Benjamin joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six 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 Pov, a watermelon farmer from Cambodia, to fund pterygium eye surgery.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 290 patients in 13 countries.
Pov is a 45-year-old watermelon farmer who lives with her son who is a server in a restaurant. Pov enjoys watching Chinese dramas on TV and listening to the radio. Three years ago, Pov developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her irritation, itching, and discomfort with her appearance. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucus 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. When Pov learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there with her son 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 April 6. Pov shared, "I hope after surgery my eye will feel comfortable and without irritation or tearing. I want to start planting watermelon again when I am better."
Gavin is a sweet 2-year-old boy. Earlier this year, Gavin’s mother found a job as a house help and before this job, she used to do laundry for her neighbors to help support her family. Gavin’s father works as a security guard in a rental flats house. Gavin 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. Gavin's family does not have National Health Insurance Fund coverage and are not able to raise the required amount for Gavin’s surgery. His parents are appealing for financial help. Fortunately, Gavin is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Gavin’s mother shared, “As a family, we cannot raise the money required for our son’s surgery as we both earn very little.”
Seth is a 51-year-old farmer who lives with her son who is also a farmer. Seth enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren and watching and listening to Khmer dramas on TV. Four years ago, Seth developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Seth learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her son seeking treatment. On June 2nd, 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. Seth shared, "I hope I can see well again so I can help out my son in the rice field."
Stephanie is a five-year-old student from Nairobi, Kenya who enjoys singing and dancing. She is the older sibling in her family, and her mother takes care of their family and home while her father is a small businessman. Stephanie has clubfoot on her left foot, causing her foot to be twisted out of shape and resulting in difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Stephanie traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Stephanie's procedure. The treatment will allow Stephanie to walk, wear shoes, and continue with her studies. Her mother, Maureen, told us, “I am humbly requesting help from well-wishers to help my daughter walk like other children."
Destiny is a two-year-old boy who likes playing and eating sweets 🍭. His mother works in a hair salon and rents a one-bedroom house for the two of them to live in. When Destiny was three months old, his mother noticed a swelling in a sensitive area. They visited a government hospital and he was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. He had surgery in December 2019 to repair the hernia, but a month after the surgery, unfortunately, the hernia recurred on the other side. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is now helping Destiny to receive treatment. On June 9th, Destiny will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, he needs help to fund this $575 procedure. Destiny’s mother shared that she believes the surgery will significantly improve Destiny's life and that the pain and discomfort will go away. She shared that she believes Destiny will be able to lead a normal life without episodes of pain and will be able to concentrate in school and have a bright future.
Busingye is a 63-year-old married mother of six children. She is a small scale farmer and lives with her husband in a three-room home in Uganda. Over 20 years ago, Busingye began experiencing troubling symptoms, including neck swelling, difficulty breathing, headaches, and persistent coughing. She recently stopped farming due to her symptoms. When she visited a local hospital, she was diagnosed with multinodular goiter and requires surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Busingye receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on May 4th at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, Busingye needs help to fund the $293 procedure. Busingye shared, “I pray that I may be considered for treatment. After treatment, I will resume farming and be able to further support our family.”
John is a three-year-old boy from Kenya who will turn four in July. He is the oldest in a family of two children. John’s mother sells charcoal, while his father is a motorcycle rider. He is quiet and enjoys playing with other children. When John was a month old, his mother noticed that one of his testes had not descended. He was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one of the testicles remains undescended. She has been taking John to different hospitals, but he has not received treatment yet. If left untreated, John has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, John will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 25th, and AMH is requesting $483 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. John’s mother shared, “I have been taking him to many hospitals and they are always telling me to wait. Therefore, I came to Nazareth but the money required is beyond my means. I kindly seek help so that my son can be treated and have a chance of having his own children in the future.”
Ku is an 11-year-old student from Thailand. Ku lives with his mother, four brothers and a sister in a refugee camp. All of his siblings also go to school, except for his oldest brother, who used to work with their mother as agricultural day labourers. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, they have not been able to leave the camp easily to find work. Ku's father works as a day labourer outside of the camp, but has also been unable to find consistent work due to the pandemic. Ku's family receives some financial support from an external organisation, but it is not enough to cover their expenses, and they shared that they often borrow rice or money from their neighbors. In March 2021, Ku and his friends were playing tag that led him to have a bad fall. Ku had taken off his sandals and left them at the top of a hill. When he ran up the rocky hill to fetch his sandals, he slipped and stuck out his left hand to break his fall, breaking his wrist. Currently, Ku’s left hand and forearm are very painful. He cannot bend his wrist and can only move his fingers slightly. Before his accident, Ku was able to prepare his own meals and set up his mosquito net at night. But now, he needs someone to help him do these tasks. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 10th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ku use his left hand again and live pain-free. He will be able to cook his own meals again and set up his mosquito net by himself. Now, he and his family need help raising money for this procedure. Ku's mother shared, "After he receives treatment, I want Ku to continue his studies until he graduates and becomes a medic."
Heak is a 61-year-old rice farmer who has three sons, three daughters, and seven grandchildren. Heak lives with her oldest daughter who is a farmer too. She enjoys spending her time listening to the monks pray on the radio. Four years ago, Heak developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Heak learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On June 2nd, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Heak shared, "I hope I can see well enough to return to the rice field and also plant some vegetables to sell for our income."
Sokhom is a 60-year-old fish seller with three daughters and six grandchildren. Sokhom lives with her eldest daughter who also sells fish. Nowadays, Sokhom stays home and cares for her grandchildren. She also enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. Four years ago, Sokhom developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sokhom learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On May 18th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Sokhom shared, "I hope I feel comfortable with my vision so I can get around outside on my own, do my housework, and help my daughter take care of her children."
Tumushabe is a 31-year-old small scale farmer. She completed the third grade in primary school, but shared with us that she left school due to a lack of financial support for school fees. Her husband is a laborer who does work around their village. They own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. During her free time, she enjoys working on her farm. Tumushabe is currently expecting her third baby. Doctors recommend that she deliver her baby via c-section, because she sadly lost her first two children shortly after birth. If not treated through a c-section, Tumushabe's uterus could rupture, putting her and the baby at risk. A c-section will allow doctors to better ensure the safety of both mother and child. Tumushabe and her husband hope and pray that they may finally have a healthy child who will survive and grow up. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Tumushabe to undergo a c-section on May 19th. Now, Tumushabe needs $207 to fund the procedure. Tumushabe shared with us, “I pray for a successful surgery."
Rexa is a 47-year-old mother from Malawi. She has four children, and her sister lives together with their family. Rexa has been selling second-hand clothes called kaunjika locally, but had to pause her business last December due to her health condition. Rexa’s husband is an electrician and is currently unemployed. Two of their children are in college, and they shared that their family is struggling to pay their school fees. Rexa also cares for her mom, who lives in the village. Last December, Rexa started having sharp pains in her abdomen radiating to the back and both legs. Her husband has taken her to many hospitals to figure out the cause of her pain, and it has cost their family a significant amount of money. After being evaluated for peptic ulcers, heart, liver, and kidney problems to no avail, she finally was diagnosed in April with uterine fibroids. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. These growths may become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number, and could result in increased heavy bleeding or a fatal case of anemia. Rexa was referred to Partners in Hope Medical Center for further review and the gynecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, which will remove her uterus and cervix and hopefully cure her of this pain. However, she has no insurance and is unable to pay for the cost of her care due to her family's earnings. Rexa will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on May 28th, and African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,363 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After the surgery, Rexa is hopeful that she will stop having abdominal pains and can return to normal life, which can help her resume her business and support her family members again. Rexa's husband shared, “I am excited that finally there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. When my wife feels pain, I also feel pain and I fail to go and look for work to support the family. I strongly believe that this surgery will bring an end to our misery and sleepless nights. Now we will stop begging relatives for support with even transport money to the hospital, I am very grateful to the donors!”