Benjamin joined Watsi on May 26th, 2014. Seven years ago, Benjamin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Benjamin's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Angel, a girl from Kenya, to fund burn repair surgery.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 7 countries.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 7 countries.
Angel is a child from Kenya. Last year, she fell on boiling cooking oil. She suffered extensive burns on her face, neck and right hand, spending six weeks in the hospital. She healed, but with contractures. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Angel receive treatment. On July 2, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her stretch her hand and use it freely. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,176 procedure. Angel says, “I want to be a teacher."
Isaya is an infant from Tanzania. He is the youngest child in a family of six children. Isaya has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Isaya has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Isaya will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Isaya that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Isaya's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Isaya will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy.
Meet Purity, a one-month-old baby girl from Kenya. Purity lives with her parents, who run a small shop in the local area to support the family. “When Purity was born, one the first things her parents were notified of was that their daughter’s head was larger than the average of a newborn,” explains our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “After further investigation, the doctor confirmed Purity has hydrocephalus.” Hydrocephalus is a condition in which an excess of cerebrospinal fluid builds up, creating heavily pressurized areas in the brain. As Purity grows and develops throughout her childhood, this condition could pose serious health complications, including vision loss and limited physical mobility. For $980, Purity will receive surgery in which a shunt will be placed in her head to reroute the cerebrospinal fluid to the abdomen, where it can be more easily absorbed. “Purity’s surgical care will reduce the increased intracranial pressure in the brain which could be fatal,” says AMHF. “She will have a chance of leading a quality life.” “Before Purity got sick, I did not know about hydrocephalus,” shares Purity’s father. “To be told of all the risks that our daughter is at because of this, shocks and saddens us. It was a great relief to hear from the doctor that hydrocephalus can be managed.”
Meet Hezron, a 19-month-old boy who lives with his mother and older sibling in Kenya. “Hezron was born with an abnormal urethral opening, forcing him to pee with a lot of difficulty,” explains our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “His mother sought treatment when he was six months old, but she could not raise the required funds for his treatment.” Hezron’s condition, known as hypospadias, is characterized by a urethral opening on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip and often contributes to other health issues. “If not treated,” AMHF explains, “Hezron is likely to suffer urinary tract infections. He will also not be able to pass urine normally.” To treat hypospadias, a surgeon takes tissue grafts from the foreskin or from the inside of the mouth to extend the length of the urethra so that it opens at the tip of the penis. After surgery, “Hezron will be able to pass urine normally,” explains AMHF. “The risk of urinary tract infections will also be minimized.” Hezron’s mother, who sells second-hand clothes to support her family, has not been able to raise the total funds required to pay for the surgery that Hezron needs. $655 pays for Hezron to undergo surgery to repair the hypospadias as well as 10 days of hospital care after surgery. Family and friends have contributed $215 to cover additional costs associated with his care. “I try to give my children the best,” Herzon's mother says. “I have no one to look up to, and I’ll appreciate any support.”
Lorvenson is a 20-month-old Haitian boy who lives with his parents. According to our medical partner, Project Medishare (PM), Lorvenson has a collection of pus in his lungs called an empyema. "Lorvenson started having trouble breathing, has a fever and severe abdominal pain, cries a lots during the nights and he has lost his appetite." His father took him to the hospital where CT scans revealed Lorevenson's empyema. Both of Lorvenson’s parents are unemployed and the family cannot pay for the surgery themselves. PM adds that, "his father says he is excited to find a job after the surgery of his baby in order to provide him a healthier life." With $1,500, Lorvenson will be admitted to the pediatric critical care unit where doctors will drain the pus from his lungs, and treat his infection with antibiotics. PM expects that after surgery, “Lorvenson will be healthy again and go back home with his family."
“Veasna is in the 10th grade and enjoys playing soccer and studying math,” shares our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). Veasna is a 16-year-old boy from Cambodia who has a dislocated left elbow. CSC tells us, “Veasna has difficulty bending his elbow and can’t do his work very well in school.” The weakened condition of his elbow causes a great deal of pain, as well. $405 will fund the open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure Veasna needs to treat his fracture. After an incision is made in the skin over the bone, a surgeon will move the bone into its correct place and use sutures or screws to hold the bone together. After the incision is closed, Veasna’s arm will be placed in a cast or splint to protect the bone as it heals. This ORIF surgery is low-risk and very effective. After Veasna heals, the function and mobility of his elbow will be restored. Let’s help Veasna get healthy!
Socheta, a nine-year-old girl from Cambodia, “loves to run around and play with the kids in her village,” shares our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). Unfortunately, Socheta isn’t able to fully participate in playtime and school activities with her friends. CSC explains, “Socheta has a burn contracture on her hand that limits the usefulness of her hand. She can’t carry things very well and has difficulty writing in school. Socheta has had this problem since she was a year old." Burn contractures occur after a burn has healed improperly—the leftover skin tissue becomes very thick and tight, restricting movement. With $240, Socheta will undergo an operation to regain use of her right hand. After her procedure, she will spend five days in the hospital, working with a physiotherapist. This surgery will allow Socheta to utilize both of her hands—allowing her to write better in school. After recovering from her surgery, CSC comments, “Socheta will regain function to her hand.” Let’s get this little girl back on the playground and into the classroom!
Mu is a resilient 42-year-old woman who escaped Burma amidst political conflict 10 years ago, and has been living in a refugee camp in Thailand ever since. Mu takes care of her sister, niece, and nephew, and she used to work as a day laborer with her husband to earn an income to support their family. However, she was diagnosed with a uterine myoma, and she experiences severe abdominal pain that prevents her from working. Mu’s family does not have enough money to support themselves and Mu’s care. She tells us, “it is a very big problem. I cannot take care of my niece and nephew, and I cannot work to provide for my family. I want to be able to cook and clean for my family, and I want to be able to return to work as soon as possible.” For $1500, Mu will undergo surgery under the Burma Border Projects’ care. Surgery will remove the tumor and eliminate the abdominal pain and discomfort so that Mu can return to work and supporting her family. Let's help make it happen!
“Once my foot is straight, I will go to school and study hard to become a doctor,” says Joseph. Meet Joseph, an energetic 13-year-old boy from Tanzania. Joseph is one of five and is the fourth born child in his family. “Joseph refused to go to school because other children laugh at him whenever they see him walk abnormally,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) explains. “He recently agreed to home schooling so he is now working hard to learn how to read and write.” Joseph has unilateral clubfoot. AMHF explains, “Joseph cannot walk properly because he is using the lateral aspect of his right foot for walking. He can’t wear shoes because his right foot doesn’t fit any regular shoe. If not treated, Joseph’s gait will continue to be affected and he will also be at a risk of developing early osteoarthritis.” “Joseph’s parents are small-scale farmers. They rely on growing maize, beans, potatoes and sunflower. What they earn from farming is not enough to cover their daily expenses as well as the treatment, which Joseph badly needs," AMHF continues. For $1,160, Joseph will be able to walk properly, without the fear of being teased. The cost of treatment covers everything from Joseph’s surgery and hospital stay, to his painkillers and physiotherapy. Let’s help give Joseph access to the healthcare he needs, and help him return to school.
Meet Klein, a one-year-old little boy from Burma. Klein has a condition called hydrocephalus -- an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the ventricles of the brain. “His mother began noticing the health condition when he would not be able to be breastfed without soon getting a headache and crying," says our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). "His condition has gotten worse; the boy endures diarrhea, fevers, coughing, vomiting, runny noses, in addition to the gradual growth of the buildup of fluid." Klein's parents are under financial strain from supporting their large family, and Klein’s father had to take a job in Bangkok to send wages home. They are unable to fund the surgery Klein needs. For $1,485, BBP can insert a ventriculoperitoneal shunt to drain the fluid. “Treatment will allow him to sleep and eat normally which will help him develop normally. He will no longer suffer from nausea and headaches and bouts of fever,” says BBP. BBP adds that "his mother would like to see him finish higher education, so that he may become a doctor one day."
"As Angelina kept growing, so did the mass," says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "Despite her condition, Angelina is an active and happy baby." Seven-month-old Angelina is from Tanzania, and was born with a closed myelomeningocele -- a mass on her lower back which can rupture anytime. If it were to rupture, AMHF tells us, the loss of cerebral spinal fluid would be life-threatening for her. For $1100, AMHF can operate on Angelina and remove the mass. She will no longer have the condition and her family will not need worry about a potential rupture. Her parents work hard selling maize and millet to support the family, but cannot come up with the funds for her surgery. “It is our great hope that our daughter will get the right treatment to remove the swelling on her lower back as it keeps growing bigger and bigger," says Angelina's mother. "We want her to be able to crawl, walk and continue with normal growth like the rest of our children so that later on she can also go to school."
Meet Wildiesta. She is two-years-old, and lives with her parents, grandparents, and siblings in Haiti. “She is very close to her family, but tends to be shy and afraid of strangers (especially doctors!),” shares our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). Wildiesta was born with a heart condition called partial atrioventricular canal defect, more commonly referred to as a hole in the heart. The condition deprives her body of the oxygen it needs, and leaves Wildiesta sick and fatigued. It also slows her growth and development, and if left treated, could be fatal. For $1,500, Wildiesta will receive heart surgery that will allow her to lead a normal and healthy life. “Ever since Wildiesta was born, we have been hoping for surgery for her- we are so happy she is getting her chance!” says her mother. Let’s make it happen!