Ben joined Watsi on December 23rd, 2013. Five years ago, Ben became the 163rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,060 more people have become monthly donors! Ben's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Esther, a toddler from Haiti, to fund prep for cardiac surgery.
Ben has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 11 countries.
Esther was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her sick and short of breath. Esther lives in Port-au-Prince with her parents; she likes listening to music and going to church with her parents. Esther will fly to India to receive treatment. On August 6, she will undergo cardiac surgery. Another organization, Rotary International, is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. Her family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany her family overseas.
Zaw is a 14-year-old student from Burma. He lives with his parents, grandmother, two aunts, brother, and cousin. Both his parents are middle school teachers. Zaw was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Zaw. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 22 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “Before he was able to study and memorize his homework well. But now he has difficulty studying and memorizing,” says his father.
Stephen is a young boy from Kenya. He was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Stephen has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Stephen will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 15. AMHF is requesting $542 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “Please help me because no matter what I do, it would take my husband and I years to raise the needed funds,” says Stephen’s mother.
John is a man from Kenya. He is a father of two children who are in primary school. A little over a year ago, John sustained a spinal injury when he fell from a tree. He has not been able to afford the necessary care to treat his injury. Now, he has been diagnosed with cervical mylopathy, a degenerative disorder that causes gait imbalance and clumsiness due to a compressed spinal cord. Fortunately, John is now scheduled fo spinal surgery on March 15 to treat this condition. He needs help raising $1,500 to fund this procedure. John says, “My prayer is to be able to walk again and in upright gait. I am really suffering due to this condition."
Greyson is a farmer with three children and a grandchild from Malawi. He normally works hard on his farm but has been unable to complete his duties since experiencing an increase in pain. He enjoys chatting with friends in his free time. For four months, Greyson has been experiencing failure to urinate followed by an increase in pain. These symptoms are caused by an enlarged prostate, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia. He needs to undergo a prostate resection surgery, a procedure in which surgeons will remove part of the enlarged gland. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $733 to fund Greyson's surgery. On February 19, he will undergo prostate surgery at Nkhoma Hospital, our medical partner's care center. The requested money pays for supplies, medications, and two weeks of hospital stay. He says, "I am so thankful for this project because it is offering great support to myself and my family, to be healthy again!"
Rida is a girl from Cambodia. She has one brother and one sister. She likes to play with friends, watch TV, and go for walks with her family. She wants to be a banker when she grows up. Rida was born with scoliosis, which is progressing with age, making it difficult to sit in school for long periods, and causing a lot of discomfort. Surgery can help correct the position of her spine, and prevent further worsening of the condition. Spinal surgery is scheduled for January 21 and will cost $1,500. Her mother says, "I hope my daughter feels better after the operation and does not have any more difficulty sleeping."
Salastin is a greengrocer from Kenya. She is a mother of four. In early December, Salastin fell and injured her right leg. She is unable to stand or walk using her right leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20, Salastin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Salastin says, “I have come from far and still have a long way to go for my kids. I am still pressing on and fighting for them. I hope I will be well soon.”
Su is a 12-year-old student from Burma. She lives with her parents and six-year-old sister in San Ywar Gyi Village, Myanaung Township, Ayeyarwady Division. In her free time, Su likes to listen to music and dance. One year ago, Su began to experience itchiness, pain, and blurry vision. These symptoms have made it increasingly difficult for her to see clearly. Su 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, she could lose vision completely. Su is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach her retina on November 22. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After his surgery, Su's vision will hopefully be restored, and she will resume her daily activities comfortably. Su says, "I want to become a teacher in the future."
Samuel is an infant from Kenya. He is 11 days old. Samuel’s mother is a farmer. Samuel was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Samuel 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 $1,097 to cover the cost of Samuel's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15. This procedure will hopefully spare Samuel from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. “I am hoping that my son can get help in all ways possible because this condition is really heartbreaking,” shares Samuel’s mother.
Nan Myint is a 17-year-old girl who lives in Ei Hel Village, Hpa-an Township, Karen State, Burma. She lives with her parents, four siblings, brother in-law, and one niece. Nan Myint and her youngest sister are students, and Nan Myint just finished ninth grade this year in March. In February 2018, Nan Myint got sick and started coughing. In March, her parents took her to a clinic, and Nan Myint received an echocardiogram. After checking the results, the doctor informed her parents that Nan Myint has a heart problem and requires surgery. Currently, Nan Myint experiences tiredness, heart palpitations, and difficulty breathing. She is not able to walk long distances. This year, she stopped going to school because of her symptoms. Fortunately, she is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on September 3. Her family needs help raising $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Nan Myint said, “I want to continue my studies to grade 10 after my treatment. I want to be a teacher in my village after my school.”
Kevin is a young man from Kenya. He is the oldest in his family, and his parents are farmers. When Kevin joined high school, he had high hopes of completing his studies and maybe joining university or college. Unfortunately, to help his family, he was forced to drop out and look for a job. Now, he works as a motorcycle taxi driver. In June 2017, Kevin was hit by another motorcycle, fracturing his femur. He has had three surgeries to correct the fracture and requires the forth surgery: a bone transport. Right now, he is walking on crutches. Kevin says, “I wish that soon I will be able to walk without the crutches and be able to fend for myself." This fourth surgery is scheduled for August 6. While the first three surgeries were paid for by the National Health Insurance Fund, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund this one.
Richard is a laborer from Kenya. He is married and a father of two children. One day in June, as Richard was going home from work, he was hit by a vehicle and sustained an open fracture of his right tibia bone. He is not able to walk and uses a wheelchair to move. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 12, Richard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again and go back to work once he is fully recovered. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I have a lot of pain and am afraid to delay the surgery. My family is still very young and require my support. Kindly help me so that I can be well again to earn for my family," he says.