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 8,200 miles to support Zion, a 4-month-old baby boy from Philippines, to fund surgery for his skin condition.
Ben has funded healthcare for 114 patients in 13 countries.
Ben has funded healthcare for 114 patients in 13 countries.
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. Both of his hands were severely damaged. His family took him to a local clinic for medical treatment and dressing; however, he still developed contractures in both of his hands. As a result, Panha's hands 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 hands 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 hands 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.”
Elia is a three-year-old boy and the youngest child in a family of three children. Eli's mother sells sugar, salt, tea leaves and kerosene to people in her village to provide for the family. Elia has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Due to financial challenges, his parents have never been able to seek treatment for their son. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Elia receive treatment. He traveled to visit AMH's care center after a passerby who saw him struggling to walk recommended the place to their family with hopes he could be treated. On October 8th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. After treatment, Elia will be able to walk easily. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Elia's procedure and care. Elia’s mother shared, "I am struggling alone to find food for my children. Getting the money need to cover the treatment cost is not something I can afford."
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."