Benjamin joined Watsi on December 31st, 2020. Two years ago, Benjamin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Benjamin's most recent donation supported U Eain, a 33-year-old monk from Burma, to fund heart valve replacement surgery.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 8 countries.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 8 countries.
When U Eain was 10 years old, he became a monk. Now, at the age of 33, he lives with five other monks in a monastery in Yangon, Burma. As a monk, U Eain doesn't have an income. Instead, every morning, two of the novice monks from his monastery collect food donated by followers in Yangon. In addition, worshipers who visit the monastery donate vegetables, fruits and curries to eat. When the monks preach in other villages, they may receive small cash donations, and when U Eain's parents visit him every year, they provide U Eain with a small amount of money. In this way, the monks are able to cover their basic needs. In February, U Eain went to a town in Mon State to preach. During his second day there, he felt very tired and struggled to breathe, and ultimately, he had to stop preaching. He went to a local clinic, where he received two injections that helped him to feel better. The next day, he returned to his monastery in Yangon. Once he was home, he developed a fever and felt very tired, so he went to a nearby clinic. There, he received an electrocardiogram (ECG). After his results came back, the doctor told him that there were problems with his heart, and U Eain was referred to Yangon Government Hospital for an echocardiogram. On April 19th, U Eain had the echocardiogram, and then brought the results back to the nearby clinic. Due to numerous issues uncovered by the test, U Eain will need cardiac surgery to replace two valves in his heart. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is able to help U Eain access the care that he needs. On October 21st, doctors at Pun Hlaing Hospital will replace the two valves in U Eain's heart, relieving him of the chest pains, rapid heartbeat, fatigue and difficulty breathing that he suffers from now. With his limited income, U Eain needs your support to raise the $1,500 to cover the cost of the procedure. He is hopeful to feel himself again soon and looks forward to returning to preaching and teaching. U Eain said: “I am so happy to receive treatment. I would like to say thank you so much to all of the donors.”
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.”
Meet Djounailena, an 11-year-old girl who lives with her parents and two sisters in a small city on the west coast of Haiti. Djounailena is currently in fifth grade and shares that she aspires to become a teacher when she grows up! As a result of a bout of rheumatic fever, Djounailena developed a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. Since her rheumatic fever was not treated quickly enough, one of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged. This now causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath because her heart cannot adequately pump blood throughout her body. Fortunately, Djounailena is scheduled to fly to the Cayman Islands where she will undergo cardiac surgery at Health City Cayman Islands on September 13th. Surgeons will initially attempt to repair her damaged valve; however, if they are unsuccessful, an artificial replacement valve will be implanted. A portion of the cost of Djounailena's treatment is being supported by Have a Heart Cayman. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Djounailena and her family overseas. Djounailena's mother says, "Our family is all praying for our daughter's heart to be healthy after the surgery is finished."
Cristian is a sweet three-year-old boy from Bolivia who has Down syndrome. He lives in a small city in the mountains of central Bolivia with his parents and three siblings. To support their family, his parents operate a small market stall. Some of Cristian's favorite activities include clapping along to music and watching cartoons. Cristian was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Cristian is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 29th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, healing his condition and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Cristian's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Cristian and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Cristian's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping our son to become healthy!"
Abegaelle is a five-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives in the capital city of Port-au-Prince with her parents and older brother. Some of her favorite activities include going to preschool and attending church with her family. Abegaelle was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through, leaving her weak and short of breath. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Abegaelle receive treatment. She will travel to the Dominican Republic to undergo surgery on July 26th, during which surgeons will insert a catheter to plug the hole in her heart and restore a healthy blood flow. Abegaelle's family is raising $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Abegaelle and her family overseas. Abegaelle's mother shared, "Our family is all very thankful that Abegaelle will have this chance to have her heart fixed!"
Rose is a 7-month-old baby from Haiti. She lives with her father and grandmother, and they shared that she loves to smile and play with her family! Rose has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result, Rose has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Rose will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is helping Rose receive treatment at Hospital Bernard Mevs, the only site in Haiti where the treatment she needs is available. On May 27th, Rose will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from her brain to reduce intracranial pressure and improve her quality of life. With this treatment, Rose will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Project Medishare is requesting $897 to cover the cost of her surgery. Rose's father shared that he hopes for a healthy life for Rose in the future.
Erna is a 41-year-old woman and small business owner from the Philippines. She makes a small income from her grilled skewers and juice selling business, along with her husband's work as a company driver. Having had a family history of myoma, a type of tumor that can occur in the uterus, Erna frequently checked herself as a precaution. Unfortunately, in January 2022, she found a mass which was causing minor pain. Erna sought medical consultation and found out that she has myoma. This condition needs to be treated surgically. Erna cannot afford to cover her treatment on her own. Fortunately, a rural health worker helped her reach out to our medical partner, the World Surgical Foundation Philippines. On April 29th, Erna will undergo a hysterectomy to manage her condition and prevent further risk. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,485 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she recovers, she will no longer have a hypogastric mass or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. “We were anxious when we found out about my condition. It’s also especially hard for us to think where to find the money to finance my surgery," Erna shared. "The support coming from World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi will be a big help for me and my family. Thank you so much for helping people like me," she added.
Romeo is a 67-year-old former carpenter and driver from the Philippines. Romeo has five children, and one his sons lives with and supports Romeo through part-time work as a call center agent. In January, Romeo was diagnosed with a hernia, a condition that causes Romeo severe pain on the left side of his abdomen. Romeo has had to stop working due to worsening symptoms. Fortunately, on March 30th, Romeo will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Romeo raise $1,130 to fund this life altering surgery. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Romeo's son shared, "We pray and hope that this treatment will be the way for my father's body to be healthier and his life to be even longer. We want to thank Dr. De Leon who referred us to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi. Because of this, our father will get the much needed surgical treatment."
Velonica is a 43-year-old woman and a mother of three living children. She shared that she lost a set of twins just a few days after birth some 15 years ago but still holds fond memories of her lovely tiny twins. Her children are aged between 25 and 8 years old and they are all in school. The oldest daughter is at a teachers' training college and the youngest in 4th grade in primary school. Velonica lives with her children and husband in Dowa about 40 kilometers away from the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. She and her husband are subsistent farmers, although they usually don’t have enough food for the year and they seek support from her husband’s relatives that live in the same village. In 2013, Velonica developed a swelling on her neck. She visited different hospitals and finally was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where a diagnosis of goiter was made. A partial thyroidectomy was done at the facility in 2014. However, in 2019 her neck swelling resurfaced again. She started feeling pain, having sleepless nights, difficulties in swallowing, feeling neck tightness, and headaches. She reported again to Kamuzu Central Hospital and a rescan was recommended but unfortunately, it was not done at the time. While seeking alternatives, Velonica came to Partners in Hope Medical Center. She was seen by a surgeon who, after laboratory tests and a scan, concluded that her goiter has recurred. He recommended surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland in a procedure called a total thyroidectomy. Velonica is currently unable to help her husband on the farm and has challenges in performing daily duties. She is unable to lift water on her head or to carry other heavy loads. Velonica feels the condition is interfering with her life and is looking forward to living her normal life again soon. Velonica said, “I live at my husband’s village among my in-laws and it has been about 2 years now of failing to do the things that every woman does, this is threatening my marriage and makes me feel bad. I hope this operation will bring an end to all this and I will be able to do my household chores again.”
Richensley is a 4 month old baby boy from Haiti. Richensely is loved and cherished by his family. Richensley has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Richensley has been experiencing a large head that was noticed by his father when he was 2 months old. Without treatment, Richensley will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Richensley at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his condition. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on November 30th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Richensley's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Richensley will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Richensley's father is relieved that his son can have the surgery that will give him hope for the future.
Ohin Zain is a six-year-old boy who lives with his parents and his brother in a refugee camp. Ohin Zain and his brother usually study in the refugee camp but all schools have been closed since July 1st due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in the refugee camp. Ohin Zain's mother is a homemaker and his father works as a construction day labourer in the camp. Every month, Ohin Zain’s household receives 1,300 baht (approx. 43.33 USD) on a cash card from an organisation The Border Consortium. Their total monthly income is not enough for their daily expenses and sometimes, they have to borrow money with interest from their neighbour. In his free time, Ohin Zain shared that he enjoys playing with friends and drawing pictures. On the afternoon of October 24th, Ohin Zain and his friends went swimming in a stream outside of the refugee camp. While playing in the water, Ohin Zain slipped on a stone and hit his right arm against the stone. He went home and immediately his mother brought him to the clinic in the refugee camp, run by International Rescue Committee (IRC). At the clinic, a doctor examined his right arm and referred him to a nearby hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, Ohin Zain received an X-ray. The doctor explained that his lower arm is broken and that he will need to receive surgery. Currently, Ohin Zain’s right lower arm is very painful and swollen. He cannot grab nor lift anything. He cannot play nor sleep well because of the pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohin Zain will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for October 27th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ohin Zain be free from pain and will enable him to extend his arm and move it around. Ohin Zain said, “When I recover, I will try to study hard because I want to become a teacher. I would like to teach children.”
Jane is a 35-year-old farmer, a single mother of two, and the 5th born child in a family of twelve. Due to the size of their family and how close-knit they are, Jane's mother commented, “all my daughters (6) have been married, gotten children, and then have come back home. I never even remember who is who and who follows the other." Jane was born with a disability and never able to attend school. Jane's mother helps to take care of her. Earlier this month, Jane was working and going through her daily activities when she slipped and fell, sustaining a fractured clavicle on her right side. Jane is in severe pain, and she is not able to go about her normal activities. Jane came to the hospital accompanied by her elderly mother and her niece, and Jane's mother shared her story with the hospital staff. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 16th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Following the procedure, Jane will not experience pain, the fracture will heal well and she will be able to work and take care of her children as normal. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Jane’s mother said, “I am desperate and Jane has been a great challenge to take care of even before she was sick. I kindly request help so that at least she can be well and assist herself where she can. I also wish she can be relieved of this pain.”