Ben joined Watsi on December 23rd, 2013. Six years ago, Ben became the 163rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 6,295 more people have become monthly donors! Ben's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Glorianne, a brilliant young student from Kenya, to fund clubfoot surgery.
Ben has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 11 countries.
Glorianne is a young student from Kenya. Glorianne is a brilliant and social girl, we met her at our clinic in Embu. She asked so many questions to the doctor and wanted to know how her condition could be corrected. She is the first born in a family of two and a class six pupil. Her mother told us that she likes reading and English is her favorite subject. The family hails from Kiambere village in Embu County. Her mother is a single parent and she works as a secretary at local secondary school. Glorianne has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Glorianne traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Glorianne's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes without discomfort. “I am requesting your help so that my daughter can properly stand and walk like other girls,” shared Risper, Glorianne’s mother..
Israel is a seven-year-old boy from Tanzania. He has a twin brother and is the last born in a family of four children. Israel is a little shy and likes to keep to himself most of the time. Israel’s parents separated when Israel was just a little baby and he and his twin brother stayed with their father. Israel’s father is a subsistence farmer who grows cabbages, tomatoes, and maize. They live in a two-bedroom wooden house and especially lately it has been difficult for Israel’s father to make ends meet because he is growing older and weaker. Israel was diagnosed with genu varus. his legs are bowed so that his knees do not 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, he has difficulty walking and has to drag his left foot which causes pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery for Israel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 23rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Israel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Israel’s father shared, “When my son gets well I will make sure he goes to school. I really want him to have a good and successful life.”
Kausali is an eight month old girl from Tanzania. She is an only child and her parents are small-scale farmers. Kausali has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in her brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Kausali has an increased head circumference and difficulty feeding. Without treatment, Kausali will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $802 to cover the cost of surgery for Kausali that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 22 and will drain the excess fluid from Kausali's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Kausali will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Kausali’s mother shared, “We don’t have the means to pay for our baby's important surgery, we are kindly asking for your help so that our daughter can have a chance to be well again."
12-year-old Joy Nyagathu is in the hospital. Joy came accompanied by her father. She is a polite girl and likes playing with other friends at school. She shared that reading storybooks is her favorite hobby. Joy is the oldest in a family of 3 children and a seventh grader at Ol Donyo Sabuk Academy. Her family hails from Mountain View, near Thika Town in Kiambu County, Kenya. Joy was born with clubfoot which was corrected when she was an infant. She has lived well until last year when the parents noticed an unusual curve on her back developing. Her father heard about Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center CURE Hospital and came for a consultation. Joy was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis and was scheduled to undergo an instrumented spine fusion surgery. Currently, Joy experiences a lot of pain and discomfort while at school. She sometimes needs to skip her studies as a result of pain. Surgery will be of great help to her as she will be able to continue with her studies and her life without any difficulty. Joy's father is a businessman as a greengrocer, while her mother is a housewife. The surgery is expensive for their family and they cannot raise the amount needed. “I would like to be assisted because I am not able to raise the funds on my own. My desire is to see my daughter walking and pursuing her studies like other girls without any hardship. God bless Watsi for what they are doing,” Joy’s father expressed with gratitude.
Kyi is a 58-year-old woman from Burma. She lives alone and used to sell clothing in her village. However, she stopped working since her symptoms worsened, over a year ago. She now has no income but is able to pay her daily expenses with money she has saved. Kyi 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. Currently, Kyi feels tired when she walks and has a rapid heartbeat. She has also started to experience chest pain and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 4th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Kyi said, “I felt very sad when I was told that the surgery will cost a lot because I do not have enough money to pay for my own heart surgery. I used up a lot of my money to go to a hospital which did not diagnose me. I felt less burdened when I met Pinlon Hospital’s staff and she told me that an organization [BCMF] will support my surgery’s cost.”
Poe is a five-year old boy who lives with his family in Shwe Koke Ko village of Karen State in Burma. In his free time, Poe likes to play with his friends and toys. He also likes to eat sweets. Poe does not go to school because of his condition. Poe's mother and father are divorced, and both are remarried. His father lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and he contributes to Poe’s financial wellbeing by giving the household 5000 baht (approx. $167 USD) per month. His mother does not provide the family with any extra income. Poe stays with his grandmother and great grandmother from his father's side. His grandmother works as a cleaner. The rest of the family does not currently have work. When Poe was eight months old, he got a severe fever and his family took him to the Wang Pha clinic near Mae Sot, Thailand, which is the same place where he was born. He was admitted at the clinic for three days, but his condition did not improve. Doctors at the clinic told his family to take him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. The family immediately took him to MSH and he was admitted for one week. At MSH, he received a blood test and was diagnosed with Thalassemia, a blood disorder. He received a blood transfusion and after the transfusion, Poe felt better, but only temporarily. His family went back for three follow-up appointments to MSH, where he had blood transfusions each time. When he was one year and five months old, the family could not afford going to MSH any longer, so they took Poe to Myawaddy Hospital. He received another blood transfusion and an IV line. He was admitted for three days at the hospital. Although he felt better after getting discharged in Myawaddy, since his condition is chronic, he needs regular blood transfusions to stay healthy. It became increasingly difficult for the family to pay for Poe’s care, however, they decided to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) for further help in 2016. Since then, he has received many blood transfusions at MTC, sometimes monthly and sometimes bi-monthly. With these treatments, he is able to survive. However, his condition also affects his spleen, the organ that filters blood. To prevent further problems, medics at MTC told his family that doctors need to remove Poe's spleen. Since it cannot be done at MTC, he needs to go back to MSH to undergo the operation. Currently, Poe has frequent bloody noses, coughs up blood, and has blood in his stool. He feels better after having a transfusion, but it wears off in the weeks following the procedure. When its nearing time for another transfusion, he feels weak and tired. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, Poe was adamant that he wanted to be a medic. “I want to help people,” he said. “When he sees people that are sick, he always tells me he feels sorry for them,” added his great grandmother.
Karen is a two-year-old child from Tanzania, who is the last born child in a family of four children. Karen’s father works at a mine while her mother works as a storekeeper at a local school. Through their income, they are able to support their family's basic needs. Karen was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, meaning her legs curve outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she struggles to walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Karen. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 13th. Treatment will hopefully restore Karen's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Karen’s father says, “Please help my daughter get this treatment so that she will be able to walk well without pain.”
Ezra is a four-year-old from Tanzania who is the first born to a family of three children. His parents are small scale farmers who depend on what they harvest for their daily living. Ezra has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Ezra traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Ezra's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Ezra’s mother says, “We had no idea that our son’s condition was treatable but through education and seeing other children who had similar condition getting treatment, this has given us hope but our biggest challenge now is that we can’t afford the treatment cost please help us.”
Hnin is a mother of two from Burma. She lives with her husband and two sons, and she is always busy with housework. Since a few months after surgery to remove the cyst in her uterus in 2017, Hnin has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and abnormal bleeding. She has been diagnosed with Myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Hnin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Hnin is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy and our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain or bleeding. Moreover, the surgery will stop the mass from reappearing later. Hnin said, “I want to continue to work purchasing clothes and other goods from Mae Sot and selling them in Yangon to earn an income for my family. Because of my condition, I am not able to work for two years now.”
Nisriya is a young beautiful and playful girl from Ethiopia. Nisriya is the second-born girl in a family of three girls. She comes from a peasant family where her father is the sole breadwinner of the family. He is a casual labourer who relies on daily wages to make ends meet. Her mother is a housewife who delivered her third child in September 2019. Nisriya was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. She had a colostomy done but it is currently giving her multiple issues. She faces stigma from society forcing her parents to hide her from the public realm. If not treated, she will be at risk of infections in the colostomy area and continue suffering discrimination. After her recovery, Nisriya will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Nisriya is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on November 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nisriya's procedure and care. Her dad said, “It is my hope that my child will get successful surgery and I hope when she heal completely she will go to school. And I hope I will get her a good school working hard since she loves education."
Yonase is a young boy from Ethiopia. Yonase is a handsome and playful boy who loves playing football. He comes from a humble family. His mother does menial jobs to sustain the family including laundry for wages. Yonase was born with hypospadias, a birth defect that disrupts the normal flow of urine. His mother did not know of the defect and was told by a neighbour. He is not able to pass urine while standing like any other boy. If not treated, Yonase will be at risk of infertility and social stigma. He was reviewed in our facility where surgery to correct the defect was recommended. With limited income, the mother is afraid he will not be able to receive surgery. She is stressed with her son's conditions. She appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, Yonase is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 17th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Yonase's mother says, "I am now hopeful that he will get the surgery and that he will be ok."
Mary walks into my office with the top of her cardigan covering her chin. She sits on the chair opposite me with one hand clasping the top of her black cardigan to veil the swell running from her jawline to her neck. The lower lip protrudes with a peeping swelling attached in so that her upper lip cannot touch the lower one. This has been Mary’s life for over 6 months. Late last year, Mary developed a small swelling on her jaw. It was not painful and therefore she did not think of it as serious. As time passed, the swell grew in size. Mary who could eat just about anything now has restrictions on what she can eat. There is pain when she bends and this has also obstructed her working. Mary is married with two children. She was a subsistence farmer before the condition restricted her activities. Mary and her husband depend on one of their daughter who sells second-hand clothes. Besides helping her parents, she has four children under her care. Mary says, “Please help me because I can barely eat."