborhood of La Paz with his parents and younger sister; he is in the fifth grade and likes playing video games and spending time with his friends and family. Andy was born with a heart condition called ventricular septal defect: a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart, and blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. During surgery, doctors will sew a patch over this hole to close it. His surgery costs $1,500, and Andy's family needs help to pay for it. Andy's mother said, "Our family is very hopeful that after this surgery Andy will have more energy and will grow bigger and stronger!"
Paw is a 46-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province. Originally from the conflict area of Karen State, Burma, she and her family fled to the refugee camp due to conflict in their area. Today, her daughter goes to school in the camp, while her son stays home because he has an intellectual disability. In her free time, Paw enjoys gardening. Paw and her husband also raise chickens and grow vegetables to supplement their family's diet. Every month, their household receives 1,460 baht (approx. $49) on a cash card from an organization called The Border Consortium to support their day-to-day needs. Sometimes, Paw also receives pocket money from her other son, who works as a security guard in the refugee camp and lives with his wife and children. This amount is not enough to cover their daily needs, so they often have to purchase food on credit, which they pay back at the end of the month. They receive free basic health care at the hospital in the refugee camp, provided by Malteser International (MI) Thailand, but surgery there is not available. In early 2020, Paw started to experience pain in her lower abdomen. She also experienced severe back pain, dizziness and nausea when she ate. She went to the hospital in the refugee camp, where she was treated for a urinary tract infection (UTI). When the UTI kept returning, MI staff referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. Paw went to that hospital in February 2020, where she was diagnosed with a stone in her right kidney and acute pyelonephritis, a bacterial infection causing inflammation of the kidneys. She was admitted for five days and received treatment for the infection. Afterwards, she was referred to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment for the kidney stone. In July 2020, MI staff brought Paw to CMH, where she received various x-rays. Doctors confirmed her diagnosis, but also diagnosed her with severe hydronephrosis, or a buildup of urine, in her right kidney. She received a catheter to drain urine from her kidney, and was brought back to CMH every three months to change the catheter. The doctor also scheduled Paw to have the stone removed from her right kidney on October 31st. Our partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is asking for financial assistance to help Paw pay for this surgery. Currently, Paw experiences pain and has difficulty sleeping. Traveling to the hospital regularly is also difficult for her family. Paw thinks a lot about her future and shared: “In the future I want to buy and raise a pig and more chickens. I do not want to be resettled in another country because I love living near my siblings. If they [my siblings] are resettled, I might go with them."
Naima is a smiley and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She loves to breastfeed and play with her seven older siblings and her mother. Her dad is a retired driver and the community elder, and her mother stays home to care for the children. Because Naima's father has no source of income, their older children support them financially. Naima was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Naima developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications. As a result, she cannot make stool in a typical way. Her parents have been very troubled because of her condition and are asking for support. Naima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on September 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Naima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Naima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Naima's father says, “I hope my child will get the treatment and heal. Once she finishes her treatment, I hope she will be relieved from her pain and suffering and lead a healthy life.”
Henrico is a kind 3-year-old boy, who lives with his parents in a small fishing village in western Haiti. He was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. As a result of these defects, his heart cannot adequately provide oxygen to his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. As the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Henrico will fly to Italy to receive treatment and, on September 27th, he will be able to undergo the life-saving cardiac surgery he needs. Henrico's family needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany his family overseas. His family hopes he will have a bright future and plans to start him in preschool as soon as he has recovered from his heart surgery. Henrico's mother shared, "Our family is praying for everyone who is making it possible for our son to have this surgery!"
Erlinda is a hardworking 54-year-old woman from the Philippines. She earns money to support her family by washing and ironing clothes. In 2019, Erlinda began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty breathing and swallowing. Eventually, she noticed a growing mass on her neck. Because of this, she decided to seek medical treatment, but the doctor notified her that due to the progression of her mass, medication would not be enough to treat her condition. Erlinda was diagnosed with Thyroid Carcinoma, a type of cancer that begins in the thyroid gland. It occurs when healthy cells in the thyroid change and grow out of control, forming a tumor. She now needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Erlinda receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on July 16th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $890, and she needs help raising money for this life-changing care. Erlinda tearfully shared, "Where else would I find money to pay for my surgery? We can't afford it. I'm really thankful that Watsi, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and Our Lady of Peace Hospital are going to help me."
Emanuel is a strong 15-year-old and the third born in his family of eight. Emanuel completed his primary education two years ago, however was not able to proceed to secondary school due to the high cost for his family. Emanuel's parents work as small-scale sustenance farmers who grow maize and vegetables. His father also fishes from nearby Lake Victoria to earn an income. Emanuel has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a congenital muskuloskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, Emanuel experiences difficulty walking, running, and wearing shoes. Fortunately, Emanuel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 17th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Emanuel's surgery. After treatment, Emanuel will be able to walk with ease and lead a normal life. Emanuel’s grandmother says, “When I saw my grandson’s foot I knew it could be treated as I have seen others treated. I need your support for him treated too.”