Ben joined Watsi on November 5th, 2014. Eight years ago, Ben joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ben's most recent donation traveled 6,600 miles to support Emily, a sweet 4-month-old baby from Kenya, to fund surgery to drain excess fluid from her brain.
Ben has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 11 countries.
Ben has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 11 countries.
Emily is a newborn baby from Kenya. She is the third born in a family of three children. Her mother is a stay-at-home mum to help raise their kids and their family relies on their father's to provide for their needs. Her father does small-scale farming and other casual jobs like ploughing farms for people. Emily has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Emily has been experiencing an increasing head circumference since she was two months old. Her parents thought it would stop and she would grow healthier, but it did not. Her parents took Emily to a hospital in Narok town where she was examined and immediately referred to Bethanykids hospital's specialist team for treatment. On arrival, she was examined, diagnosed with hydrocephalus and sent for a scan. The family did not have money to cater for the CT scan and opted to go back home and have the scan done when they got money. Luckily, a neighbor lent them money for the CT scan, which was done, and they were able to bring back the results. She is now scheduled for surgery as soon as possible to protect her brain from being damaged by the excess fluid in the head. Without treatment, Emily will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Her family does not have medical insurance coverage and cannot raise the required amount of money to cater for the hospital bill. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Emily that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd and will drain the excess fluid from Emily's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Emily will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Emily’s father says, “I always try to see things from a positive side, and I know that God will avail the required healing for our daughter.”
Guertha is a mother of one from Haiti. She lives with her parents and young son on a small farm in the mountains of northern Haiti. Guertha has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart cannot open and close properly due to an infection she suffered several years ago. As a result, her heart cannot adequately circulate blood through her body and she is weak and short of breath. Guertha will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On May 1, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Fundacion Heart Care Dominicana, is contributing $10,000 to pay for surgery. Guertha's 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 Guertha's family overseas. She says, "I am hopeful that after this surgery I will have my health and energy back!"
Tin is a 25-year-old woman from Burma. She is a mother of two daughters and she lives with her family in the village in Kyain Seikgyi Township, Karen State. Since December of 2018, Tin has been experiencing lower abdominal pain. She has been diagnosed with a dermoid cyst. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Tin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Tin is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on March 26. 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 suffers from abdominal pain and she will be able to be with her family happily again. Tin says, “I miss my daughters and I want to have surgery soon. I want to get well and return home. I want to live my life freely without any disease in my body.”
Luis is a teenager from Tanzania. He is the first child in a family of four children. Luis 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, Luis has been experiencing weakness and loss of focus. Without treatment, Luis will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Luis that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 4 and will drain the excess fluid from Luis's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Luis will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. His mother says, “Please help my son.”
Prickson is a father of six and a grandfatherfrom Malawi. He is a farmer who truly enjoys tending to his garden and spending time with his family. Since 2010, Prickson has been experiencing pain and urinary difficulty. 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 Prickson's surgery. On January 29, 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. Prickson was very excited to find out he will be able to have surgery. He says, "I am very thankful for this project, please continue to help others."
Maria is a student from Tanzania. She is the fourth in a family of six children. Maria 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, Maria traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 4. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Maria's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk to school. Maria says, “I wish to be able to walk well like my school friends, please help me get this treatment.”
Laitwell is a father to five and grandfather to 15 from Malawi. He is a farmer and enjoys chatting with his grandchildren in his free time. Since June 2018, Laitwell has been experiencing pain and urinary difficulty. 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 Laitwell's surgery. On October 16, 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. Laitwell's family is very supportive of this surgery and excited he will be feeling better soon. He says, "I am looking forward to resting and being free of pain after this surgery. Thank you."
Pishina is a baby from Kenya. She is the youngest in a family of seven children. Pishina 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, Pishina 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 Pishina's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2. This procedure will hopefully spare Pishina from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Pishina’s mother says, “I pray that my child will be treated and not experience any health complications in the future."
Maung is a 46-year-old man who lives with his wife, two daughters, and two sons in Ka Yin Village, Kawkareik Township, Karen State, Burma. Three of his children are studying at a village school, while the youngest son stays at home since he is only two years old. Maung's wife is the sole earner for the entire family. In his free time, Maung likes to do meditation and is involved in community works in his village. In 2016, Maung started to experience back pain and lower abdominal pain. His condition worsened in August 2018. He later went to the hospital, where he had an x-ray, ultrasound, and blood tests done. When the results came back, the doctor told him that he has a stone in his bladder. Now, Maung is scheduled to undergo surgery to remove the bladder stone on August 28. He needs help raising $1,500 to fund this procedure. He plans to work again once he recovered. “We will work hard to save money. We will buy a house for our family,” says Maung’s wife.
Filipina is a mother and grandmother from Malawi. She spends her days caring for her grandchildren, who live with her in her village, where she also maintains a small farm. Since last year, Filipina has been experiencing back and abdominal pain. She has been diagnosed with cervical cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $650 to fund Filipina's surgery. On August 24, she will undergo gynecological surgery at Nkhoma Hospital, our medical partner's care center. The requested money pays for supplies, medications, and seven nights of hospital stay. She is relieved to be helped through this surgery. Her family looks forward to her recovery, with her grandchildren waiting for her return home. She says, "I will be able to care for my grandchildren again who depend on me, thank you so much!"
Arnold is a young student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and older sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He has Down syndrome and goes to a school for children with special learning needs. He has many friends and enjoys helping his mother around the house. Arnold has a cardiac condition called partial atrioventricular canal defect. Holes exist between both the upper and lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through these holes before first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Arnold also has a condition called pulmonary hypertension, in which the blood pressures to his lungs are too high. For this reason, he needs a diagnostic catheterization to determine whether it is safe for him to have surgery. To determine if Arnold's condition is operable, he must undergo a diagnostic cardiac catheterization, a procedure that is not available in Haiti. During the procedure, a catheter probe will be inserted into his heart to perform the necessary measurements and tests. On August 22, he will travel to the Dominican Republic to receive the scan at our medical partner's care center, Clinica Corominas. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to cover the costs of Arnold's travel expenses, catheterization procedure, and lab work. His mother says, "We are all praying that Arnold can have surgery so that he will be more healthy and have more energy."
Kar is an eight-month-old baby boy from Burma. He was born three months prematurely in Bangkok, where his parents used to work previously. When he was seven months old, his parents moved back with him to Burma. Kar was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in his brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, he is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Kar, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in his brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 22, and, once completed, will greatly improve Kar's quality of life.