Ben joined Watsi on April 2nd, 2020. Three years ago, Ben joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ben's most recent donation supported Thet, a 35 year old vendor from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Ben has funded healthcare for 39 patients in 10 countries.
Ben has funded healthcare for 39 patients in 10 countries.
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.
Rose is a 44-year-old wife and mother of two children from Haiti. She lives in a small town in central Haiti with her husband, two children, and her sister and her sister's children. Unfortunately, she has been too unwell to work for over five years, but previously sold electronics in a local market. Rose has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged as a result of rheumatic fever a number of years ago. Her heart cannot adequately pump blood through her body, leaving her tired and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Rose receive treatment. She will fly to the Dominican Republic for her surgery. On January 27th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her diseased mitral valve and implant an artificial replacement. HCA is contributing $12,000 to cover the cost of Rose's procedure, but she and her family also need help funding the costs of surgery prep. Rose and her family need help raising $1,500 to cover labs, medicine, check-ups and follow-up appointments. This money will also support passport obtainment and the social workers from HCA that will accompany Rose's family overseas. Rose shared, "I have felt very sick for a very long time, and I am very hopeful that this surgery will bring me relief and new energy!"
Hoeun is a 55-year-old hardworking father. He is married with four sons, four daughters, and two grandchildren. Hoeun recycles aluminum cans and his wife takes care of their home. Hoeun likes to watch the news on TV and listen to monks pray on the radio. Six months ago, Hoeun developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him photophobia, tearing, and blurry vision. It has been difficult for him to work outside, so he has stopped. Houen's children are currently supporting him. When Hoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for one hour seeking treatment. On September 6th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery, and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, CSC is helping Hoeun raise $253 to fund this procedure. Hoeun shared, "I hope after surgery I can see better and easily go outside. I hope to start working again to support my living."
Khu is a two-year-old toddler from Burma who lives with her parents and younger sister. She and her sister are both too young to attend school yet. To support their family, her father is a subsistence farmer, and her mother is a homemaker. They also raise chickens and pigs, and they forage for vegetables in the jungle. Two months ago, Khu's family noticed discharge in her right eye. Her right pupil eventually began to turn white, but she fortunately did not express that she was having trouble seeing. Worried about her, Khu’s father took her to the free clinic near their village. The medic at the clinic suspected that she was suffering from a congenital cataract and told Khu’s father that they could not treat her at their clinic. Instead, they recommended that she go to a hospital for further investigation. Doctors want Khu to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $968 to cover the cost of Khu's MRI and care, which is scheduled to take place on August 4th. Her grandfather shares, “Khu is my beloved granddaughter. When I see her suffering from this condition, I feel very sad. I also worry about her future. I don’t want to see her in this condition. I want her to have good vision and have a beautiful life when she grows up. I want her to get treatment and have her vision restored.”
Nada is a 3-year-old girl and the youngest born into a family of three. She is a friendly and playful girl. Nada's parents are farmers of maize, beans, and vegetables. They rely entirely on what they harvest for food and sell off any surplus for income for their family. Nada's father also does small jobs on the side to generate extra income. Nada was diagnosed with acquired bilateral genu varus. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Nada has a hard time walking and complains of pain after a long day of play or when it gets cold. She is sometimes unable to stand due to severe pain in her knees when she wakes up in the morning. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nada. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 21st. Treatment will hopefully restore Nada's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Nada’s father says, “My family and I cannot afford to get our daughter treated. We need your help to ensure that she is well and is not in constant pain.”
Kim Heng is a vegetable seller living with her husband who is a retired army nurse. Together they have three daughters, four sons and 15 grandchildren. She enjoys listening to the radio in her spare time. Three years ago, Kim Heng developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her tearing and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and she is uncomfortable going out on her own, as she has concerns about falling. When Kim Heng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours to seek treatment. On May 16th, doctors at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will perform cataract surgery, and implant an intraocular lens in her left eye. They are requesting $253 to cover the cost of Kim Heng's treatment, which will enable her to see clearly again, and to move about independently. Kim Heng says: "I hope I can easily go outside and take care of my family well after surgery."
Samuel is a hard working man from Kenya who gets jobs at a construction site in Narok town. He lives in his ancestral home with his siblings - his parents passed on several years ago. Six days ago, Samuel was attacked by unknown people on his way home in the evening. He has a swollen face, is unable to chew, and is also unable to use his right hand. He was taken to a nearby health center by well-wishers for emergency care from where he was referred to a government facility, and thence to Kijabe Hospital. Kijabe doctors have recommended two surgeries to heal his fractures. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him to get the care he needs. On September 30th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to fix the fractures in his jaw and hand. Samuel's income is inconsistent, and is not enough to pay for the surgery. He does not have medical coverage and has been depending on well-wishers to pay for his medical bill. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samuel shared with us, “I can only take liquid meals. My mouth is painful and swollen. I am also unable to use my right hand. I cannot work to buy food, and I cannot even eat the food I struggle to get because of the injuries.”
Jane is a loving mother from the Philippines. She has an adorable 8-month-old baby boy. Jane works as as a municipal administrative aide, while her husband works as a contractual college teacher. However, even with their combined salaries, they still cannot afford to cover her medical treatment. In 2019, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painful, palpable mass on her neck. She was diagnosed with a nodular goiter, which is a solid or fluid-filled lump that forms within the thyroid. However, due to financial constraints, she opted to take the doctor’s prescribed medicine to alleviate the symptoms instead of having the surgery she needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Jane finally undergo treatment. She is scheduled for a thyroidectomy on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $1323, and she and her family need help raising money for this life-changing care. “Once this surgery is done, I won’t have to endure this pain. Thank you World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for this opportunity to be treated. Now, we don't have to worry about where to get the money for my treatment,” Jane shared with relief.
Collins is seventh grade student and is looking forward to finishing his primary school studies. He is the second born in a family of three children. His father is a motorbike taxi driver but was involved in an accident and broke his hand and is now unable to work. Their family now relies on Collins' mother who does laundry work and house chores to earn a living for their family. Collins is a happy and talkative boy. When he was young, his parents noticed his health condition took him to a nearby hospital for treatment. There he was examined but was not able to receive care at that time. His parents were not satisfied and went to another hospital where they recommended surgery. His family has not been able to cover the cost and Collins has not yet been treated. Fortunately, their church pastor heard about Collins’ condition and referred them to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. Collins was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Collins has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Collins will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 12th. AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Collins’ mother says, “I used to feel bad about myself previously as I could not afford to cater for my son’s treatment. Now I’m happy with the progress and what God is doing in Collins’ life. We hope for the best with the surgery.”
Irine is a hardworking 76-year-old grandmother and widow from Kenya. She lives in a semi-permanent house and works as a small-scale farmer, growing food to feed herself. She receives other basic necessities from her children. Irine's home is located in an area with many hills, which become very slippery when it rains. One rainy day, Irine was doing her daily duties when she unfortunately slipped and fell. As she fell on the side of her hip, the load she was carrying also fell on top of her. She could not get up or move due to her right lower limb being in pain. Since she was home alone, she had to shout for help, and a neighbor eventually came to her rescue. A family member later took her to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with a fracture of her right femur. Irene currently experiences pain and is unable to use her leg. Although she was previously among the beneficiaries who received health insurance paid for by the government, the government eventually stopped providing payment. This meant Irine had to pay for her own monthly bill, a cost she could not provide. Due to financial constraints and not having insurance, Irine cannot fund her needed treatment. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 2nd, Irine will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the surgery, she will hopefully be able to walk and care for herself again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,247 to fund this procedure. Irine says, "I know how my children struggle to earn a living. Kindly help me so that I may not be a burden to them.”
U Pyin is a 36-year-old monk who lives with three other monks, seven novice monks, and his two younger brothers, in a village in central Burma. His two younger brothers are not monks, but work at the monastery as helpers, assisting with cooking and cleaning. U Pyin has no income, but receives food and accommodation at the monastery. If he is ill, there are three local families that help to cover the costs of his basic health care expenses. In early May, U Pyin began experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, and headaches. One of his brothers brought him to a hospital, where tests revealed that one of the valves in his heart needs to be replaced. This is a particularly dangerous condition, as it can lead to a stroke, and U Pyin has already suffered a stroke, earlier in his life. U Pyin was given medication, an appointment to return in two months, and sent home. When U Pyin did not feel any better after taking the medication that he had been given, he and his brother decided that he should see a cardiologist in Yangon. The cardiologist confirmed U Pyin's diagnosis, and stressed the need for U Pyin to have surgery to replace the ailing mitral valve. As U Pyin was unable to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to an abbot for assistance. Fortunately, the abbot referred U Pyin to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and now U Pyin is scheduled to have mitral valve replacement surgery on June 24th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of U Pyin's procedure and care, which will enable him to breathe well and to sleep comfortably again, things that he is unable to do right now. U Pyin will also be able to return to teaching the novice monks at the monastery, which he has been unable to do because he feels so unwell. U Pyin said: “After I recover, I want to teach novice monks again and I want to open a Buddhist school near Yangon.”
Khu is a 42-year-old who lives with his three sisters and two nieces in a refugee camp. In February, he had to flee across the border from Karen State in Burma due to fighting around his village. His two younger sisters are students, while his other sister is currently working as an agricultural day laborer since Khu cannot work since his accident. He looks after his two nieces who are too young to go to school. In March, Khu was working on a local farm and was struck on the right forearm by a tire chain from an exploding tractor tire he was filling. After unsuccessfully trying for two months to heal his arm with blessed oil and turmeric paste, he sought medical help and was referred to Mae Sot hospital, where it was determined that he needs surgery for a broken forearm bone. Currently, Khu cannot lift up his right arm and cannot grab any objects with his right hand. He cannot move his right arm because of the pain. He has taken pain medicine since his accident to control the pain and he is not able to work. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Khu will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 1st and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help him regain use of his right arm so that he can go back to work and earn a living to support himself and his family. Khu said, “Everyone told me that I am very lucky that only my arm was injured. I feel very sad that I cannot work and that I have to depend on my sister’s income. She has to work hard since my accident. I hope I will get better soon so that I can find work again.”