Michelle joined Watsi on January 10th, 2021. Two years ago, Michelle joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michelle's most recent donation supported Ann, a determined and resilient 16-year-old student from Kenya, to fund surgery to heal her hand.
Michelle has funded healthcare for 30 patients in 10 countries.
Michelle has funded healthcare for 30 patients in 10 countries.
Ann is a 16-year-old student from Kenya. Ann was orphaned when her father took his and her mother's life. Fortunately, Ann, who aspires to become an architect, now lives with relatives who adopted her. In October 2022, Ann was also in a horrible incident and one of her fingers was cut in half. She was rushed to the hospital for treatment, where she underwent surgery. While the right middle finger has healed, it developed a contracture during the healing process. The contracture is causing Ann to experience difficulties when she uses her hand - keeping her from writing and drawing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ann receive treatment. On May 3rd, surgeons at AIC Kijabe Hospital will perform contracture release surgery, which should improve Ann's grip and her ability to hold things, aiding in her aspirations to become an architect. Now she needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Ann says, “Architects draw building designs; this is what I want to do. I have been through a lot, but I am determined.”
Beatrice is a one-month-old baby from Kenya. She is the youngest in a family of nine children. Due to the ongoing rain shortage, the parents have had to go out of their way to do casual jobs to provide for the family. The family has no insurance and cannot raise the required funds for her surgery. Beatrice was born at home, and immediately, her mother noticed she had swelling on her back. Referred by a friend to BethanyKids, her family traveled for two days and brought her in for an examination. Beatrice was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Beatrice 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 Beatrice's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Beatrice from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Beatrice’s mother says, “I was confused when I first saw the condition my child has, and I did not know what to do. I’m really looking forward to her surgery.”
Roly, who is two years old, is a happy and loving child, who lives with his family in a small town, which is a nine hour drive from La Paz, Bolivia. Roly's parents are farmers. Roly was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. Because of this condition, blood leaks through a hole that connects two major blood vessels next to the heart, leaving Roly sick and short of breath. He needs surgery in order to be able to live a full and healthy life. Fortunately our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Roly access the care that he needs. On March 1st, surgeons at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uria will operate on Roly, sewing the hole in his heart closed, so that blood can no longer leak through it. Now Roly and his family need your help to raise the $1,500 necessary to fund this life saving procedure. His mother is hopeful that he will be better soon and said, "We are hoping that our son will have a better appetite and gain more weight after his surgery is finished."
Ohn, who is 52 years old, lives with her husband in a village in Tak Province in Thailand. While Ohn's husband no longer works because of pain in his lower legs, Ohn earns money as a day laborer on a local farm. In the middle of 2021, Ohn began experiencing lower left abdominal pain, and discomfort when she urinates or has a bowel movement. She has been diagnosed with myoma, a uterine fibroid, and has been advised to have a total hysterectomy. Left untreated, Ohn's symptoms will worsen, and she will be at risk for additional medical complications. Ohn's income barely covers her and her husband's daily living expenses. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Ohn's procedure and care. Ohn is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on February 1st, at Mae Sot General Hospital, where both her uterus and cervix will be removed. After she has recovered, Ohn should be able to resume her life, free from pain. Ohn said: “I cannot sleep well because I am worried and feel depressed about my condition. When I learned that the organization [BCMF] would pay for the cost of my surgery, I felt very happy. I am very thankful to all donors and to BCMF for paying for my investigation and treatment. When I recover, I will try to work and save money, so I can pay back my debt."
Karim is a 10-year-old boy living in La Paz. He is in the fourth grade and really likes his math and science classes. Karim was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. During surgery, doctors will sew the hole closed and remove the blockage from his valve so that blood can flow more normally. Karim's family needs $1500 to pay for his surgery. Karim's mother shared: "Our family will be praying for everyone who is helping Karim to get his surgery!"
Tsion is a curious 22-month-old from Ethiopia. She is the youngest in her family of six children. Tsion loves to play with her mother and other kids and always enjoys eating eggs or drinking milk. Tsion’s father passed away when she was a month old. Tsion’s mother had to close her business to care for Tsion and ask her community for support in caring for her other five children. Tsion has developed an intestinal obstruction and underwent a colostomy at our medical partner’s care center. She was born with a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Tsion needs to undergo a series of procedures to correct bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, on December 16th, she will undergo surgery to correct this condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tsion’s procedure and care. After her recovery, Tsion will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Tsion’s mother said: “After receiving treatment, I hope she will start making stool normally, and I can’t wait for that day. I know that will change her life for good for her future. People and friends who know me and love me have called me names and disgraced me. But I hope I will stand in front of everyone and my church to give thanks to God and a testimony.”
Meet Lydia, a 25-year-old mother of three, living with her husband and children in rural Kenya. Lydia and her husband both work as farmers, and live with her husband's parents. Lydia, who has epilepsy, fainted while she was preparing food for her children. She sustained severe burns on her left hand, extending to the left forearm. Lydia was admitted to the hospital, where she was treated, but her wounds became infected, and she lost her fingers. After three weeks of medication and surgeries, Lydia’s medical costs rose to a level that her family could not sustain, so the decision was made to discharge her from the hospital, even though her condition had not improved. Lydia is worried about being able to care for her children now that she can no longer work as a farmer. Her mother-in-law is also concerned about her future, and the difficulties she may face: will she be able to do laundry and cook, will she face social problems or financial challenges? Lydia requires skin grafting to heal her burn wounds and treat her infection. Her family, who sold everything at home to raise funds for Lydia's initial treatment, cannot afford the cost of her procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,089 to fund her surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 25th, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Lydia shared: “It is difficult to look at my hand; I want to get better than this. Please help me improve the quality of my life.”
Neat is a 41-year old-construction worker, who is married and has a nine-year-old daughter who is in 1st grade. Neat's wife is also a construction worker, and when Neat has free time, he repairs motorcycles to earn more money. In 2021, Neat developed an ear infection, which caused the ear drum in his right ear to perforate. As a result, Neat now experiences ear pain, hearing loss, tinnitus, discharge, and headaches, and he cannot hear clearly when he is at work. Neat traveled to Children's Surgical Centre hoping to receive treatment. On May 5th, he will undergo a procedure on his right ear, during which surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $487 to fund this procedure. This will cover medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Neat says: "I hope my ear heals so the infection stops and I can hear well again."
Saw Wah is a 14-year-old grade six student from Burma. Saw Wah lives with his parents and five younger brothers in a village in Hpapun Township in Karen State where there is a lot of unrest currently. Saw Wah's father works as a day labourer when there is no work on the farm. Saw Wah's youngest brother is too young to enroll in school while his four other brothers stopped going to school this last year. 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 also raises chickens and two goats for their own consumption. They also often go fishing and forage for vegetables in the jungle. Even though his family does not have a regular income, they can gather enough food. Saw Wah's family receives free basic healthcare at a free clinic near their village. Around 2018 or 2019, Saw Wah developed a runny nose with yellowish nasal discharge. At first, he thought that this was normal, and it would go away on its own. Towards the end of April 2022, Saw Wah nose became blocked, and he could no longer breath through his nose. He finally told his parents about his symptoms and his father took him to the free clinic at Ei Tu Hta Internally Displaced Camp. At the clinic, the medic checked Saw Wah's nostrils and told them that there is mass blocking the nasal passage in both of his nostrils. The medic also recommended Saw Wah go to a larger hospital for further investigation. At this time, Saw Wah has to breathe through his mouth which causes him discomfort. He has lost his sense of taste and smell, and has a hard time sleeping. Due to these symptoms, Saw Wah has had to stop his studies while he receives treatment. Saw Wah worries that it will take a while, and he will not be able to study this year. Fortunately, Saw Wah sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now he is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 6th. BCMF is fundraising $1,500 to cover the cost of Saw Wah's procedure and care. Saw Wah shared, "I am excited to receive surgery and I hope that I will be able to breath through my nose after surgery."
Joshua is a 7-year-old student from Tanzania who is in grade two and enjoys Mathematics and English. He also loves to play soccer. He comes from a family of seven children. His hardworking mother practices small-scale farming, as well as livestock keeping, in order to support their family since she is the sole provider. Joshua has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition that causes his legs to bow outward. 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 is unable to fully enjoy games and sports with his classmates and siblings. This condition has also affected his day-to-day activities around the house. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joshua. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joshua's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joshua's mother shares, "As a mother, seeing my son play and walk freely gives me joy, and that is what I desire."
Hannah is an elderly woman from a small village in southwestern Kenya. She is a widow and is currently living with one of her daughters since her fall. Before then, she was able to stay on her own and do a bit of farming in her shamba to sustain herself. Hannah recently had a fall and sustained a closed fracture of the femur of her right leg. The fracture was repaired three weeks ago, but the plate in her leg was dislodged after she tried to walk. Now it is difficult for her to walk and she is in severe pain. The surgeon recommended a repeat ORIF (open reduction and internal fixation) procedure to help her heal. Hannah's family is not in a position to raise money for this treatment, and the insurance coverage which paid for her first surgery will not pay for the care she now needs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 7th, Hannah will undergo an ORIF procedure. This procedure will help reduce her pain and she will be able to walk easily once she recovers. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund her procedure and medical care. “I used to stay on my own but now I am depending on my children, who are also busy with their families. I kindly request for help so that I can eventually be independent again,” said Hannah.
Haisam is an adorable 2-year-old and the youngest in his family of two kids. Haisam’s father sells charcoal, while his mother sells tea at a local marketplace. They shared that they work hard to provide and care for their children with this income. Haisam was born with bilateral clubfoot, a condition in which his foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, he experiences difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Haisam began treatment at the district hospital when he was two weeks old. However, only his left foot fully healed, and his right foot still needs further casting and treatment. Fortunately, Haisam and his family could travel to our medical partner’s care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 7th. Our medical partner is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. After treatment, Haisam will be able to walk well and be active as he grows up. Haisam’s mother says, “As years go by, life keeps getting tough, and I don’t see us saving enough to cover his treatment.”