Michael joined Watsi on July 29th, 2013. One year ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 6,400 miles to support Abel, an 11-month-old baby boy from Bolivia, to fund heart surgery.
Michael has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 11 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 11 countries.
Abel, who is 11 months old, lives with his parents in La Paz. He is his parents' first child. Abel was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. Because of this, a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through Abel's lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Abel's parents sought the help of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, and now Abel is scheduled for surgery on January 16th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uria. During surgery, doctors will sew the hole shut, so that blood will no longer leak out. This procedure should enable Abel to grow into a healthy young boy. Abel's mother said: "Our family is praying that our son will be strong and healthy after this surgery!"
Kenenitu is a young child from Ethiopia. She is a beautiful baby who loves playing with other children. She developed bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy surgery was done at our medical partner's care center BKMCM. The condition and care has been challenging for Kenenitu and her mother who has been affected psychologically. Kenenitu's mother is a single mom with four children. Her brother stepped in to help raise the children as her husband has left without support. Before giving birth to Kenenitu, her mother used to make injera, an Ethiopian cuisine, for a living. Currently, she is not working. The family received logistical support from an NGO to arrive at the hospital and Kenenitu's mother is staying at another NGO in Addis Ababa for medical follow-up and accommodation. Due to their financial situation, the family cannot afford the medical bills for Kenenitu's treatment. Kenenitu's mother has struggled emotionally with her daughter's condition. She said, "I wondered what was going to happen to her. I used to cry a lot and I was not in my normal mental condition. But when I heard that she could be treated, my hope was restored and I felt better." Kenenitu 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. Kenenitu is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on December 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kenenitu's procedure and care. After her recovery, Kenenitu will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Kenenitu's mother said, "After receiving treatment, I hope she will start making stool... I want to take her to school and educate her."
Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”
Thet is a 35 year old husband and father, who lives with his wife, son and in-laws in Mon State in Burma. Both Thet and his wife work in his uncle's grocery store, while his in laws are farmers. When he isn't working, Thet enjoys spending time with his son and reading. In November 2018, Thet started to experience tiredness when working, and frequent headaches. He also had a rapid heartbeat, and he couldn't sleep well. He went to a hospital in Mawlamyine, where he was referred to a different hospital in Yangon for further treatment. At the hospital in Yangon, Thet was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and stenosis, which would require surgery to correct. Thet was sent home with medications to manage his condition. In March 2022, Thet went back to the hospital in Yangon, because of continuing fatigue, headaches, coughing and fever. The doctor told him they would contact him to schedule his surgery in May, but Thet never heard back from the hospital. When Thet told his neighbor about this, his neighbor gave him the phone number of a heart patient who had been helped by our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Thet followed up, and thanks to the assistance of Burma Children Medical Fund, he is finally scheduled for surgery to replace the valve in his heart on October 13th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Thet needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of this surgery. "I have sold all my jewelry to pay for the cost of traveling to the hospital. I feel less stressed since I met the BCMF staff,” said Thet.
Nu is a 57-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two sons in a refugee camp. Her sons go to school. She and her husband raise chickens and grow vegetables both for their own consumption and for sale. She has cataracts and her vision is blurry. She is often worried that she might slip and fall due to her poor vision, and she has to walk slowly and carefully. Sometimes, she will have a headache and a stiff neck. Since her vision has become blurry, she can no longer read, which she shared she especially likes to do to read the Bible or the lyrics for new hymns. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Nu. On September 15th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Nu's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I go to church, I feel sad because I cannot participate, like reading passages from the Bible," she shared.
Francis is a helpful and supportive son who lives with his single mother and eight siblings. His family lives together in a rental house. Together, he and his mother work tending farms to support their family. Francis has been a great source of support for his family, especially in helping his mother raise his siblings. However, Francis experiences frequent convulsions, or uncontrollable muscle contractions, preceded by dizziness, nausea, and headaches, which have affected his lifestyle and his family. Francis first experienced a convulsion at the end of 2020 after being hit in the head by a ball and losing consciousness while playing football with his colleagues. This marked the beginning of his health troubles. Although he has been seeking treatment at a local health center, he decided to seek out specialized care at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, once the intervals of his convulsions began to increase. After receiving a CT scan, it was revealed that Francis has a brain tumor, which is the cause of his convulsions. Fortunately, he is scheduled for a craniotomy for tumor resection. This procedure will help remove the tumor and stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund Francis's tumor removal surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, he will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Francis says, “My work is to tend farms so that I can help my mother and siblings. I sometimes experience many convulsions that are affecting my livelihood. I hope for treatment to end these discomforts.”
Faith is a beautiful four-month-old baby from Kenya. She is the youngest of two children. To support their family, her mother is a stay-at-home mom, and her father herds and sells cattle. Faith was born at home with several congenital conditions. Her parents took her to a nearby facility for examination, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and clubfoot. They were referred to another facility where a medical device, called a shunt, was used to help treat the hydrocephalus, draining the excess fluid from her brain. On discharge, the hospital referred her and her family to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, where Faith was examined and scheduled for spina bifida repair surgery. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Faith 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 Faith's spina bifida closure surgery. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 13th. This procedure will hopefully spare Faith from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Faith’s father says, “When I saw the problems that my child has, I was worried that she would never receive treatment. I am hopeful she will receive treatment with your help.”
Thi is a 37-year-old woman who lives and works at a garment factory in Tak Province near the Thai border with Burma. Through her work, she receives free meals and board in addition to 4,000 baht (approx. 133 USD) per month. In her free time, she likes to watch political news and read books. She is also learning Thai to help her communicate with others in Thailand. Since April 17, Thi has been experiencing severe pain due to a mass in her ovary. She feels very unwell and often has a headache. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumor and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thi's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thi is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on June 14th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Thi will be no longer in pain and will be able to work without feeling pain. Thi said, "I want to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can return to my work after I am fully recovered."
Jamesly is an 11-year-old boy who lives with his parents and older brother in Haiti. He shared that he likes to play with his friends. Jamesly has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, increasing intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Jamesly has developed headaches, and he is unable to walk. Without treatment, Jamesly will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Jamesly at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only hospital in the country where Jamesly can receive the treatment that is critical to resolving his hydrocephalus. This life-changing surgery is scheduled for May 12th, and it should allow Jamesly to develop into a strong and healthy young man. His family is hopeful the surgery will enable Jamesly to go back to school, and be able to play with his friends.
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
Glory lives with her grandmother in the village to attend school, while her four younger siblings live with her parents in the city. She is currently in form four and would like to be newscaster when she completes her studies. Last December, Glory developed an infection on her right hand. This affected her studies to some extent, but she was determined to go to school to complete her final year. However, the wound has now contracted as it healed, making her unable to straighten her fingers. This injury has made it difficult to hold a pen well enough to write, but she has continued her studies as best as she can. Glory's family learned that she needs surgery to heal her condition and to be able to fully use her hand in the future. Her father could not afford the cost of the surgery out of his wages earned in his construction job. But, when he heard about the visiting plastic surgery team over the radio, he decided to seek help. Now, African Mission Healthcare is seeking support to fund her surgery, which will allow her better mobility in her hand. Glory says, “It was hard for me to accept that my finger would need to be amputated but the surgeons have assured me that it will help me use my other fingers better making carrying out daily activities easier than now. Especially in my studies.”
Naw Hser is a 47-year-old woman who lives with her older brother, her two daughters, two son-in-laws, two grandsons and one granddaughter in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Everyone in Naw Hser’s family is currently unemployed since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late March 2020, when their refugee camp was placed under lockdown. Making things harder, the price of food has increased so the monthly 2,050 baht (approx. 68 USD) support they receive on a cash card is not enough to purchase necessities. By the end of each month, they have to purchase food from the shop on credit, which they try to pay back at the end of the month. They also grow vegetables in their neighbour’s garden, sharing the food they grow with them. This has made funding for medical care for their family very limited right now. In early 2019, Naw Hser started to become very tired when she walked short distances. She also experiences back and lower abdominal pain almost every day. This has impacted her appetite and she has lost weight over the past year. She shared that she cannot sleep at night because of the pain and because of the stress she feels about her condition. She is worried it is not treatable and her family feels sad seeing her in pain. Naw Hser has been diagnosed with uterine myoma. She has been advised by her doctor to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Naw Hser's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Naw Hser is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on January 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and she will be able to get back to more of her normal life. Once Naw Hser recovers, she is looking forward to being able to live happily with her family as she wishes. Naw Hser said, “I want to live happily with my children and look after my grandchildren. Now, my daughters do not want me to cook or wash clothes for my grandchildren anymore. They want me to rest because of my condition. They really feel sad when they see me in pain and sometimes, I also cannot control my tears when I see them cry. I really want to have surgery to recover.”