Ben's Story

Ben joined Watsi on March 18th, 2015. Nine years ago, Ben joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ben's most recent donation traveled 6,900 miles to support Kay Thaw, a 29-year-old man from Burma, to fund eye surgery.

Impact

Ben has funded healthcare for 110 patients in 13 countries.

Patients funded by Ben

Kay Thaw is a 29-year-old day laborer from Burma. He lives with his parents, five younger brothers, two younger sisters, a brother-in-law, and a nephew in the Internally Displaced People (IDP) Camp, in Karen State, Burma. Kay Thaw and his family fled to the IDP camp a year ago due to the conflict happening around their village at that time. The combined income of Kay Thaw's family is not enough to cover their daily needs. They borrow money from neighbors and also receive food donations in the IDP camp. During his free time, Kay Thaw likes to play football and cane ball. He also enjoys reading religious books. Currently, Kay Thaw has blurred vision in both of his eyes. Often, his eyes become red, inflamed, itchy, and watery. He cannot see other people’s faces and has difficulty seeing at night. Kay Thaw was diagnosed with juvenile cataract in both eyes. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Kay Thaw. On May 17th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Kay Thaw's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Kay Thaw said, “I hope my vision goes back to normal so that I can see and work well. I am totally blind at night. I cannot see other people's faces even when they are beside me. I cannot read the prayers when I go to church. I am worried about my eyes. I cannot afford to pay for my treatment. Without your help, I do not know what I can do."

$855raised
$645to go

Kyaw is a 5-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents, grandmother, and older sister. Kyaw’s father supports the family as a Wi-Fi technician, while his mother and grandmother take care of the household. Recently, Kyaw started nursery school. During his free time, he likes to play football with his friends and ride his bicycle. In June 2023, while playing outside with his friends, Kyaw was accidentally hit by a friend and injured his left eye. Since then, Kyaw began to experience blurring and watering in his left eye, sensitivity to light, accompanied by pain, itching, and redness around the eye. These symptoms have made it increasingly difficult for him to see clearly. Kyaw was diagnosed with retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue in the eye, resulting in vision loss. If left untreated, he could lose his vision completely. Kyaw is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach his retina on March 11th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. After his surgery, Kyaw's vision will hopefully be restored and he can resume his daily activities comfortably. Kyaw’s mother said, “I am very thankful to BCMF and their donors. It was very difficult to find an organization that would help with the cost of treatment. It is good to know I can depend on others for support like this, without you, it would be very difficult for me to help my son.”

$856raised
$644to go

Saw Htoo is an 11-year-old boy from Burma who lives with his parents, 4 brothers and a sister in a refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. His parents fled to the camp from Karen State, Burma, due to the civil war in 2010. Saw Htoo is in grade 4 and his favorite subject is English. His father used to work as a day laborer before travel restrictions were imposed on camp residents after the outbreak of covid-19. Since then, both of Saw Htoo’s parents are homemakers. Although they receive a small monthly cash card to purchase food in the camp, as well as free basic health care and education, they struggle to make ends meet. For the past 5 years, Saw Htoo has been brought frequently to the hospital in the camp due to having urine in his blood. He has also experienced pain while going to the bathroom, developed a fever and pain in his bladder area. He received an ultrasound, an x-ray of his kidney, ureter and bladder (KUB) and an intravenous pyelogram (IVP) and was diagnosed with a renal stone in his right renal pelvis. At a follow-up appointment in August 2023, he received another IVP which indicated that the stone was increasing in size and doctors recommended Saw Htoo have surgery to remove the stone. Saw Htoo has been experiencing pain in his back, and he often needs to take leave from school because of the pain. Fortunately, our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) can help. Saw Htoo is scheduled for surgery on September 8th, and BCMF is asking for help to raise $1,500 to fund the procedure. Saw Htoo said, “I want to become a football player [in the future] because I love to play football.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Sai is a 26-year-old veteran from Burma. He lives at a dormitory for people with disabilities in the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Camp in Shan State, Burma. He has been unemployed since his injury. In his free time, Sai likes to exercise and garden. However, he is currently unable to do these activities because of his health. In 2019, Sai was shot in his right upper thigh. Following the event, he underwent an X-ray examination which confirmed a fractured hip. A doctor immobilized his right thigh and hip by applying a cast. Nevertheless, he has been grappling with persistent discomfort in his right leg and hip. On July 11th, with the assistance of Watsi, he underwent a CT scan of his hip, revealing a malunion of the hip fracture. Sai's right hip and leg continue to be a source of pain for him, despite his regular use of pain-relief medications. Due to the pain, he cannot stand or walk on his right leg without the support of crutches, and his sleep is often disturbed at night as the pain intensifies during colder weather and nighttime hours. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Sai will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for August 10th and will cost $1,500. The procedure will help him walk easily again without crutches and resolve pain. Sai said; "I feel very happy to receive treatment in an advanced hospital with your help BCMF, Watsi, and my donors. I cannot wait to walk with my leg and become healthy again. Thank you very much."

$1,500raised
Fully funded