Mikko joined Watsi on August 4th, 2015. Seven years ago, Mikko joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mikko's most recent donation traveled 4,300 miles to support Titus, a hard working young man from Kenya, to fund surgery to heal a fracture of his hand.
Mikko has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 13 countries.
Mikko has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 13 countries.
Titus is a hardworking 24-year-old from Kenya. He is the only child to his single mother, who sells tea and porridge at the market. Due to their financial situation, Titus was compelled to drop out of high school and do casual labor jobs to support his mother. Together with his mother, they live in his uncles’ home who is a small-scale farmer. Titus also helps his uncle with farm work. A month ago, Titus fell at work and his hand was cut by a sharp object. Titus went to a nearby facility where his wound was sutured because the fracture was open, and a splint was applied in order to stabilize the fracture. Now he cannot work using his hand and therefore he depends entirely on his mother. When he realized that there was no improvement of his injury, Titus visited a nearby facility where he was referred to our medical partner's care center Kapsowar Hospital. On physical examination, the surgeon told him that he required an urgent surgery in order to repair his tendon and fix his fracture which had taken time to heal. Titus has no medical insurance and is worried about how he can pay for the care he needs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 27th, Titus will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Titus will be able to go back to his work and continue to earn a living. He will be able to assist his mother. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Titus says, “I get my income through working with my hands. Now that I cannot use them, I feel so bad. I don’t want to burden my mother who is also struggling. Kindly help me.”
Thomas is a sweet three-week-old baby from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of four children. His father works as a luggage carrier, and his mother does laundry and other house chores for people to help provide for their family. Thomas was born at a hospital near their home. At birth, he was diagnosed with spina bifida, as well as clubfoot. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Thomas is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Thomas's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 31st. This procedure will hopefully spare Thomas from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Thomas’s father says, “Currently, we are very stressed because of our child’s condition. We are requesting for any help to see him become well.”
Nathalia is a crafty and creative seven-year-old from Bolivia who just completed first grade. She lives with her parents and one younger sister. Some of Nathalia's favorite activities include creating artwork and making crafts! Nathalia was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Nathalia is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 27th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Nathalia's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Nathalia and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Nathalia's mother shares, "Ever since we learned our daughter was sick, we have been praying every day for this surgery, and we are so glad our prayers are about to be answered!"
Meet Sok Kieng, a 21-year-old man with one brother and two sisters. Their parents are both rice farmers. In his free time, Sok Kieng enjoys playing football, fishing at the lake, listening to music, and helping his family at home. On June 1st, Sok Kieng was in an accident at work, where sharp metal cut his Achilles tendon. After the accident, he went to a local health center for first aid. While there, he was referred to our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre for more extensive treatment, as he had an infected open wound on his right heel, swelling, pain, and difficulty walking. On June 13th, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will debride the wound, and reconstruct his Achilles tendon. Children's Surgical Centre is seeking $991 to fund this procedure, which should enable Sok Kieng to resume working, and to doing all of the things which bring him pleasure, free from pain. Sok Kieng says: "I hope after surgery my right foot is healed and I am able to walk without pain."
Dawiskenley is a toddler from Haiti who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousins in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Dawiskenley's mother and father live nearby and visit him regularly. Dawiskenley enjoys going to preschool and playing with his cousins. Dawiskenley has a cardiac condition called tricuspid endocarditis, one of the four valves of his heart has been infected and can no longer pump blood properly. The treatment that Dawiskenley needs is not available in Haiti, so he needs to fly to the Cayman Islands to undergo heart surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will attempt to repair the damaged valve so that it can pump blood more normally. Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Our medical partners, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,500 to help Dawiskenley's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker who will accompany Dawiskenley's family overseas to support his treatment and care. Dawiskenley's uncle shared, "Our family is very grateful that so many people want to help Dawiskenley become healthy!"
Klyn is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a small town in central Haiti with his parents, grandparents, and several other relatives. He likes school, especially science and math. Klyn was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The defect means there is a hole between the two upper chambers of Klyn's heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which leaves him often weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has arranged for Klyn and his mother to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery since this treatment is not available within Haiti. On May 24th, doctors will first attempt to use a catheter to close the opening between Klyn's upper cardiac chambers. If that's not possible, they will need to perform open-heart surgery and use a patch to close the hole in Klyn's heart. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 for Klyn's care. His family is raising $1,500 to help cover remaining costs of the procedure and related care, including travel expenses for Klyn. Klyn's mother says, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"
Nan Hla is a 65-year-old nun. She lives alone, as she is the only nun in her monastery of monks in Karen State in Burma. Nan Hla shared that she meditates daily, and the community supports her with meals. Her son, who also lives in Burma, can sometimes provide Nan Hla with extra money to buy additional snacks. On February 20th, Nan Hla began to experience severe stomach pains. She visited a local hospital the next day, where she received an ultrasound and x-ray, but her test results were not clear. As a result, she was referred to another hospital for a CT scan a few days later. The CT scan indicated she has common bile duct stones. Currently, Nan Hla is experiencing heartburn, jaundice, and a poor appetite, as she feels nauseous after she eats any solid food. Doctors have advised her to undergo a cholecystectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nan Hla's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Nan Hla receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo a cholecystectomy. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nan Hla's procedure and care. Nan Hla shared, "I have never experienced these kinds of symptoms before. This is a very bad experience to go through. I pray that all the donors will be healthy. May all your work be successful."
Guy is an 8-year-old student from Haiti. Her lives with his parents and younger brother and sister in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. He likes going to school and dressing up for church. Guy has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through his body, leaving him sickly and weak. Guy will fly to nearby Dominican Republic to receive treatment as the care he needs is not currently available in Haiti. On February 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for his surgery. Guy's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and his check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Guy's family overseas. His mom is relieved that his surgery is finally happening and shared: "I am looking forward to seeing my son gaining weight and strength after his surgery!"
Sean is in 6th grade and lives with his parents and his older brother. His parents are rainy day rice farmers and have several cows for milk. Sean likes to read and watch TV and loves it when his mom makes curry soup for dinner. He would like to be a policeman when he is older. Sean has a rare genetic disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which mostly affects boys. He suffers from chronic pain and progressive muscle weakness in both his legs. He has an uneasy gait and difficulty climbing stairs. His neighbors told his parents about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, and urged them to visit for diagnosis and treatment. While there is no cure for his genetic disease, surgeons plan to release and lengthen his Achilles tendons on both legs, which will allow him to walk more easily. Sean needs help with the $541 cost of the procedure, subsequent leg casts, and physical therapy. His mother said: "It is hard to see our son in pain when he tries to walk; we are grateful the doctors will be able to help him walk again."
Purity is a sweet two-year-old and the youngest of her widowed mother’s two children. Purity’s mother works as a primary school teacher and has national health insurance for herself and her children, however, their insurance does not cover Purity’s surgery needs. Purity was diagnosed with genu varus, a condition in which her legs bow outward at the knee. This is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Purity has difficulty walking long distances. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Purity receive treatment. On January 4th, she will undergo corrective surgery to restore her mobility, allow her to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease her risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund Purity’s surgery. Purity’s mother shared, “My salary is not enough to pay rent, take care of my two children, and still afford to pay for Purity’s surgery. Please help us.”
Taw is a 30-year-old woman who lives with her family in a refugee camp in Thailand. Originally from Burma, Taw fled to the refugee camp with her father in 2008 due to a civil war in her village. She used to work as a midwife in the hospital in the refugee camp but became a homemaker after getting married in 2017. Her father is unemployed, while her niece, nephew, and son go to school. Her husband worked as a day laborer outside the refugee camp. However, since COVID-19 cases were detected in the camp and there was an increase in cases in Thailand, schools were closed, and her husband can no longer leave the camp for work. The family shared that they rely on support from a local organization called the Border Consortium, which is not enough for their daily needs, so they must stretch the income until the end of each month. In her free time, Taw loves to play with her son and cook her favorite foods. Taw is expecting her second child soon. Due to her first delivery via Cesarean section and complications during birth, Taw’s doctors recommended that she deliver by a Cesarean section to ensure her and the baby’s safety. On November 15th, Taw will undergo a Cesarean section at our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BMCF is requesting $1500 to fund this procedure. Taw shared, “I have one son now, so I would like to have a girl this time. After I have weaned my baby, I want to work as a midwife again at the hospital.”
Mark Andrei is a five-year-old boy from the Philippines. Mark Andrei loves to draw and dreams of becoming a policeman someday. His father is a farmer—earning lower than the minimum wage that is approved by the Department of Labor in the Philippines; while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Mark Andrei 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. Mark Andrei is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on November 10th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Mark Andrei's procedure and care. After his recovery, Mark Andrei will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. “We are thankful that there are organizations like WSFP and WATSI who are providing surgeries like this. This surgery will help increase Mark Andrei's confidence to interact with his classmates without being afraid of getting bullied,” shared Donnalyn, Mark Andrei's mother.