Michael joined Watsi on January 5th, 2015. Nine years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Kaung, a 2-year-old baby boy from Burma, to undergo surgery for a severe birth condition.
Michael has funded healthcare for 103 patients in 12 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 103 patients in 12 countries.
Kaung is a 2-year-old baby boy who lives in Burma with his grandmother, uncle, aunt, and five-month-old cousin. His grandmother is retired, his uncle is a motorbike taxi driver and his aunt is a homemaker. Kaung was born with a condition called Congenital Hydrocephalus. Congenital Hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation or birth condition that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid to accumulate in brain cavities. Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear, colorless liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, protecting them from injury. It carries nutrients to the brain and spinal cord and takes away waste. In a healthy person, the amount of this fluid produced by the brain is absorbed by the body. In hydrocephalus, the fluid fails to drain and accumulates, leading to pressure on the brain. Kaung's symptoms include intensifying nasal congestion and coughing with mucus. Additionally, his head is gradually increasing in size as the fluid continues to put pressure on his brain. The condition is most often treated by inserting a shunt. The shunt diverts excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the brain to another part of the body where the fluid can be reabsorbed. Kaung's family visited a doctor when he was born to address the issue. At the time, the doctor advised the family to seek further treatment. However, Kaung was never brought to a hospital or clinic due to the financial difficulties of the family. Fortunately, Kaung was able to meet with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). With the help of BCMF and Watsi, Kaung received a CT scan at Mae Sot General Hospital. The doctor was able to diagnose his condition and scheduled Kaung to undergo surgery immediately. Kaung is scheduled for surgery on May 26th. Kaung's aunt said, "My nephew becomes cuter by the day, and he is always smiling. I tried to save money to treat him, but I could not. But now, we are so happy to have met you all at BCMF. We are happy to know that Kaung will have the opportunity to get treated because of your support.”
Emmanuel is a 39-year-old father of two from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife and children and works in sales at an electronics store. He has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. There is a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart, which causes blood to leak out without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Because the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Emmanuel will fly to the United States to undergo cardiac surgery on February 27th. Doctors will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital is contributing $10,000 to help pay for this surgery. His family now needs $1,500 to help fund costs of the surgery preparations, including labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments, and travel expenses. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance will accompany Emmanuel overseas and ensure he safely undergoes treatment. Emmanuel says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can focus on taking care of my family without worrying about my health."
Phaw is a 38-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her friend on the Thai-Burma border while she receives treatment. Up until a month ago, she used to work in Bangkok and sent money to her father and stepmother every month to help support them. In her free time, Phaw enjoys playing mobile games, watching movies on her phone, and doing light exercise. Since 2021, Phaw has been experiencing slight pain between the right side of her back and her upper right thigh. She also feels tired and weak. Phaw cannot sleep on her right side because of the pain; if she does, she experiences shortness of breath. Phaw’s condition was diagnosed as a dermoid cyst. She needs to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy because, if left untreated, Phaw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Fortunately, Phaw is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on April 11th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Phaw will no longer be in pain and can work and support her family in Burma again. Phaw said: “Since I have this condition, my father has told me not to worry about supporting them financially. Instead, he told me to take care of my health [first] and seek treatment. I felt so relieved when he told me this.”
Hok is a 27-year-old mother of two from Cambodia who lives in a rural province with her husband and sons. Her husband is a fisherman, and Hok stays home to care for their young children. She loves music, especially traditional Cambodian songs, and enjoys sewing clothing for herself and her children. Hok has had a recurring ear infection since she was five years old. The infection has caused a cholesteatoma- an abnormal skin growth- to develop in the middle ear behind her eardrum, leading to ear discharge, hearing loss, and tinnitus. Hok has difficulty hearing and is sometimes embarrassed to go out because of the pus from her ear. Hok traveled to our medical partners at the Children's Surgical Centre to receive treatment. On March 6th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear during which ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. CSC is requesting $926 to cover the procedure, medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Hok said, "I'm tired of having this my whole life. I want surgery to help my hearing and I want to be able to sleep without the ringing noise."
David is a 24-year-old male from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of four children raised by his mother. He works at a timber workshop near his home. In June 2020, David was involved in an accident where he was hit from the side by a motorbike. He was taken to the nearest public hospital and received emergency care. An x-ray revealed that he had an open right tibia fracture that needed surgery. Following his initial surgery, he has since had several additional surgeries due to the severity of the injury. In October 2022, he was referred to the care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for specialized review and care. His doctors quickly realized that he still walks with a limp, and his ankle is stiff with bloody discharge from the incision site. His doctors determined that a deeper examination was needed, and he ended up having a hardware removal surgery. However, the region where the fracture occurred is still severely infected, and he risks losing his right leg due to the infection. The doctors have recommended an additional procedure to remedy the remaining issues and clean the infection. Fortunately, AMH has scheduled David for a second-stage bone transport in hopes of avoiding amputation and helping him walk again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure and provide for David's post-operative care. David says, “I feel exhausted and worried. I am unable to walk despite having several surgeries. I hope this surgery [helps] to save my leg.”
Meet Aman, a smart, kind, five year old boy, who lives with his family in Ethiopia. Aman likes to help care for his siblings, and to play football. While his parents are farmers, his mother has been unable to work, of late, due to an issue with her eyes. Aman's mother shared that he developed visible changes to the shape of his abdomen, swelling, pain and bloating. Ultimately, he has been diagnosed with a mass on his abdominal wall. As a result of this mass, Aman experiences a variety of challenging symptoms, while his parents are emotionally distressed from watching their child suffer. With the assistance of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Aman is now scheduled for an abdominal resection - the removal of the mass - on January 5th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. The cost of Aman's procedure and care is $1,500, and their family needs your help to fund this procedure to alleviate Aman's suffering. Aman's mother says: “I want him to recover from this disease and be healthy. After this treatment I wish for him to play like his friends. I hope he will get married one day, and I want to see my grandchildren in the future.”
Francklin is a loving husband and father from Haiti. He lives with his wife and two children in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He works as a security guard for a private security company. Francklin has a cardiac condition called severe mitral stenosis which resulted from a rheumatic fever that he suffered when he was young. Blood cannot pass through a valve in his heart properly, leaving him weak and short of breath. The cardiac surgery that Francklin's condition requires is not available in Haiti, so he needs to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair the damaged valve; if they are unable, they will need to implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for his surgery. Francklin's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up care while he heals. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Francklin overseas. Francklin says, "My family and I will pray for God's blessings on everyone who is helping us."
Isaiah is a young husband and father of one. He lives with his family in a single-room rented house in Gachie. Isaiah is the sole breadwinner of the family. He shared that he had hopes of opening a small business for his wife too. Since his accident, Isaiah is unable to work because he uses a motorbike to do his deliveries. The income he earned from the deliveries was very limited and he works hard to support his family. Two weeks ago, Isaiah slipped and fell off a staircase. He landed with his left hand and felt a sharp pain. He went to a nearby hospital, where some scans were done, and he was told that he needed a metal plate put in his hand. He is not able to work and is in severe pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 30th, Isaiah will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After healing, he will be able to work again and to provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Isaiah says, "It pains me that now I cannot work and provide for my family.”
Hosea is a shy, 21 year old student, living with his parents and brothers in Kenya. Hosea's father herds cattle, while his brothers are casual laborers. His mother is unwell, and unable to contribute to the support of the family. When Hosea isn't at school, he helps to cultivate the land and to set up fencing in order to earn more income for the family. Hosea was recently sent home from school, due to a lack of the necessary fees to keep him there. He decided to find some work to earn the money for his school fees, and borrowed a bike from a friend, so that he could transport people and luggage, earning a commission for his work. Unfortunately, Hosea lost control of his bike, and was in a traffic accident, sustaining an injury to his leg. As a result, he is in chronic pain and is unable to work. Hosea sought the help of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, and was diagnosed with a fracture of the tibia and fibula. Now he is scheduled to undergo fracture repair surgery on November 1st, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital, after which he should be able to resume his life, free from pain. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Hosea said: "I am in need and appealing for help from all well-wishers reading my story."
Aye is a 47-year-old mother, living with her daughter in Thailand. Up until four months ago, Aye worked as a day laborer on a farm. Because she has had to stop working, Aye's daughter left school, and now works as a nanny to help support her mother. Aye's siblings have also stepped up to support their sister. Five years ago, Aye began to experience pain on the left side of her body. She also developed a fever and vomiting, lost her appetite, and found it difficult to sleep. In addition, she experienced night sweats and a stiff neck. Aye was treated by a local health worker, and for a while, she felt better. However, in June 2021, her symptoms worsened, and she went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where she was told to go to the hospital. Due to a lack of funds, Aye could not go to the hospital, and was treated at a local clinic, instead. In April 2022, Aye's symptoms returned, and she went back to Mae Tao Clinic, where she was diagnosed with stones in her left kidney. This time she did go the hospital, where she was told that she would need to have surgery, to remove the stones from her kidney. Thanks to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Aye is scheduled for surgery to remove the kidney stones on October 3rd, at Mae Sot General Hospital. After she has recovered, Aye should be able to return to her work and to enjoying her life, free from all of her uncomfortable symptoms. Aye and her family need your help to cover the $1,500 needed to pay for her surgery. Aye said: "I am happy that I will be able to receive surgery through donors. Thank you so much for saving my life.”
Joseph is a bright six-year-old student from Kenya. He is the oldest in a family of two children. Both of his parents work as small-scale farmers to support their family. Joseph 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, Joseph traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Joseph's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without difficulty and wear shoes again. Joseph mother says, “I have a very bright son. Everything else about him is fine except his feet. I hope he becomes a holistic, confident young man in the future, and I will definitely offer him my all to ensure that is achieved.”
Neima is an adorable 16-month-old baby from Ethiopia. She loves to play and eat with her mother! She has an older sister who is eight years old. To support their family, her father works as a farmer and her mother manages their household. Neima 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. Her family has taken her to different hospitals seeking treatment, resulting in them using all of their savings. This left them unable to fund her needed treatments, so Neima went without a colostomy for one year. This led to her experiencing difficulty eating, only taking breast milk and liquids. She eventually developed bowel obstruction because of her condition, and an emergency colostomy was done. However, she now needs to undergo another procedure to eliminate her bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, Neima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 1st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Neima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Neima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother shares, “For my child, I am so hopeful that she will completely heal, and I will celebrate her birthday with my whole family. I will educate her, and I have hope that she will be a teacher or a doctor.”