Ben joined Watsi on June 18th, 2014. Seven years ago, Ben joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ben's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Ar, a hardworking day-laborer from Thailand, to fund surgery to repair his broken arm.
Ben has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 12 countries.
Ben has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 12 countries.
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Elsa is a 9-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to play football with his dad and other kids. He is the first born in a family of three. His father is a daily laborer and his mother takes care of their house and family. Elsa and his family live in a rented house. Their family shared with us that Elsa does not go to school because his father hides him from the community for fear of gossip and stigma due to his birth condition. His parents are highly affected psychologically as a result of his affliction. His father is planning to send him to school in September after his surgery and recovery. Elsa was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Elsa had his first stage of hypospadias repair surgery in January and is now planned for a second stage surgery. He will be healthy and active after this treatment. Elsa is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 31st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His father said, “I hope my child goes to school after the treatment. I hope he will mingle and play with other children and that will make him happy, break his isolation, and resolve the tension in his mind. If God wills he will be a doctor.”
Meet Jecinta, a 12-year-old friendly, talkative, and funny girl. She is the youngest in her family of three children. Currently, Jecinta is a student in grade 5, and in school, she likes reading and playing with her friends even though her legs limits her ability to play as well as her peers. Jecinta's mother is a single mother who works temporary jobs on neighbor’s farms, clothes washing, and other available jobs. Jecinta was born healthy, but her mother noticed a sudden bowing of her legs when she was one. Jecinta's mother took her toddler to a nearby hospital where plaster was applied to her legs to prevent spreading of her condition. However, since then, it has continued to worsen and has been affecting Jecinta's mobility. At this point, she cannot stand upright and play with friends as she would like to. Fortunately, Jecinta is scheduled to undergo surgery on July 19th to correct her legs. This treatment will allow her to walk like other friends, play with them, and continue with her studies, all of which can improve her self-esteem. “I would wish for support for my child because I cannot be able to afford the hospital bills,”Jecinta’s mother asks.
Vivian is a fifth-grade student and the eldest of two children in her family. Vivian is a friendly and a hard working girl both at school and at home. She loves to help her mother with house chores and enjoys learning new things. In 2019, Vivian was involved in a fire accident which has left her with burns and contracture on her right side. As a result, her range of movement is limited and it is difficult for her to use her right side of her body freely. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Vivian receive treatment. On May 11th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure to repair her injury and increase mobility on that side of her body. Now, Vivian's family needs help to fund this $747 procedure. Vivian’s mother shared, "After her first surgery, she could use her arm well but over the year it has started contracting again. She has been scheduled for another surgery which we cannot afford. Please help."
Simon is a ten-year-old boy and is the fifth of seven children. Simon and his siblings are being raised by their widowed mother. Though they do not have a farm, Simon's mother has received some support from their village church and has been able to start a small business of selling sugar, tea leaves, salt, and little snacks like doughnuts to be able to support and provide for her children. Recently, Simon was diagnosed with a bone condition called right valgus. During year seven at school, he fell ill from a bacterial infection and was bedridden for a long time. His mother tried to use traditional herbal medication which didn't help with the condition. Simon's infection continued to get worse, and as his mother began to worry he might die, the church helped to pay for medical treatment so he could recover fully. When he was strong enough to get out of bed and walk, his mother noticed his leg was not straight, but she thought it was because of the long period he had been in bed not walking. Over time, his leg has worsened, making walking difficult for him. As a result, Simon is unable to get around or attend to his normal daily activities with ease. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Simon. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th. Treatment will hopefully restore Simon's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Simon’s mother asks, "Please help my son."
Josephine is a widow and mother who has three children, now grown up themselves and who work as casual laborers. Recently, Josephine's daughter brought her to our medical partner and explained that her mother has difficulties in communicating and hearing. She could not explain how she slipped or fell, but has severe leg pain, including feeling like it has detached, and she had not been able to walk for over a week. An X-ray showed she has a closed fracture of the left femur. Additionally, on checking her blood level, she had hemoglobin (Hb) of 7mg/dl, which is a sign of anemia. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. The surgeon first advised admission for treatment to correct the anemia. Next, on April 15th, an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure has been scheduled to repair her fracture. This procedure will help Josephine be able to walk again and resume her normal activities. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. If not treated, Josephine will not be able to use her left leg and the fracture may have malunion or heal with permanent deformity. Josephine was mostly quiet as her daughter shared her story, but she added, “Please help me and God will bless you.”
Lemayan is a seven-year-old boy from Tanzania and the youngest child in a family of two children. He is a hardworking boy who helps look after his parents' goats. Lemayan walks a long distance every day in search of green pasture and water for his father’s goats. His family comes from a region where the economic activity is livestock keeping; the region is not favorable for farming since it sees very little rainfall. Given the remoteness of the area and their lifestyle as nomadic livestock farmers, most of the children in the area are not able to go school and Lemayan has not had the chance to attend school. One year ago, Lemayan developed a mass on his shoulder. From there, masses developed in different areas of his body. Of greatest concern at the moment, however, is a submandibular mass that is growing quickly. Lemayan experiences pain and discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Lemayan receive treatment. Lemayan traveled to our medical partner's care center and on March 12th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Lemayan needs help to raise $724 to fund the procedure. Lemayan’s mother shared, “finding money to take our son the hospital was a big challenge and that’s why we have not been able to take him. Kindly help my son."
Htoo is a five-year-old boy from who lives with his parents and four siblings in a refugee camp in Thailand. His mother is a homemaker and his father used to work as a day laborer in a nearby Thai village, but has been unable to leave the camp for work since COVID-19 broke out in Thailand. Htoo will start Kindergarten this year. Their family's monthly stipend is not enough to cover their daily needs. Recently, Htoo climbed a guava tree to pick some fruit. He slipped, fell, and landed on his left arm. Htoo injured his elbow in the fall and his father immediately rushed him to the camp hospital run by Malteser International (MI). After receiving first aid, the medic referred him to another hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken elbow and referred for treatment. Knowing that Htoo needed surgery, MI staff referred him to our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance to access surgery. Currently, Htoo is in pain and cannot bend his left arm. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Htoo will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Htoo regain use of his left arm so that he can complete daily tasks. Htoo's father is hopeful he'll be feeling well soon. He shared that right now, "Htoo does not want to go to school or study. He loves to play football."
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
Elnatan is a 1-year-old boy from Uganda. He is very playful and loves to play with car toys. Elnatan is an only child. His mom makes traditional coffee for a living, and she is the main breadwinner and caretaker for the family. His dad is an assistant mechanic, but, as his mom shared, he does not contribute as much to the family due to his problems with alcoholism. Elnatan was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Elnatan has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Elnatan will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a corrective surgery called an orchidopexy on January 21st. AMHF is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Elnatan's mother shared, “I believe he will heal and go to school and become a clever student. I hope he will lead his own organization and become financially successful one day."
Pendo is a twenty-one-year-old mother from Tanzania. She has two children aged two and a half years and one and a half years. In 2018, Pendo was involved in a fire accident. She had boiled water to give her two children warm baths. As she was bathing the youngest child close to the fire, she had an epileptic attack and fell down on the fire, leaving her unconscious and her right hand burned badly. Her firstborn child ran for help, and the neighbors rushed her to the hospital. There, Pendo had her burns cleaned and was advised to have them regularly dressed to help the wounds heal. However, after returning home, she never came back for more dressings due to financial challenges. Pendo sought treatment via herbal medicines instead, and her healing process was very slow. Eventually, Pendo's parents came to help take care of her and her children. She heard about our medical partner's care center from them, and sought treatment to correct her hand. Through Watsi donor support, Pendo was able to successfully undergo treatment to have her wrist contractures released and pins inserted in her hand. Because of how her wounds are healing, doctors recommend she have another surgery to help cover up her post-surgical wound with a skin graft. Pendo appeals for financial help for the care she needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Pendo receive treatment. On January 15th, surgeons at their care center will perform a split-thickness skin graft burn surgery. Once recovered, she will be able to use her hand much more easily and return to taking care of her children. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Pendo shared, “My hand is now much better than before, though this wound is not healing well. This surgery will help in my healing, but I cannot afford it so I appreciate any help you can provide."
John is a motorcycle taxi operator from Kenya. He's a 31-year-old man from an area called Zimmerman in Nairobi County and the second born in a family of four. John went to school up through high school, but since his family could not afford to send him to college, he learnt how to ride a motorbike and started hustling in Zimmerman to sustain himself. John told us that he was just planning for his future and to get married when the worst happened. On Saturday Dec. 12th, when a client sent him to carry some luggage, on the way he was hit by a vehicle. He sustained an open fracture of his right femur. Luckily he was brought to Nazareth Hospital and was admitted for care. He is not able to move his leg and the surgeon recommends an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) surgery to heal his fracture. Since John had to borrow funds for his admission fee, he does not have a way to pay for the surgery he needs. He has requested support and is concerned if he is not treated soon he could develop a bone infection which will delay healing and cause him more complications. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 15th, John will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “My family members are not able to support me for this surgery and am afraid to see my bones. I kindly ask for help so that I can be able to walk again, go back to my job, and start planning for my future family,” said John.