Benjamin joined Watsi on June 2nd, 2019. Two years ago, Benjamin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Benjamin's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Barkot, a nine-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia, to fund a colostomy closure.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 29 patients in 6 countries.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 29 patients in 6 countries.
Barkot is a nine-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia who loves to play with his parents and with toys. He is his parents' first child. Barkot's father is a salesperson in an electronics shop. The family lives in a rented house, and other relatives help support the family's needs. Barkot underwent a colostomy, where a piece of the colon was diverted to an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may require closure. Barkot's colostomy will require closure in order to restore his bowel function and to prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,009 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Barkot. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 14th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Barkot’s father shared, “Barkot’s mother is not working now. When Barkot finishes the surgery and when he can make a stool normally, we hope she will start working. We hope psychologically we will be stable just like before. We hope he can socialize now. We feared socializing with Barkot because of facing stigma and discrimination. We feared people might pick on him when he grows up and we hid him from others to protect him.”
Srim is a 61-year-old farmer with one son and now three grandchildren. Her son is also a farmer. She lives with him they work in the fields together. Her husband passed away during the time of the Khmer Rouge. She loves being around her family, taking care of her grandchildren, and providing meals for the monks at the pagoda nearby her house. Three years ago, Srim developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Srim learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On July 28th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Srim said, "I hope that I can see well after this surgery, so that I can work more often and start a vegetable garden to make extra money for my family. I also want to go back to my favorite pagoda again."
Gladys is a 47-year-old hardworking woman and a mother to three children. Gladys is separated from her husband and now lives with two of her children in a small rented room. In January, Gladys began experiencing troubling symptoms including neck swelling, headaches, and difficulty swallowing. She was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Gladys receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 9th at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Gladys shared, "if this condition is treated, I can continue with my work. I am requesting help so that I can be treated and be okay to take care of my children."
Hak shared with us, "I hope I can see well enough to cook food and take care of my family well." Hak is a 72-year-old rice farmer with three sons, three daughters, and 12 grandchildren. Hak lives with her eldest daughter who also works as a rice farmer. In his spare time, Hak enjoys visiting the pagoda to join ceremonies and listen to the monks pray. Five years ago, Hak developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her photophobia, itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Hak learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On June 2nd, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure.
Abigael is a 14-month-old baby girl and the youngest in her family of three children. Her mother does household work washing clothes and cleaning houses for their nearby homes. Her father separated from the family many years ago. Abigael was born with an amniotic band on her right foot, and a webspace on her left foot and right hand. If these deformities are not corrected, they will make it more difficult for her to walk and hold things using her right hand in future. Doctors recommend Abigael undergo surgery to help correct her condition. However, Abigael's family cannot afford the cost of her care. Fortunately, Abigael will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo her treatment on May 9th. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,224 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. The surgery will be of great benefit to Abigael at this age because she will be able to heal more quickly and be able to walk like other children even sooner. Abigael's mother shared, “I am appealing for support for my daughter to undergo surgery so that she can live like other children.”
Weyneshet is a 15-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia who is active and playful. She loves to play with her mom and other children, and she loves eating and breastfeeding. Her mom is a single parent, and they live with the support of family members. Weyneshet was born with an anorectal malformation, a condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Weyneshet is scheduled to undergo her first surgery to correct her condition on April 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Weyneshet will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Weyneshet's mother shared, “after receiving treatment, I will educate her by working hard in any job I get.”
Mary is an eight-year-old student from Kenya. She is a quiet and humble girl and the second born in a family of three. Mary's father is separated and she lives with her grandmother. Her grandmother is a farmer, while her father is currently unemployed. Mary has clubfoot of her right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Mary traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Mary's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Mary's grandmother shared, "it is my joy and desire to see my namesake granddaughter walking without any difficulty. Any help will be highly appreciated."
Touch is a 31-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has been married for 15 years and has one son and two daughters. Touch's daughters are in school, and his son is nine months old and not yet in school. His wife is a factory worker but does not make enough money to support their family's needs. Currently, he and his family live with his mother due to his inability to work. He describes his general health as very poor, especially since his accident. In 2019, Touch was hit by a car and his left tibia was fractured in the accident. His family took him to a government hospital, where they treated him with a skin flap, but the bone was not stabilized and remained unhealed. When Touch returned home, the wound appeared to heal, but he still couldn’t walk. His left knee is very painful, and the wound scars appear infected. Touch now has a knee flexion contracture and can only walk with support. He takes pain medication to ease his symptoms, but it is still too painful for him to walk. When Touch learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On February 4th, surgeons at CSC will perform knee fusion procedure to help him to walk without pain, secure his left knee, and restore pain-free range of motion in his left knee. Now, Touch needs help to fund this $518 procedure. Touch shared, "I hope that after surgery, my left leg will have no pain, and I can go back to work to support my family."
Cheng is a 73-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has three sons, two daughters, and six grandchildren. Cheng's wife is also a farmer. When he is not farming, Cheng share that he likes to exercise, do housework, take care of his grandchildren, and spend time with his friends. Cheng was in an accident and his left knee was dislocated. He first went to a provincial hospital where a cast was applied and he stayed for one week. His knee is still destabilized so his neighbor advised him to come to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). He arrived at the hospital with a dislocated, swollen, and painful left knee. He cannot walk and uses a wheelchair to get around. When Cheng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for eight hours seeking treatment. On November 18th, surgeons at CSC will perform a knee fusion procedure so he will be able to walk again without pain. Now, Cheng needs help to fund this $518 procedure. Cheng said, "I hope after this surgery my knee will be fixed and I can walk again like before."
Agnes is a housewife from Kenya and a mother of 2 children aged 2 and 10 years old. Agnes' husband is a stonemason who earns a daily wage, and his income is dependent on the availability of work. Because she does not work, their family depends solely on him for income and to pay medical bills, which is only enough to cover their basic needs. Agnes has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. She needs to undergo a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Agnes. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 2nd. After treatment, Agnes will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Agnes shared, “My family is my greatest motivation, I need to get this surgery to be able to raise my young kids and take care of my husband."
Meet Diana: a 17-year-old bright, social, and jovial girl at our partner's clinic in Voi, Kenya. Diana is the second born in a family of three children. Their family hails from Sofia village in Taita Taveta county and her single mother is a small business lady. Diana was born healthy, however, when she was seven months old, her mother noticed her condition when she started crawling. She could not stand or walk, and her left part of the body was weak. It is then that Diana's mom learned that she has a condition known as Hemiplegic CP, causing paralysis of one side of the body. Diana's left hand is greatly affected and she cannot hold things or engage in household duties like washing clothes and dishes. Her desire is to have her hand straight and functional so that she can be independent and do her own things at home and in her future. Diana's mother is unable to raise the estimated cost of $1,224 and has requested for support for her daughter's surgery. “I would like to request for support so that my hand can function well and I can help my mother at home. If my hand functioned normally, I will be happy,” Diana told us.
Agnes, a mother of eight children, arrived in our Watsi reps' office looking frail, drained, and in deep thought. She had given up getting medical attention and had requested her children to take her home before we intervened. She is mourning her husband who recently succumbed to cancer. Furthermore, doctors recently discovered she has a high-grade stromal tumor and requires surgery to remove the ovarian mass, which has been causing her severe discomfort. She shared her story with us: during the first week of May 2020, Agnes started feeling a sharp pain in the lower part of her stomach. She thought they were just normal pains and therefore got pain medication from a nearby chemist. Days later, her pains continued to increase, this time accompanied by bleeding. Alarmed she visited the nearest health centre where she was referred to Kijabe Hospital for further review. Several tests were conducted when she visited the facility and doctors discovered that she has symptomatic uterine fibroids. She underwent surgery but later doctors discovered that she has a mass in her ovaries that requires excursion. Despite having approval from the National Health Insurance program, the amount is not enough to cover the cost of surgery and she needs financial assistance. Agnes was widowed barely a month ago after her husband's long battle to cancer. The cost of taking care of her husband has depleted the limited family resources they had. Equally, she has also been sick and had several trips that made her close the little shop they were running from their home. She has no source of income after they closed down their shop. Her kids don’t yet have a stable source of income, and with what they do have, they have been instrumental in paying for her husband’s medical bills and cost of the funeral. Agnes shared, “I recently buried my husband as a result of cancer. I have been ailing and in a lot of pain. I had to close my small shop and therefore have no source of income. I am unable to afford this much-needed surgery and request for assistance.”