Benjamin joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Five years ago, Benjamin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Benjamin's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Channy, a baby girl from Cambodia, to fund recurring hip dislocation repair.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 143 patients in 13 countries.
Channy is a fifteen-month-old girl from Cambodia. She is a younger sister in a family with two daughters. She likes playing with her toys and her neighboring friends. As she has developed, she cannot walk and sit. She is unable to bend both knees, has a bilateral dislocated hip, and her thumb has a deformity. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On March 25th, Channy will undergo treatment to repair her dislocated hips, which will cost $465. After surgery, she will better be able to walk and sit, and will someday be a child ready to walk to school. "I hope that my daughter is able to walk and she can go to school in the future,"her mother said.
Chea is a 57-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has three sons, two daughters, and eight grandchildren. She enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her free time. Five years ago, Chea developed a pterygium in both eyes, causing her irritation, burning, photophobia, and blurry vision. 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 Chea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. Chea 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 January 6th. "I hope that the tearing and burning will stop, and I will be able to recognize things and return to my work," Chea said.
Annah is a farmer from Kenya and a single mother with two children. She is a maize farmer and shared that life is difficult for her and her family. Annah is a strong woman who has taken care of her two children and has never lost hope despite the challenges she faces as a single mother, being the breadwinner for her children and providing an education for them. She lives in a mud house with grass roofing with her two children. On May 10th, Annah was hit with a blunt object after a quarrel with a neighbor over farmland. She visited a nearby facility near where her arm was splinted and she was asked to visit a better facility to do an x-ray and assessed by an ortho specialist. Annah was referred to our hospital but she was unable to come due to lack of finances at home. Two weeks later, Annah has come to the hospital as her condition was getting worse. Her hand is swollen, has pain, and she can’t do any duties at home. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 26th, Annah will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. She will heal and no longer be in pain. Annah will also be able to work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $848 to fund this procedure. Annah shared, “I love my children; I am worried that they might stay without food. I hope I will heal soon so that I can continue providing and supporting them.”
Win is a 49-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and four sons. Two of her sons are distant learners at university while her husband and two other sons work as masons. However, her husband had to stop working to look after the housework when she was no longer able to do so. Win was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of her mitral valve, 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, Win feels tired, has no appetite, cannot sleep well nor walk longer distances. She also has a headache, chest pains, and tingling and numbness in her extremities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Win. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Win said, “When I recover from my illness, I will go back to doing the housework so that my husband can also go back to work.’’
Emily is a small business woman from Kajiando County in Kenya. She is a widow with two children; one in primary school and the other in secondary school. Emily sells street food to be able to raise her children well and meet their family's daily needs. In 2012, Emily began to experience troubling symptoms, including loss of weight and she gets exhausted very quickly. She was diagnosed with a goitre, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Emily receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on September 7th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $657, and she and her family need help raising money. “It has been years of waiting and worry. The goitre is now big and I am worried it will extend. I hope for help and successful treatment so that I can live a normal life again taking care of my children. I am their only hope,” said Emily.
Eddy is a student from Kenya. He is in the seventh grade and the firstborn in a family of three children. His mother is separated from their father which has left her to take charge of her children's upbringing. Eddy likes to play a lot but his condition is hindering him from playing and it has become a concern for his mother. Eddy was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Eddy is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $710 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Eddy's mother shared, "I have struggled with my son since he was a few weeks old. I have seen him struggle with his social life and hope I can get him help and pray that this time his surgery will be successful. He is my firstborn and my hope for the family."
Rukundo is a small-scale farmer from Uganda. She is the fifth born of her parents’ six children. Since birth, Rukundo has had extra fingers and toes and her doctors recommend an amputation. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $119 to fund Rukundo's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. After recovering, Rukundo is most looking forward to wearing shoes well. Rukundo shared, “With the surgery, I may finally look normal like my friends and be able to participate comfortably in public activities. I will also be able to continue farming and help my family.”
Soeung is a 60-year old rice farmer from Cambodia. Soeung has three sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren. Now she lives with her son and husband who are also rice farmers. Soeung enjoys listening to the news and the monks pray on the radio. Five years ago, Soeung developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurred vision, tearing, irritation, cloudy lens, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Soeung learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours with her son seeking treatment. On September 28th, doctors will perform small incision cataract surgery (SICS) 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. Soeung said, "I hope I can recognize the faces of others clearly after my surgery and I can be more helpful to my family."
Pov is a 54-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has one daughter, two sons, three grandchildren. Her husband recently retired from the military. When she is not working the fields with her husband, she enjoys listening to news on the radio and going to pagoda for ceremonies. Four years ago, Pov developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her irritation, tearing, and blurry vision. 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 Pov learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three-and-a-half hours seeking treatment. Pov 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 May 11th. Pov said, "I hope that after surgery I will feel no more irritation, that the tearing will go away. I am ready to go back to my farming, to work hard, and to see my grandchildren again."
Babuhe is an 68-year-old mother from Uganda. She is a widow who lost her husband in 2013. As a farmer and mother of five, she relies on the few produces from her farm to sustain daily life. About 20 years ago, she started experiencing lower abdominal pains. She had been managing the pain with medications prescribed from several clinical visits made. As the pain gradually worsened, she has slowed her efforts on the farm and she is no longer able to carry heavy loads. Babuhe came to Rushoroza Hospital and was diagnosed with chronic pelvic inflammatory disease. Doctors are recommending that she have a total abdominal hysterectomy, but Babuhe is not able to raise the funds required for her surgery. Her children are not able to support her financially and she appeals for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $228 to fund Babuhe's surgery. On October 14th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Babuhe will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Babuhe says: “I hope to live a normal life again after the surgery. I will resume my farming to be able to sustain and develop my family.”
Chean is a 67-year-old retired rice farmer from Cambodia. Her husband is also retired, and they live together near the homes of their three children. They help to take care of their six grandchildren. Chean still works in her garden growing vegetables. In her free time she loves to read religious texts and visit the local monks to hear prayers. Eight years ago, Chean developed a pterygium in right eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, and severe irritation. 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 Chean learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three-and-a-half hours seeking treatment. Chean 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 July 7th. Chean shared, "I hope that after this surgery my sight is good enough to read my books well and that I will be able to walk by myself to the pagodas so I can join a ceremony."
Tumukunde is a 27-year-old small scale farmer who grows beans and potatoes for home consumption. Tumukunde got married in 2010 and is a mother of four children. Her husband trades live animals, buying and selling of cows and goats one at a time because he doesn’t have enough capital to expand his business. Their family owns a four-room semi-permanent house. Their firstborn is 10 years old and in primary school class four, their second born is 8 years and in primary school class two. They also have a 3-year-old and 1-year-old who haven't started school yet. She developed a small swelling on her throat in 2014. She did not bother going for medical attention because she thought it was a family disease and she used local herbs to manage her goitre. In 2017/2018, her swelling increased, she started feeling severe pain, and she would find difficulty in breathing and carrying things. She could hardly carry anything on her head. She suffer headaches during rainfall and cold weather. Finally, she decided to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Rushoroza Hospital to seek medical advice. If not treated through thyroidectomy, she could develop thyrotoxicosis, airway obstruction, difficulty in swallowing and may develop into thyroid carcinomas. Their family has no other sources of income despite having a lot to take care of on their shoulders and have asked for financial support to enable her surgery. Tumukunde shared, “I pray that I may be considered for the surgery because, without financial support, it’s impossible. After the surgery, I look forward to practicing extensive farming to be able to comfortably support my expanding family, and without pain, I believe I can make it.”