Ben joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. 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 8,500 miles to support Ann, a 34-year-old widowed mother of two from Kenya, to fund laparotomy surgery to remove her gall bladder.
Ben has funded healthcare for 120 patients in 13 countries.
Ben has funded healthcare for 120 patients in 13 countries.
Ann is a 34-year-old widow and a mother of two children, ages 13 and 8 years old. She does odd jobs at a nearby small hotel; though she shared that her medical condition makes it hard to work. Ann started having epigastric pains in 2015 and has being treated intermittently for ulcers. She said that sometimes all her income goes to treatment, and yet she doesn’t get well. Recently, the pain became worse, and she was taken to different hospitals over the weekend before being brought to Nazareth Hospital, where she was admitted. A scan showed Cholelithiasis, and since she has severe pain on and off, the Surgeon recommended she should go for Cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gall bladder) immediately. Unfortunately, her medical insurance (NHIF) did not approve her case, so she needs $788 to fund her surgery. If not treated, Ann will continue to experience the pain and may have complications like pancreatitis, blockage of the gall bladder with inflammation of the gall bladder. She is in severe pain already. “I am desperate, the doctor says I have to be operated on tomorrow but have no money to pay, and NHIF did not approve my application. Any support given, I will appreciate, at least to have my life back. I am the hope of my children who are still young,” said Ann quietly.
Abraham is a 27-year-old farmer from Kenya. He is a happy and joyful man who loves smiling. Abraham is married with two sons aged six and three years. He also does construction work when he can find jobs on local building projects. His wife sells secondhand clothes at the local markets around. Abraham and his family live in a rental house which has two rooms. He works hard but it has been difficult to earn a living and pay his monthly bills. Earlier last year, Abraham was among the people who got sponsorship from the county to study in technical training institutes. He is almost done with his studies and will soon be able to work toward a better job. Abraham arrived at the hospital on Saturday afternoon with right lower limb pain. On physical examination, his lower limb had bruises and it was swollen to the knee. After the examination, the clinician recommended an x-ray and the results revealed that Abraham had sustained a fracture of the upper end of tibia and fibula. The Orthopedic surgeon met him and recommends that he undergo surgery. Abraham has no medical insurance coverage, and he is now appealing to all well-wishers to help him in order to get his surgery. Abraham shared that he was hit by a tree while cutting it down. He cannot walk easily and more and has a lot of pain and swelling. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 27th, Abraham will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery Abraham will be able to continue with his studies, and he will no longer have pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Abraham says, “I cannot walk without support. I am really worried because of my family. Kindly help me so that I may be able to get back to them and offer them my support.”
Samwel, a very social and hardworking Kenyan father of eight children, is an active maize farmer who likes spending most of his time on his farm. He works hard to meet the needs of his family. His wife takes care of their home and helps him in his daily farming activities. Samwel lives with his family in a semi-permanent house in their farm. His elder children are married, and they also work hard to meet their own families' basic needs. Samwel presented to the emergency department with cuts on his left wrist joint and on his knees after an assault with a machete by a person known to him. This was brought up by family conflicts due to land disputes. Doctors diagnosed that he had multiple tendon injuries with nerve injuries in his wrist and an open fracture of his left distal femur in his leg. He is in pain and cannot walk with ease. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him heal and get active again. On September 5th, Samwel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Samwel will no longer experience pain. He will go back to his family and continue with his farm activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Samwel says, “I have so much pain, but I am happy to be alive. I hope to get treated, go back home and be with my family.”
Daw Moe is a 43-year-old mother from Burma who likes to listen to music in her free time. She lives with her husband and her two children. Both of her children had to stop going to school two years ago when she could no longer afford to pay for their school fees. Her husband sometimes works as a day laborer, and since unenrolling in school, her son now also works as a day laborer. Daw Moe has a cow, and they earn money by selling the cow’s milk. She would also help support her family by managing all of the household chores, but she has been unable to do much for the past five months due to her condition. Since then, her son and daughter have stepped up to help. Daw Moe has dealt with pain on the sole of her right foot since the end of January. The pain was initially caused by a blister, but even after seeking medical care at a hospital and treating the wound, the pain returned. She went back to the hospital about two months ago due to severe pain, and the doctor diagnosed her with a chronic ulcer. They gave her medications and cleaned the ulcer, but this did not heal her condition. The doctor told her that in order to properly heal, she would need to undergo a debridement, which is a procedure to remove any damaged or dead tissue. When she told the doctor that she could not pay for the surgery, the doctor referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Daw Moe’s right foot is in pain and swollen. She cannot walk and needs help using the restroom. To get around, she uses a wheelchair because she does not feel comfortable putting any weight on her right foot. She struggles sleeping at night because she feels saddened about her condition. She also can no longer help with household chores, so her son has to handle everything while her daughter looks after her in the hospital. Fortunately, BCMF is helping Daw Moe receive treatment. On July 8th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help relieve her pain and allow her to walk again. Now, Daw Moe needs help to fund this $694 procedure. Daw Moe expresses, “I feel pity on my son as he has to do everything when I am admitted at the hospital. He is also the sole bread winner, as my husband hardly works. I hope that I will get well soon so that I can go home and help him.”
Jane is a happy, talkative farmer and mother of ten. Jane leases out some of her lands to help provide for her children’s education since her health condition has made it too difficult for her to farm. Jane's family has recently had very hard times and she is hopeful that better days are ahead. A few months ago, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty breathing. She visited the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Jane will need to undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jane receive treatment. On April 12th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy, in which surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to help fund this procedure. Jane shared, "The people I looked up to just perished. Kindly help me so that I may get back to work and be able to raise my other children.”
John is a 12-year-old student living in a small village in northern Haiti. John lives with his parents, three brothers, and one sister, and before he fell ill, he loved to play soccer and to go to school. John has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means that one of his heart valves can no longer pump blood through his body. This condition is due to an infection John suffered earlier in childhood, and it has rendered him weak and left him in late-stage heart failure. The care John needs is not available in Haiti, so John will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On May 9th, he'll finally undergo the cardiac surgery he needs, during which surgeons will remove the severely damaged valve and implant a mechanical valve in its place. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $15,000 to pay for the surgery. However, John's family also needs help to fund all the pre and postoperative costs. The $1,500 they are seeking will cover laboratory tests, medicines, checkups and follow-up appointments. It will also help John to obtain a passport, and cover the costs of the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany John's family overseas for his treatment. John shared: "I am looking forward to being strong and healthy again once my heart is fixed."
Zion is an adorable four-month-old baby boy from the Philippines. Despite being so young, Zion loves interacting with people and already responds when his name is called. Zion's mother is a full-time mom, while his father is a contract-of-service worker. Zion's father's income helps to sustain their family's daily needs. In March, Zion's family brought him to the hospital as he has skin tags on his body and they were concerned for his future health and development. This condition can be severe, especially at his age as it may cause discomfort that leads to itching, wounds, and infections. On May 4th, Zion is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Zion's parents raise $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. After recovery, Zion will no longer have multiple skin tags or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. "Once this surgery is done, we don't have to worry about his condition, and we can focus on taking care of Zion," his father shared. "Thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for your help. May you help other people in need like us," he added.
Panha is a 22-year-old construction worker and the youngest of his three siblings. His parents are farmers in the Kampong Thom province, which is known for its bountiful rice and mango harvests. In his free time, Panha enjoys playing games on his phone, listening to music, and watching TV. In August, Panha was burned at work while dealing with high electric voltage. His family took him to a local clinic for medical treatment and dressing; however, he still developed contractures. As a result, Panha's hand and joints are stiff, and the muscles have atrophied. He is in constant pain and unable to hold things, limiting his ability to perform daily tasks like eating, dressing, or riding his motorbike. Surgeons determined Panha needs to undergo a scar contracture release and receive a flap of healthy skin in order for his hand to fully heal. When Panha learned that our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), could help, he traveled there hoping to receive treatment. On April 4th, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him use his hand again and start the process to strengthen his muscles. CSC is requesting $477 to help fund this procedure, which is also subsidized by $100 that Panha was able to gather. Panha shared, "After surgery, I hope the wound will heal, and I can use my hands to work and support my family."
Mathayo is a nine-year-old boy and the fourth born of his mother who has seven children. Their family is dependent on livestock keeping to make a living and support their large family. In the Fall of 2013, Mathayo was left in the hut sleeping, while his mother was out in the field herding goats. The bed he was sleeping in was close to an open fire place, which was unknowingly still hot from remnants of hot coals underneath the ash. Upon waking up from his afternoon nap, Mathayo got out of bed, however, as he crawled across the floor, he ran his left leg through the hot ashes, sustaining severe burns. As a result of his burns, he cannot walk long distances, herd livestock, fetch water, or go to school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mathayo receive the life-changing treatment he needs. On March 4th, surgeons at their care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform a burn contracture release surgery, which will allow Mathayo to walk without pain, and live out a higher-quality life. African Mission Healthcare is asking for $874 to help fund Mathayo's procedure. Mathayo says, “I will be so happy if my foot is treated because it will help me wear shoes and walk without feeling pain.”
Audrey is a three-year-old toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and has fun playing dress up and going to church with her family. Audrey has Down Syndrome and a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This entails a hole in the wall of her heart that separates the two lower chambers. Audrey is traveling to receive treatment at our medical partner's care center, Hospital CEDIMAT, in the Dominican Republic. On February 22nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole in her heart. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $5,000 to help pay for her surgery. Audrey's family needs help funding her pre and post operation costs. The $1,500 bill will cover her labs, medications, checkups, and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment for the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Audrey's family as they travel overseas where she can finally access the surgery she needs. Audrey's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter."
Purity is a sweet two-year-old and the youngest of her widowed mother’s two children. Purity’s mother works as a primary school teacher and has national health insurance for herself and her children, however, their insurance does not cover Purity’s surgery needs. Purity was diagnosed with genu varus, a condition in which her legs bow outward at the knee. This is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Purity has difficulty walking long distances. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Purity receive treatment. On January 4th, she will undergo corrective surgery to restore her mobility, allow her to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease her risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund Purity’s surgery. Purity’s mother shared, “My salary is not enough to pay rent, take care of my two children, and still afford to pay for Purity’s surgery. Please help us.”
Two months ago, Victor was born very healthy in a facility near their home. They were discharged and when they arrived home, Victor started to cry and feel uncomfortable. He was not crying too much and his mother did not take it too seriously. The following day, Victor’s aunt visited them and noticed that he was crying a lot. To her, the cry was not normal. She talked to his mother about it and they decided to take a closer look at his belly. A few minutes later, they noticed that his stomach was swollen and later found out that he was not passing stool. They rushed Victor to the facility where he was born and upon examination, Victor was immediately referred to BethanyKids Hospital. Being an emergency, he was brought in an ambulance and taken to an emergency department. He had a colostomy surgery that is the first stage of his treatment. He recovered fully and now he has been scheduled for a second surgery to help heal his condition. Victor is the last born in a family of six children. His parents are not well off financially. Both of them sell groceries and do casual labor when they can find it. The income they earn is just enough to feed the family. His parents are not in a position to raise any extra money for their son’s bill and are asking for financial support. Victor’s mother says, “It is very hard for us to raise any money to cater for Victor’s bill. Thank you.”