Ben joined Watsi on June 28th, 2015. Five years ago, Ben became the 1676th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,817 more people have become monthly donors! Ben's most recent donation supported Jackson, a playful boy from Tanzania, to fund hydrocephalus treatment.
Ben has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 10 countries.
Jackson is an 8-year-old student from Tanzania. He has been living with his grandmother since he was 2 years old as his mother and father separated and neither could care for him. His aunt describes Jackson as a very friendly and playful boy. He used to be a very active boy, always friendly, and hardworking. He would help his grandmother with home chores when he was not at school. He was in class one at school but unfortunately, his studies had to stop after he started losing consciousness and falling most of the time when at school. Jackson 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, Jackson has been experiencing dizziness and he would lose consciousness and fall at school. He now cannot walk or stand and is often asleep. Without treatment, Jackson will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Jackson that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 16th and will drain the excess fluid from Jackson's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Jackson will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Jackson’s aunt told us, “We all wish Jackson to get this needed treatment so that he can get back to his old normal self and hopeful resume school again.”
Zin Oo is a 36-year-old man who lives with his mother, younger sister, and his seven-year-old son in Mawlamyine, Burma. He is an assistant truck driver and he earns 4,000 kyat (approx. 4 USD) per day. Since the outbreak of CVOID-19, there is less work and he is only able to earn 64,000 kyat (approx. 64 USD) in a month. Zin Oo's son goes to primary school and his wife passed away last year. His mother goes house to house to see if anyone would hire her to wash their clothes. His younger sister lost her job at the factory after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Yangon. Since April, she looks after the household chores and she also works as a day laborer when she can find work. Zin Oo’s combined household income of 124,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) in a month is just enough for their daily expenses and they cannot afford to pay the costs of basic healthcare. On August 3rd, Zin Oo was cutting firewood with an axe. While cutting the logs, his aim was off and he hit his fingers on his right hand against the log. His fingers became swollen and red after the accident, especially his small and index fingers. Without enough money to go to the hospital, Zin Oo bought traditional medicine and applied it to his fingers. He felt like his middle and ring fingers healed but his small and index fingers became more swollen and painful. Eventually when he noticed pus on his fingers, he told his friend about his problem and his friend suggested he go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where treatment often cost less than other hospitals. At MLCH, the doctor completed a detailed assessment of his right hand and diagnosed him with cellulitis, a serious bacterial skin infection. The doctor told him that because of poor blood supply, he would need to amputate his small finger and probably his index finger as well. When Zin Oo told the doctor that he does not have any money to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. Currently, the fingers on Zin Oo’s right hand are red, swollen, and warm to the touch. His fingers hurt a lot, especially his small and index finger. He cannot sleep at night without taking pain medication. He is not able to eat food with his right hand and he feels uncomfortable eating with his left hand since he is right-handed. Aside from this, Zin Oo feels stressed about his condition. He cannot work and his mother has to help look after him since he was admitted at the hospital. His mother then has no income while he receives treatment. They are worried that they will not have enough money for food and for Zin Oo’s treatment. In the future, Zin Oo wants to work as a truck driver to earn money for his family. Once he has fully recovered, he will accept any work he can find as he looks for a job as a truck driver. Zin Oo’s younger sister shared with us, “Now, I have to take care of my nephew while my mother accompanies my brother [Zin Oo] at the hospital. I cannot work and our family is worried about money. We owe our neighbor 50,000 kyat [approx. 50 USD] and we have to pay it back with 20% interest.”
Ohmar is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two children in a town along the Thai-Burma border. On July 4th, Ohmar was trying to cross the highway to go to a grocery store. She was on her bike on the side of the road when a car sped past, causing her to fall off her bike and land on top of her right arm. A man who saw her fall put turmeric powder on her injured arm and wrapped it in a cloth. But Ohmar did not go to Mae Tao Clinic right away because she did not have enough money. She was only able to seek treatment two days after the accident. Now, Ohnmar's she is in pain, her right arm cannot be extended and her fingers are also swollen. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohmar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 16th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help make Ohnmar's right arm become functional again and she will no longer be in pain. "I am happy that I can have surgery with the support of the Burma Children Medical Fund and Watsi donors. I have to look after my two children so I need to be strong for them," shared Ohmar.
Nibleti is an 8-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is the youngest in a family of two. Nibleti’s parents are small-scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest from their land. Nibleti 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, Nibleti has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Nibleti will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $802 to cover the cost of surgery for Nibleti that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 15th and will drain the excess fluid from Nibleti's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Nibleti will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Nibleti's mother says, "Please help us so that our son is able to get this surgery, he is suffering and we are unable to afford the cost."
Suleiman is an elderly man from Central Kenya. He and his wife are subsistence farmers, relying on their small piece of land to earn a living. They get support from their 7 children and, from time to time, the national government funds for the elderly, which are unreliable. About 19 years ago, his hearing started to deteriorate and, overtime, has worsened. Suleiman tried managing the loss with ear drops, but they were not working. He had learned to live with a partial loss. His right ear is worse so he has to turn to the left for him to hear with clarity. When he came to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital, doctors recommended he receive hearing aids. With the aids, his hearing clarity will be greatly improved. Suleiman said, “I have been struggling for a long time but I hope that my hearing will improve significantly with the aids.”
Vuthy is a 45-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has two sons and one daughter. His favorite activities include exercising, feeding the farm animals, growing vegetables, and watching television. Last year, Vuthy fell four meters from the roof of his house and fractured his left leg. Vuthy received initial treatment for his injuries at a clinic, but his fracture has still not healed properly and he often has pain and difficulty walking without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On February 18th, Vuthy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgery will allow Vuthy's injuries to heal and he will be able to walk easily again. "I hope that my fractured leg will finally heal and I will no longer have any pain and can return to work," he shared.
Sopheak is a 45-year-old grocery seller from Cambodia. She has three children, two sons and one daughter. She likes to listen to the radio, watch television, and look after her children. When she was young, Sopheak had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sopheak experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and ear pain. She finds difficulty in hearing clearly, and she has trouble communicating with her family members and her customers. Sopheak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 11th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care.
Dina is a 69-year-old mother of seven from Kenya. She plants maize and beans on her farm left by her late husband. She lost her husband in the year 2014 after suffering from stomach cancer. Despite all the challenges she faced, Dina has been a strong woman for her children. She has worked hard to educate her children and provide basic needs for them through farming. The family stays together in a grass-roofed house. Dina came to our hospital recently with a severe fracture on her right femur. X-ray imaging confirmed a closed femur fracture. Dina, who is unable to walk and has severe pain, was admitted for skin traction and requires an ORIF surgery with a plate to heal her broken femur. Dina is unable to attend to her daily duties because of her broken leg. She is worried about being dependent on her children who also need her. She is requesting anybody reading her story to support her raise funds for her surgery of $968.00. On January 22nd, Dina will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Dina walk with ease and reduce chances of further complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Dina says, “I want to get back on my feet and resume my normal duties farming so that I can be able to raise school fees for my son who is in college.”
Kheang has one son, and enjoys playing soccer, feeding the animals, helping cook food, and listening to the radio. Six days ago, Kheang fell four meters off the roof of his house and fractured his lower spine. He has lost sensation of his lower limbs and he is now unable to take care of himself on his own. Surgery will help to fuse his fractured spinal vertebrae into place, securing the bones and allowing them to heal together. Surgery will give him the chance to return to his normal activities again without difficulty. He shared, "I hope that I will be able to walk again and work the same as before."
Amri is an elderly man who operates a small shop to earn a living. In the 80s, he was injured at a football match on his left knee. He was treated and able to walk with ease three months later. However, as years progressed, the knee became painful making it hard for him to walk. Over the years, the pain has been persistent. He has tried different ointments which relieves pain temporarily. He came to our facility and upon review, he had surgery recommended. He managed to get medical insurance. Unfortunately, the card does not cover the full cost of surgery. With successful surgery, Amri will be able to walk with ease. Amri relies on his small business to meet daily needs. His children have assisted him to get medical coverage but are not able to raise the remaining funds. He appeals for help. Fortunately, Amri learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). At AMHF's care center, surgeons can perform a total knee replacement to relieve Amri of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for December 10th, and Amri needs help raising $822 to pay for this procedure. Amri says, “I am unable to come up with all the surgery cost. Please help me so that I can have my knee corrected and walk again.”
Jean has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect and pulmonary hypertension. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Earlier this year, he underwent a procedure called a cardiac catheterization to confirm that his condition can be repaired, and now he is ready to have surgery. Jean lives with his parents and two siblings in a mountain village in northern Haiti; his parents are both farmers. He is in the fourth grade and enjoys going to school. Jean's mother said, "I am very happy that after many years of hoping and praying, Jean can finally have this operation!"
Mee is a 53-years-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters who are studying in grade nine and six at a local high school. Mee’s husband is a carpenter and she is a homemaker. Their income is not enough to cover their expenses. About ten years ago, Mee had joint pain and swollen knees. She went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) where she received blood test and vital signs. The results showed Mee has hypertension as well as arthritis. She also found out that she has a goiter related problem. She received one month worth of medication for all three conditions. Since then, Mee went back to MTC every month for follow-up appointment and to received medication. After three years of taking medication, Mee was told that she does not need to take medication for goiter anymore. Up until now, Mee has been going back to the same clinic for regular medication for her goiter. Meanwhile, Mee feels like her goiter has grown bigger. One day, she happened to meet a health worker in her village who told her to go and seek treatment at MTC. So Mee, along with her friend, went to MTC. From there, she was told to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. Mee then went to MSH the following day and she received blood tests and an ultrasound. With the results, the doctor confirmed Mee has a goiter. He said Mee needs to undergo surgery because oral medication or injection would not decrease the size of her goiter. Currently, Mee cannot sleep well but she can eat well. Sometimes, when she carries heavy things, she feels pain in her neck.