Benson joined Watsi on September 13th, 2013. Nine months ago, Benson joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Benson's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Ma Nwe, a 33-year-old woman from Burma, to fund a wound debridement for a severe burn.
Benson has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Benson has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Ma Nwe is a 33-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters in Burma. Her eldest daughter goes to school, while she looks after the youngest daughter at home. Her husband is a day laborer, but unfortunately, due to economic difficulties brought on by COVID-19 and the military coup in Burma, her husband cannot find work every day. The income he earns is not enough to cover the family's daily expenses or pay for basic health care. Two weeks ago, Ma Nwe was boiling water and sitting near the stove while her daughter played nearby. Her daughter accidentally bumped into the pot on the stove, causing it to spill the boiling water on Ma Nwe's left foot. Right away, Ma Nwe ran cold water over her foot and applied chicken fat to her burnt skin. The next day, she went to see a traditional healer who applied medicine to her foot. However, her foot has become infected and she has developed an ulcer. She is in pain and has difficulty sleeping. Due to her injury, she cannot look after her daughters or do household chores. Ma Nwe's husband’s grandmother recommended that she visit our medical partner's care center. On September 2nd, Ma Nwe visited the care center of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for treatment. There, the doctor examined her foot, drained her ulcer, and ordered a blood test. Since her foot is badly infected, the doctor recommended that she undergo a wound debridement as soon as possible. Ma Nwe will have the procedure on September 9th. Now, she needs help to raise $694 to fund her procedure and care. Ma Nwe shared, "I want to recover as quickly as possible so that I can be with my daughters again. I want to play with them."
Suraiya is a young three-year-old girl and the last born child in a family of two. Her parents depend on small scale farming of maize and vegetables to feed their family and they sell the surplus to make ends meet. Suraiya's mother also sells food at a local food joint commonly known as Mama Ntilie to supplement their income. Suraiya was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. She is currently having a hard time walking due to her legs bending outwardly. Her mother noticed the condition when Suraiya learned to stand and walk. They tried to seek treatment for her at the district hospital but the cost was too high for them to afford. They were advised to get national health insurance for her but due to financial challenges, they could not afford to get the insurance. During a medical outreach program organized by Plaster House, Suraiya's parents were advised to take her to ALMC Hospital for review. Her condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Over the years Suraiya's legs have worsened making walking more difficult and painful for her. Suraiya and her family are appealing for help for her to be treated. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Suraiya. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 19th. Treatment will hopefully restore Suraiya's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Suraiya’s mother says, "Money to cover our daughter’s treatment cost has been our biggest challenge because the cost is too high for us to afford. Please help treat our daughter.”
Stuwart is a playful and friendly boy and the only child so far in his family. He is currently in the first grade and he loves counting numbers and drawing. Stuwart’s father works as a bodaboda taxi driver to be able to support and care for his family. They shared that his income is not much but it helps them make ends meet. Stuwart was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch and rub against each other when he walks. 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 is having a hard time walking and is experiencing pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stuwart. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Stuwart's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stuwart’s mother says "We've tried to seek treatment for our son but all our efforts have not been successful despite trying to get national insurance. We are either to pay with what we don't have or wait for one year. Please help."
Onesmus is a playful student who is almost five years old. Onesmus is one of three children. He was born with hypospadias along with his brother. His father works as a public transit driver to provide for the family while his mother earns wages from a grocery business to support their family's earnings. The family lives in a two-roomed iron-built rental house. Onesmus was born with a congenital abnormality called hypospadias that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility in the future. Fortunately, Onesmus is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $631 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Onesmus' mother says, “My biggest prayer is to see him well.”
Nhang is a 37-year-old married father of three children, including two daughters and one son. He and his wife have been married for ten years. In his free time, Nhang enjoys playing football, watching TV, and taking his children to the garden. Five months ago, Nhang fell from construction scaffolding and injured his left elbow. His elbow is dislocated, overextended, and he cannot flex his arm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help. On May 20th, they will perform an open reduction surgery on Nhang's left elbow so that his arm will heal. Nhang shared, "I hope I can use my arm again. I want to return to work soon and support my family."
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is 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, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”
Chhean is a 26-year-old vegetable seller, with four siblings: three brothers and one sister. He is the second child in his family. Chhean lives with both of his parents, who are farmers. In his free time, he likes playing football, listening to music, drinking coffee with his friends, going for walks, and playing games on his phone. In 2018, Chhean was in a motor accident that left him with a painful femur fracture on his right leg. After the accident, he went to a hospital, where doctors conducted an open reduction internal fixation of his femur. They used plate screws to stabilize his fracture. Now, the bone has healed and the hardware needs to be removed to eliminate any problems that could be caused by the implants, such as pain or infection. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 7th, Chhean will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $230. This procedure will remove the hardware, preventing future complications. Chhean shared, "I hope that the hardware will be easily removed and the wound will heal quickly."
Florence an 11-year-old girl from Kenya, and she is the firstborn in a family of three children. Florence was born with cerebral palsy, which is a condition that affects her muscles, primarily her legs. In addition, Florence also has clubfoot, and as a result she is not able to independently walk from one place to another by herself, so she currently uses a wheelchair to get around. The team from our Medical Partner's Care Center AIC Cure International Hospital met Florence at one of their mobile clinics near her home village. Florence needs to undergo triple arthrodesis surgery, which will relieve pain in her foot and provide her with more stability. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Florence to receive treatment and needs help raising $1,224 for her surgery. Florence's mother is excited that after the surgery, Florence will "be able to walk and continue with her life like other children." She added, “We are appealing to people of goodwill to help our daughter undergo surgery."
Saroeun is a mother of three from Cambodia. She's married and has one daughter, two sons, and three grandchildren. She lives with her husband who a farmer, while Saroeun is a server at a restaurant. In her free time she enjoys watching Khmer shows and movies. Saroeun developed a pterygium in her left eye about five years ago, causing her itching, irritation, pain, and tearing. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Saroeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for one hour by tuk tuk with her son seeking treatment. Saroeun needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for November 19th. Saroeun said, "I hope my eye gets well soon so I can earn some money to support my family."
Nith is a 22-year-old market worker from Cambodia. His parents are farmers and he has three brothers. In his free time he enjoys exercising, playing soccer with his brothers, and listening to music. In June 2020, Nith was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture of his right femur. His family took him to a hospital in Vietnam for treatment, where doctors installed a plate on the bone. However, the fracture became infected and did not heal properly. The infection has caused fevers and constant pain, and Nith cannot walk without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On August 6th, Nith will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will clear out the infection and allow the fracture to heal completely. Nith will be able to walk easily again. Nith shared, "I am happy that I can get this surgery and that my family will not have to spend so much money to help me. I will be playing soccer with my friends again soon."
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Lazaro is a six months old baby boy from Tanzania and the last born in his family of five children. His father is polygamous and has two wives, and the other wife has eight children making them a family of thirteen children. Lazaro's mother shared that life is not easy in the area where Lazaro comes from. The area is semi-arid and farming is not possible. They depend entirely on livestock keeping. It’s from the livestock that they are able to get milk which they sell and get money to buy maize. Their family lives mainly on porridge and milk. Lazaro has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lazaro traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Lazaro's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Lazaro’s mother shared: “We would be very thankful if our son is able to get a chance to have his foot correct because we can never come up with the money needed to cover his treatment cost.”