Ben joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Ben became the 104th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,842 more people have become monthly donors! Ben's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Pheap, a boy from Cambodia, to fund leg surgery.
Ben has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 13 countries.
Pheap is an eight-year-old primary school student from Cambodia. His parents are farmers, and he is the oldest of three siblings. He practices reading everyday so that he can do well in school, but he doesn't yet know what he wants to be when he grows up. He loves to eat fried noodles at lunchtime. When he was four years old, he got a fever and was treated at a private clinic. The doctors there determined he had bone tuberculosis and performed an osteotomy to remove part of his left femur. His left leg is now shorter than his right. Pheap has trouble will physical activities such as running or bike riding, feeling pain and weakness in his left leg. His condition also affects his self confidence when interacting with other children. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On June 3rd, Pheap will undergo a procedure on his left leg, which will cost $465. After recovering, his leg will experience less pain and will be prepared for lengthening. Pheap said, "I hope that my leg will be less painful after surgery, and I hope that soon I will be able to run normally."
Minea is 12-year-old 4th grade student. Her favorite subject in school is Khmer literature, and she hopes to be a teacher when she grows up. In her free time she enjoys exercising for good health, reading books, and watching cartoons on TV. She has one older sister; together they like to cook fried rice with chicken. Five years ago, Minea's spine curvature became noticeably worse at around 20 degrees. For a time she was using a back brace but it did not improve her condition in the long term. In recent months her scoliosis has advanced to a 45 degree angle. Her family is concerned that her condition will prohibit her from attending school and make her self conscious about her appearance. She has difficulty in sleeping, sitting, standing, or walking, and she feels uncomfortable with her appearance. Minea's mother said "I hope that the doctors will help my daughter improve her quality of life, and that she will be able to be happy and confident."
Moses is a teenager from Kenya, who is doing well in school. Moses’s mother is a stay-at-home mom while his father is employed casually as a taxi driver. Moses is the oldest of three children. He lives with his parents and younger siblings in a two-roomed rental house in Central Kenya. Moses was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Moses has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Moses will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 10th. AMHF is requesting $535 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I have researched about the condition and I am quite stressed. Please help me,” says Moses.
Marvalie is a preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a rural area of southwest Haiti; her parents are farmers. She has not yet started school due to her illness. Marvalie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Marvalie will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On March 6th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which Surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from her valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Marvalie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Marvalie's family overseas. Her mother said, "Our family has been praying for a cure since our daughter was a small baby, we are very happy to know our prayers are being answered!"
Nurudini is a four year old boy from Tanzania and the last born child to his parents. He was healthy until the age of one and a half years when his legs seemed to curve by the lower side and seemingly weak. His mother, concerned, took him to the hospital for review and had calcium medications prescriptions. She hoped that the calcium would strengthen his bones preventing further curving. Through a poster advertisement, his mother learnt of our services and brought Nurudini for treatment. He was diagnosed with genu varus and surgery is recommended. With the successful surgery, Nurudini will be able to walk with ease and reduce the chances of further disabilities. He had his left leg corrected and now Nurudini requires correction of the right leg. Nurudini's mother sells vegetables at their local market while his father works at construction sites. Their combined income does not make ends meet and with the ability to retain some money for medical expenses. They appeal for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Nurudini. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nurudini's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nurudini’s mother says, “My son’s walking has gotten better after having his left leg corrected though he is still limping due to the right one which he couldn’t have it corrected earlier.”
Mean is a 71-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has six children and ten grandchildren, and enjoys exercising, visiting the pagoda, and taking care of his family when he has free time. Two months ago, Mean started experiencing pain in his right hip, five years after seeking treatment in both of his hips. He now experiences the same difficulty with his walking, and has pain everyday. Fortunately, Mean learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Mean of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 7th, and Mean needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I will be able to walk again and will not experience anymore pain in my hip," he said.
Khin is a 39-year-old woman who lives with her family in Hpa-An Township, Karen State, Burma. Both her children are in preschool. She and her husband are subsistence farmers, growing rice during the rainy season on rented land. The rest of the year, her husband collects leaves used to make roofs, works as a daily labourer or collects branches to sell. Khin was born with a scar the size of an ant bite on her upper lip. Her parents thought that it would disappear or heal on its own but the scar developed into a growth and increased in size. Her parents passed away when she was young and after that she went to live with her brother’s family. By the time she was around 20 years old, the growth had become large and soft, covering the area between her upper lips and her nose. When the pain became unbearable in 2005, her uncle dropped her off at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, a free clinic close to where her uncle used to work. At this point, the growth had become so large that dragged her upper lip down and extended into her nostrils. At MTC, she was seen by doctors and medics, before she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. At this point, the growth had worsened, and she was bleeding from her lips. In April 2006, Khin went to Chiang Mai Hospital and had the hemangioma removed surgically. The growth later has returned. Overtime, the hemangioma has increased in size and become hard. It has now expanded into Khin’s nostrils, especially her left nostril, which causes her to have difficulty breathing at times. She feels uncomfortable but is not in pain. Sometimes she also feels like she has a blood clot in her nostrils during her nosebleeds. Because the nosebleed can start at any time and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, her life revolves around managing her nosebleeds. She is unable to work or sleep properly, and if she is about to have a nosebleed, she is unable to eat. The nosebleeds have also affected her ability to earn an income for her children and continues to impact her social life. “When I socialise, I do not feel comfortable and some people think I have a disease that I can infect them with,” said Khin. “So, I hope to get better after surgery, and I hope I will no longer have nosebleeds. I don’t want to bleed, and I want to socialise with my friends and family happily. [Right now] my friends won’t even touch me.”
Brianna is a young girl from Tanzania. Brianna is a beautiful, friendly and cheerful girl, the only child to her parents. When Brianna was a year old, in her playful mode, she accidentally dipped her left hand in the boiling cooking oil where her mother was cooking from. She was rushed to the hospital where the burns were attended to. However, the burns healed with contractures that have affected her ability to fully utilize her left hand. Her mother sells food at a local Swahili restaurant in order to support the family. The family was not able to fully raise the money for contracture release for Brianna. Her grandmother provided them with some funding and her fingers were partly released. She, however, needed further contracture release. She was brought to our plastic clinical camp whereupon review, she had surgery recommended. The family is not able to meet the cost of treatment and so appeal for financial assistance. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Brianna receive treatment. On September 24th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to release the two fingers allowing Brianna ability to fully utilize her left fingers. Now, she needs help to fund this $608 procedure. Brianna’s grandmother says, “Please help treat my granddaughter her parents have not been able to afford her treatment cost.”
Iqram is a young boy from Tanzania. Iqram is a two-year-old boy, the only child to his parents, who struggles to stretch his right hand due to a burn scar contractures. The playful boy was playing with his friends when he went back to his mother's house and by accident, fell on hot milk sustaining burns on his right side, especially his right hand. He spent a month in the hospital where the wounds were nursed and successfully healed. However, his right elbow skin healed with contractures. The contractures restrain Iqram's ability to fully stretch and use his hand. The family has not been able to raise funds for a contracture release surgery, but their hope for help remains. Iqram's father is a casual labourer at a factory and his mother a housewife. Their income is little to meet the treatment cost. They hope to have Iqram's hand released and be able to use it with ease especially when he joins the school. Iqram's aunt referred them to our facility when she learnt of an outreach program and upon review, he had contracture release recommended. Iqram's parents appeal for financial assistance Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Iqram receive treatment. On September 27th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to The surgery will allow Iqram to fully stretch his hand, restoring ability to utilize it. Now, he needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Iqram’s mother says, “My son’s life will be very challenging if he not able to have his hand corrected please help him."
John is formerly a shop attendant from Kenya. He was employed as a shop attendant but since the attack, he has been dependent on well-wishers. He currently lives in a $5-a-month rent wooden house. Her aunt cares for his daily needs. John has an existing hospital bill from his initial spine surgery. John was attacked by thugs and thrown off a two floor building in 2016 suffering spine injury. He had spinal fusion done in our facility and recuperated. He however noted some swell on his back in 2019. He has an open wound is unable to work. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping John receive treatment. On August 21st, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. He will be able to work after recovery and the risk of sepsis will be eliminated. Now, John needs help to fund this $1,129 procedure. John says, “I am in great pain and would wish to have an ease of it”.
Woodmylens is a preschooler from Haiti. He lives with his mother and father on a farm in the mountains of central Haiti; he likes playing with toy cars and listening to music. Woodmylens has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in his heart was severely damaged due to a fever he suffered earlier in childhood, and cannot adequately pump blood through his body. Woodmylens will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will first attempt to repair the damaged valve; if this is not possible, they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is contributing $6,000 to pay for surgery. Woodmylens'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 Woodmylens's family overseas. His mother says, "We are looking forward to this surgery so that our son can start school as a healthy boy."
Ngwe is a 72-year-old retired widow from Burma. She lives with her daughter, her son-in-law, and her two grandsons. Ngwe has an abdominal mass that causes her discomfort. Ngwe sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on July 5. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care.