Michele joined Watsi on February 24th, 2015. Nine years ago, Michele joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michele's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Sa Ki, a mother and refugee from Thailand, to fund surgery to heal uterine myomas.
Michele has funded healthcare for 115 patients in 15 countries.
Michele has funded healthcare for 115 patients in 15 countries.
Sa Ki is a 43-year-old woman who lives with her parents and son in a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma border. Her parents are retired and her son is a mullah in the refugee camp. Sa Ki works as a case worker for a community organisation. In June 2022, Sa Ki began experiencing worrying symptoms including lower abdominal pain and back pain. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy which involves the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sa Ki's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Sa Ki is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on February 22nd. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and she will be able to return to work without any discomfort. Sa Ki said: "When I heard that I need surgery, I started to feel worried and scared. I also worried that if I could not get proper treatment, I would not be able to look after and support my parents."
Meet Sabina: a married mother of six children aged 23, 16, 12, 10, 6 and 4 years from Malawi. She is a farmer together with her husband. Her first child is married with one child and the rest of the children are in primary school except the last born who is yet to join school. Sabina likes chatting with her children and enjoys eating nsima made from maize flour with vegetables. Sabina was well until 18 months ago when she noted a small lump on her right breast that was not painful. She visited the nearest hospital where she was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) for further assessments. At KCH, different tests were done, and a diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma was made followed by four cycles of neo-adjuvant therapy during September 2023. Sabina was later scheduled for surgery that same month, but unfortunately she did not report back since her last child was sick and admitted to the hospital for malaria. On January 16th this year, Sabina went back to KCH where she was referred to our medical partner's care center PIH for a modified radical mastectomy. Of late, Sabina has been experiencing needle pricking pains that are becoming unbearable without pain-relieving medications plus backache, weakness, and leg & chest pains affecting her farm work plus household chores. Sabina believes the surgical operation will help her get back to her normal condition and for her to continue taking care of her children and resume her farm work. Sabina said, “It is better to remain with one breast than have two with problems, I will move on with one breast.”
Lourdez is a mother of three from the Philippines. Currently, her family depends on the income of their second child, who works as a call center agent. Lourdez shared that this income is not enough for the family's expenses and hopes that, after her treatment, she will be able to work and help earn money to support her family. Seven months ago, Lourdez began to experience troubling symptoms, including unbearable stomach pain that lasted for hours. She immediately consulted with a doctor. However, she knows her family cannot afford the cost of surgery, so she had to look for other treatment options. Fortunately, a friend brought her to one of our care centers, where the doctors advised Lourdez to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Lourdez is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on December 13th. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is supporting a portion of the cost of the procedure. WSFP is requesting $1,128 to cover the remaining cost of her surgery and care. Lourdez said, "This treatment will be a great help, not just for me but for my family. We have no other means of funding my surgery. As a basic earner, my daughter's income is often not enough for our family's needs and expenses. The free surgery would be a blessing and an opportunity for me to help my daughter earn for the family."
Daresi shared, "I am seeking help for my treatment to resume my business and support my family." Daresi is a married mother of three children aged 12, 7, and 2. She has a small-scale business selling different items like shoes and earns about $26 per month. Daresi was well until six months ago when she noticed a swelling on the right side of her neck. In October, Daresi's doctor, upon review of her test results and scans, confirmed a diagnosis of goiter and the need for a thyroidectomy, which is the removal of part of the thyroid gland. Goiter is a neck swelling condition resulting from enlargement of the thyroid gland that causes pain and breathlessness that may be life-threatening when not treated.
Htwe is a 61-year-old man living with his wife, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece, in a refugee camp in Thailand. His wife and his brother-in-law are day laborers, while his sister-in-law is a homemaker. His niece is a student. Htwe is currently unemployed. Since 2021, Htwe has lived with an incarcerated inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him discomfort when he walks and pain. It is because of his condition that Htwe has been unable to work. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htwe's hernia repair surgery, which is scheduled for October 12th at Mae Sot General Hospital. Once he has recovered, Htwe's symptoms should finally be resolved, allowing him to return to work, and to a more comfortable life. Htwe said: "I want to recover so that I can find work to make money for my family. Now we have a hard time trying to make ends meet, as we do not have a regular income. I am the only one that eats without work. Thank you to all the kind people who are supporting my costs."
Lydia finished high school last year and has dreams of attending university, but she started experiencing some pain in her abdomen last December. She experienced the pain for one month before going to the hospital for an examination. After an abdomen CT scan, Lydia was diagnosed with Cystic liver disease. She was booked for surgery after the family raised enough money through fundraising. During the surgery, Lydia experienced complications when anesthesia was being administered and the surgery had to be cancelled. She was admitted to the ICU for a few days, recovered, and was discharged, but all the money her family raised was used to pay the hospital bill, and the family had to get a loan to clear the bill. While at home, Lydia recovered well, and during the last clinic review, she was finally ready for liver surgery. Their family has completely exhausted their funds and is appealing for any financial help to facilitate their daughter's treatment, hoping that after her complete healing, she can pursue her dreams. Lydia shared, “I really want to be helpful at home and maybe get a job to help my family but I can’t. This condition is very painful. I hope I will be treated soon enough and recover well.”
Thu Zar is a 47-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her daughter and son-in-law. She is a homemaker, her daughter is a babysitter and her son-in-law is a construction worker. Thu Zar spends most of her time doing household chores, allowing her daughter and son-in-law to concentrate on their work. Since March 2023, Thu Zar has been experiencing occasional heavy bleeding and a gradual enlargement of her abdomen which she had initially thought was caused from gaining weight. Now, she has been diagnosed with leiomyoma--a tumor in the uterus, also known as uterine fibroids. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thu Zar's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thu Zar is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on August 21st. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Thu Zar will no longer have her worrying symptoms. Thu Zar said, “Because of my condition, I feel worried, fearful, and sad. At the same time, I feel relieved and happy that my condition is treatable through surgery and that it is not cancerous. I am grateful to everyone for their support in facilitating my treatment."
Agnes is a mother of three children, aged between 3 to 7 years old. She works as a tailor who mends clothes for a living while her husband works on construction sites. Income from this job is inconsistent and often negligible. They live in a one-room rental house in a semi-rural town. Earlier this month, Agnes was involved in a road accident while traveling from church. She reports that the brakes of the car they were traveling in failed and they rolled off the road. She was rushed to Kijabe Hospital where she was stabilized and an X-ray revealed a right distal radius fracture. It is difficult for her to use her hand, and she is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 14th, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her heal without a deformity. It will also enable her to use her hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Agnes says, “This accident got us unaware. I broke my arm but I am glad it can be rectified. I thank God my life was saved but I still need this treatment to avoid having a deformity. ”
Christian is a 24-year-old from the Philippines. He discontinued his studies to help his family with their finances. Currently, they depend on Christian, as well as his brother and his father, who both work in construction. Since birth, Christian has dealt with indirect inguinal hernia. This type of hernia causes him pain and limits his mobility. This also prevents him from engaging in physical activities or sports. Additionally, Christian also noticed that the hernia is growing in size, which worries his family. Fortunately, on May 31st, Christian will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. A portion of the cost of Christian's treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is raising the remaining $1103 to cover the cost of his surgery and care. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Christian shared, "These limitations caused by my condition frustrate me as I long to contribute to my family's financial stability. Through this surgery, I will be physically fit and will have the chance to land a well-paying job and finally be able to support my family. So to Watsi and the World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you!"
Sein is a 40-year-old father of three from Thailand. Sein and his family are day laborers. During his free time, he likes to watch movies on his mobile phone. During the evening of May 8th, 2023, Sein and his wife were walking around their neighborhood after it had rained. Suddenly, Sein slipped on the slushy and muddy road, falling and hitting his right knee on the concrete beside the road. The fall caused him to fracture his right patella. Sein feels pain around his right knee and it is still slightly swollen and inflamed. Due to the pain, he cannot move his right leg and he feels uncomfortable with his leg in a cast. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Sein will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 12th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help him walk and work again, and he will no longer be in pain. Sein said, "I want to thank my neighbors and you [BCMF] and everyone else for helping me. I hope I can make a full recovery. When I've recovered fully, I will work hard for my family and I will fulfill my children’s wishes of going to Bangkok and working there for the betterment of their lives."
Zoe, who is six months old, lives with her parents and two older sisters in La Paz, Bolivia. Her father is a dentist, while her mother stays home to take care of the children. When Zoe was born, she was diagnosed with Down syndrome and patent ductus arteriosus, a condition where there is a hole between two major blood vessels near the heart. As a result of this condition, blood leaks through the hole, leaving her weak and unable to gain weight, as her blood isn't properly oxygenated. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,500 to fund surgery to correct Zoe's condition. The operation is scheduled for April 19th at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría, where doctors will sew the hole shut, allowing for her blood to flow completely through her heart. Zoe should grow stronger after she has recovered from surgery. Zoe's mother said: "Our family is very hopeful that Zoe will gain an appetite and become stronger after her surgery!"
A cheerful grandmother from Kenya, Susan is blessed with eight children. One of her sons died while he was still young, and the others got married moved away. She is a widow, and lives with her grandson who goes to a nearby primary school. Susana's children, like her, did not go beyond the primary level of their education. She lives in a semi-arid area of the county where they plant millet and sorghum as their main socio-economic activity. The area is affected by insecurity issues and bandits have affected their way of doing things. She took a long time to come to seek medical attention since her home area was not safe at that time. Susana recently fell while carrying firewood and sustained an injury to her left humerus. Susana came into the hospital with her arm splinted in the company of her daughter hoping to find the help she needs to return her normal life. Susana had an X-ray that showed that she had a fracture of the proximal humerus. The splint was removed during the examination, as she had developed a cast sore that got infected. It was thoroughly cleaned and dressed, and she was discharged home with antibiotics. Currently, Susana cannot lift or move her hand due to pain. The fracture is more than a month old and so she needs a complex procedure in order to align her broken bone, allowing her to heal quickly. Her economic status is challenging and she cannot afford to pay for her procedure. She is appealing for help from all well-wishers reading her story. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 21st, Susana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The treatment will help Susana to do activities by herself. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Susana says, "It’s really hard to depend on people in activities such as bathing. I am so disturbed when I see my children leave their houses for my sake. Kindly help me so that I may be able to depend on myself and for them to be able to work and provide for their families.”