Ben joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Ben joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ben's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Hashim, a first grade student from Tanzania, to fund leg surgery so he can be active and play.
Ben has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 13 countries.
Ben has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 13 countries.
Hashim is a seven-year-old student and the third-born child in his family of three children. Hashim started his primary school education early this year and he is currently in grade one. His mother is concerned he may have learning challenges as he has delayed talking in comparison to his younger sibling. Hashim’s mother is a single mom who works hard selling vegetables for a living. Hashim has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, where his legs bow outward so that his knees do not touch. 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 gets tied after a short walk and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Hashim. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Hashim's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Hashim’s mother says “It is through people’s kindness, help, and support for us to make it here to Plaster house. Please help my son.”
Mercy is a 28-year-old subsistence farmer from Malawi. She lives in a grass-thatched house with her husband and their three children. Her oldest child is nine years old and attends school, while her youngest is five years old. She and her husband also take care of her 93-year-old grandmother who depends on them. Mercy and her husband farm together and their farm produces enough food to feed the family, but not enough to sell a surplus. To supplement their income, she and her husband also work on other people's farms. In 2018, Mercy noticed a small lump on the left side of her neck. Over the years, the lump has grown and is hard and painful. After having several appointments rescheduled, Mercy finally got a scan and was referred to a lab for thyroid tests and to a surgeon. The lab tests and transportation costs have greatly impacted her family’s income, and it has taken her three years to have all of the required testing. She was finally diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and surgery was recommended to heal her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Mercy to receive treatment. On September 2nd, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,015 to fund her procedure and care. Mercy shared, "this condition is not only affecting me, but mainly my helpless 93 years old grandmother and also my family. I can no longer draw water for my grandmother and my children are too young to help. My husband is now getting exhausted combining farm work and household chores. Please assist me with this surgery so I can start helping my family again."
Ret is a 66-year-old grandmother who is married and has two sons, five daughters, and 11 grandchildren. Ret lives with her husband, who is a religious leader. Four years ago, Ret developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her sensitivity to light and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Ret learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there with her husband seeking treatment. On June 4th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Ret shared, "I hope I can see well again so I can go outside on my own, see my family better to take care of my grandchildren, and help my daughter with cooking."
Nancy is a middle-aged mother from Kawaida village in Kenya. She separated from her husband and has been raising their two children on her own. Her daughter is married and her son lives with Nancy but has not started working yet. Nancy works jobs when she can find them, such as helping in the neighboring tea farms or washing clothes, to support her family. Nancy loves singing at her church, but now her condition forces her to remain indoors and in bed. Five years ago, Nancy began experiencing worrying symptoms. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $755 to fund Nancy's surgery. On July 2nd, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Nancy will be able to resume her daily activities free from pain. Nancy is eager to recover so she can continue her working and pursuing her musical passion: “If this bleeding continues I feel like it will be more challenging for me to continue working for my family. My children look unto me and so I really hope for help so that I can be well again, take care of them and be able to sing as I used to do."
Nary is a 50-year-old mother of two with one son and one daughter. Nary lives with her husband, who works as a policeman. When she has free time, Nary enjoys listening to traditional music and watching the news. Five years ago, Nary developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photo phobia, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Nary's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there with her sister seeking treatment. On May 28th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Nary shared, "I hope after surgery that my eye can see well so I can cook good food for my family and go to the market by myself."
Juma is a 15-year-old boy and the youngest of nine children born to his mother. He is an intelligent boy who completed primary school with good marks, but unfortunately, his father couldn't afford to send him to secondary school. Juma stays home and helps his mother work on the farm where they grow maize, vegetables, and cassava. Juma's dream is to become a teacher. Since childhood, Juma has had a right inguinal hernia that causes him pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Juma receive treatment. On May 4th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $566 to fund Juma's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Juma shared, "please help me with this condition because as I grow older the pain keeps becoming worse which is a sign it's getting worse."
Pheap is a 25-year old farmer with one brother and two sisters. All of his siblings are married. Pheap's father passed away years ago and he now lives with his mother who is a farmer. When he is not farming, Pheap enjoys playing football and listening to music. While driving a truck, Pheap was in an accident that caused an open wound on his left foot. He went to a clinic where the wound was cleaned and dressed, but within a few days the wound became infected. By the time he came to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), the toe was swollen and he had lost sensation in his left big toe. The toe must be amputated to avoid the spread of gangrene. On April 6th, surgeons from CSC will amputate the toe to protect his foot from further infection and preserve his mobility. Now, Pheap needs help to fund this $446 procedure. Pheap shared, "I hope my foot will heal well so I can return to work again."
Antony is a 36-year-old motorbike taxi operator. He is married and has three children. Antony is the sole breadwinner of the family. In his line of work, his income depends on the availability of customers and is somewhat inconsistent. He lives with his family in a two-roomed rental house. On February 9th, Antony was riding a friend to a funeral on a motorbike, when he got into an accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. His bike lost control when he tried to avoid an oncoming vehicle that was speeding on the wrong side of the road. Antony hit a ditch on the side of the road and sustained multiple injuries. He is in pain and is not able to use his left hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 5th, Antony will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm normally again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Anthony shared, “I am the sole breadwinner and my family is looking upon me for survival. I cannot work without the use of my hand, and my hand needs surgery to heal. I am unable to get the money to raise the amount needed for my care."
Puthy is a 20-year-old factory worker and the eldest in his family. He has three siblings, two brothers, and one sister. Both of his parents are farmers. In December 2020, Puthy was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a closed fracture of his left tibia. After the accident, he was treated with Khmer traditional medicine for one month, but his condition did not improve. Puthy's neighbor suggested he go to Children's Surgical Centre to seek care. Currently, it is difficult for him to walk, and his leg is very swollen. Puthy is in chronic pain and feels very unwell. His family is especially worried about his condition because is the breadwinner of the family. While he has been in the hospital, his family has lost their income and they will not be able to work while he recovers. Puthy and his family appeal for financial support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On February 2nd, Puthy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him walk again and return to work to support his family. Puthy shared, "I hope that after surgery my left tibia will be fixed and I will feel better. I am looking forward to having no more pain and infection, and to walking and working as I did before."
Marline is a 7-year-old boy from Kenya. He is a cheerful boy and a Grade 2 student at Jayden Academy. Marline wants to be an engineer when he grows up. Marline's mother says that he loves to dismantle and assemble electronics in the house, and is well on his way to his career dreams. Additionally, Marline has a condition called spina bifida. Earlier in April 2020, Marline was playing with his friends when his mother noticed a small pimple-like wound on his right foot. It was small at first, but slowly started to grow bigger in size. His mother rushed him to a nearby health centre in their hometown, where he has been undergoing dressing in the facility but they have not seen much improvement. Since Marline has been coming to Kijabe Hospital for his spina bifida clinic, he opted to seek review in the hospital and get this wound checked. He was reviewed a week ago by the plastic and pediatric surgical teams, who recommended that he undergoes debridement, excision of calcaneal ulcer, and flap cover surgery to clean and heal his infected wound. Currently, Marline is in pain and at risk for further infection. If left unattended, the wound may result in severe infection and possible amputation. Unfortunately, these procedures are costly for Marline's family. His mother is a single mother raising two kids on her own. Their family lives in a bedsitter house in Ruai, at the outskirts of Nairobi. Marline's father left the family and his responsibility. Marline's mother is the sole breadwinner of the family and she has a small grocery kiosk. The total profit from the venture is very small, and her close relatives are not able to assist with financial support. Their family appeals for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Marline receive treatment. On January 6th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help heal the wound and prevent possible complications. Now, Marline's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Marline's mother says, “This wound is worsening by the day. If left unattended, doctors say that he might lose his leg. This would be hurting all of us. Kindly help us as we really don’t have a way out."
Zakayo is a 6-year-old from Tanzania. Zakayo is a firstborn child in his family. He is currently in nursery school, he just started school this year and his father says he loves school and he has made so many friends. He has not been able to read or write yet, but he is eager to learn. Zakayo got into a fire accident when he was one year old, his mother had cooked a meal and left the fire burning. He walked to the fire and touched the burning firewood with both his hands and he then fell into the fire burning both his hands and his stomach as well. His mother rushed to get him and got him out of the fire. He was treated using the traditional medications (honey, tree leaves and eggs). He healed but his hands now have a contracture limited his ability to use them. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Zakayo receive treatment. On December 4th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so he will be able to use his hand and fingers well and this will help him in school. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Zakayo says, "I really want to be able to use both my hands like my friends and be able to do things for myself. My father says I need this treatment so that when I grow up i will not have trouble using my hands."
John is a baby boy from Tanzania. He is the fourth-born in a family of four children. John's parents are both subsistence farmers who grow maize and also farm honey. John 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, John has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, John will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for John that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd and will drain the excess fluid from John's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, John will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. John’s mother shared, “We are really struggling financially and there is no way we are going to raise the money needed for our son to have this necessary surgery. We appreciate any help you can provide.”