Benjamin joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Benjamin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Benjamin's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Ramal, a beloved newborn from Kenya, to fund hydrocephalus surgery.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 559 patients in 17 countries.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 559 patients in 17 countries.
Ramal is a 5-month-old baby from Kenya and the only child in his family. His parents separated before he was born. Ramal lives with his mother and great-grandparents. Ramal’s great-grandmother works jobs on people’s farms to earn a living, while his mother does laundry and also works casual jobs to provide for the family. Ramal’s family does not have NHIF coverage and needs assistance raising the required amount for Ramal’s hospital bills. Ramal was born two months early at seven months of pregnancy and was admitted to the nursery for two months. While in the nursery, the doctors noticed his head increasing in size, and upon close examination, he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. When he was discharged, the doctors referred the family to another hospital in their home county for treatment. His mother gathered some funds and took him to the hospital, where he was booked for clinics and waited for surgery. This continued for a few months until a doctor referred them to our medical partner’s care center for treatment. Once arrived, an urgent shunt insertion surgery was scheduled. Ramal has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result, Ramal has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Ramal will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Ramal to treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 15th and will drain the excess fluid from Ramal’s brain, thus reducing intracranial pressure and greatly improving his quality of life. With proper treatment, Ramal will develop into a strong, healthy young boy as he grows. Ramal’s mother said, “This condition is something that we have never seen before. This made us worried for Ramal’s health.”
Yoeun is a 59 year-old mother of six. She lives in Takeo province, where she works as a rice farmer. Yoeun lives with her husband, who has recently retired from the army, and one of their younger sons, who works in administration for a local business. In her free time, Yoeun enjoys watching Cambodian dramas and listening to the monks pray on the radio. About three months ago, Yoeun developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. When Yoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On February 1st, 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 $253 procedure. She shared, "I hope after surgery my eye can see better and I can recognize my family and the other villagers."
Alice is a 2 year-old toddler from Kenya. Her family hails from a village in Bungoma county. Alice is the only child in the family and is loved deeply by her parents. Her mother sells chips and samosa in a small kiosk within the village while her father sells shoes. Alice entered the world with a unique trait – she was born with bilateral club hands. Her parents were surprised by the condition. They had not heard or witnessed a condition of that kind, and they were unsure of what this meant for their precious daughter’s future. However, the parents were determined to give all the love and support she needed to continue with a full life. Immediately after Alice was born, her parents started seeking guidance from medical professionals who specialized in limb conditions, they went to different hospitals within the county until they were referred to Cure hospital. She is now in the hospital to undergo bilateral hand centralization surgery. The treatment will be impactful to her because her hands will be straightened, and she will be able to use them fully. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,224 to fund surgery for Alice. Alice's mother shared, “I will appreciate any kind of support to help my daughter undergo surgery, so that she can resume her life like other children.”
Naw Aye is a 28-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, sister-in-law, brother, two nephews, and two nieces in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. Originally from across the Burmese border in a conflict-area called Karen State, she fled to the refugee camp with her family in February 2023 due to airstrikes on her village. Her husband and her brother are unemployed, while her son, nieces, and nephews go to school. She and her sister-in-law are homemakers. During her free time, she loves to play with her son and enjoys planting vegetables in her small garden. She is currently expecting her second child. Her doctors recommended that she deliver via cesarean section because In January 2020, when Naw Aye was pregnant with her first child, her water broke prematurely which put her baby's life at risk. She was brought to a hospital in Burma, where she gave birth to her son through a caesarean section (C-section). In February, after they had fled to the refugee camp, Naw Aye became pregnant. She went to the hospital in the refugee camp regularly for antenatal care. She was told during one of her visits that although her pregnancy was going well, she would need to give birth through a C-section to ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, will help ensure a safe C-section on November 3rd. This procedure costs $1500, and Naw Aye needs your support. “I want to sell sacks or Mohinga (Burmese soup) for extra income soon. But I don’t have enough cash to start doing that, and I am pregnant. I hope I can do that after I give birth,” Naw Aye said.
Prudence is a small-scale farmer from Uganda. She studied up to primary school when she was young, but then dropped out due to a lack of financial support from her family. She now lives with her husband together with their five children. Her firstborn is a twenty-year-old carpenter, the second born is 18 years old and a cyclist, the third born is twelve years old in 5th grade, her fourth born is in fourth grade, and her youngest is in the first grade. Education is very important to her for her children's future. Their family lives in a three-room mud house for shelter. She used to practice farming but currently she is unable due to her illness. Twenty years ago, Prudence began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck swelling that has grown in size over the years. Currently, it involves mild pain and affects her airway when breathing. She visited Rushoroza Hospital to seek medical advice where she was diagnosed with a goiter, but cannot afford the surgery costs. However, she needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Prudence receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 17th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $333, and she and her family need help raising money. Prudence says, “I believe the surgery will be successful and when I am well and recovered, I will be able to go back to my farming to be able to support my family.”
Heng is a bright 6-year-old boy. He has three siblings - one brother and two sisters - and two of his siblings are married and live elsewhere in the village. His mother is a homemaker, and his father is a rice farmer. Heng attends kindergarten, which runs for half of the day, and enjoys playing with his toy trucks at home. His favorite meal is fried eggs and milk. Four years ago (when he was two years old), Heng developed a fever, received an injection at a local clinic, and soon after, developed muscle contractures that limited his ability to flex or straighten his right leg. He has no pain but is unable to fully straighten his knee, and he cannot walk well, something other children tease him about. When Heng's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), they traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On October 24th, surgeons at CSC will perform a quadricepsplasty procedure on Heng's right leg in order to improve the range of knee flexion and help him walk. CSC is requesting $482 to fund this procedure. Heng's family contributed $100 to his care. His mother said: "We hope Heng can walk better after he has his operation."
Si Yol is an active 71-year-old grandmother from Kandal province. She and her husband live with their daughter and grandchild. Her husband is a farmer, and her daughter sells groceries. Si Yol works part-time as an assistant of communes and likes to watch TV news in her spare time. About one year ago, Si Yol developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, so it is like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. When Si Yol learned about our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On December 7th, doctors will perform phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Si Yol needs help raising $253 to fully fund the procedure. She shared, "I hope that after the surgery, my eyesight will improve. I want to go out and recognize and see people and things easily. I also want to write and read well."
Elisante is a 16-year-old boy from Tanzania. He lives in Arusha with his mother and father. He has five siblings. Elisante loves playing football and enjoys watching matches on television. In 2020, Elisante was playing football and hit his leg. He experienced pain in his leg, swelling, and discomfort walking. After about a month, his leg began to feel better and he continued his usual activities. However, Elisante identifies this injury as the start of various issues with his legs. Recently, Elisante was diagnosed with windswept deformity. His legs bow both inward and outward, causing a windswept appearance. As a result, he experiences difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elisante. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 21st. Treatment will hopefully restore Elisante's mobility, allow him to participate in his usual activities, and decrease his risk of future complications. Ephraim says: “I can no longer play football much. Walking has become challenging and I can no longer wear shorts due to how my legs are bent. I would be grateful if I had this surgery.”
Mark is a cheerful and social 4-year-old boy from Kenya who is in preschool. He is the second to last born in his family. Mark's mother is a businesswoman, selling rice and cereals within the village, and his father is a teacher. Mark's mother shared that he is an independent kid who likes playing with his friends and helping with household duties at home. Mark was diagnosed with a condition known as Left Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, a type of cerebral palsy that causes paralysis only on one side of the body. After going through a series of consultations in different hospitals without any improvements, Mark's mother heard about our medical partner's care center. Mark has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Mark's mother brought him to the care center, and upon review, the doctors recommended surgery. On November 28th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,286 to fund Mark's procedure. After treatment, he will be able to stand upright, walk confidently, and continue with his education without any difficulty. "I will be happy to see my son walking well like other children." Mark's mother told us.
Curtis is a second grade student from Kenya. Curtis is accompanied by his grandmother at the hospital. He is jovial and inquisitive. Curtis is the only child in his family and is being raised by his grandmother. His mother left him with his grandmother when he was 3 years to work in the Middle East. His father works at a timber yard splitting wood earning an inconsistent income. Curtis was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Curtis has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Curtis will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 5th. AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Curtis' grandmother says: “He needs treatment to be healthy in the future.”
Wayen is an 8-month-old baby from Haiti. He lives with his mother, grandmother, and two older siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. His mother works as a market vendor. Wayen has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which means that a hole exists between two major blood vessels near his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving him weak and short of breath. The surgery he needs is not available in Haiti, so Wayen will travel to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will insert a catheter into the hole and expand a device to plug it, so that blood can no longer leak through it. Gift of Life International is contributing $3,000 towards the cost of the surgery, and Wayen's family needs help with the remaining $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. This money will also support passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner International Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Wayen's family overseas. Wayen's mother shared, "I will be praying for everyone who is helping my son to become healthy."
Huot is a 9 year-old 3rd grader. He lives in Kandal province with his paternal grandparents and two sisters. His favorite subject is Cambodian studies, and he enjoys reading Cambodian fairy tales. In his free time, he likes playing with his friends, and getting fried fish from a street cart near his house. Around five months ago, Huot began experiencing a sore throat, trouble sleeping, and difficulty swallowing. Frequent illness caused him to miss school. Huot was recently diagnosed with enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which, if not treated, will cause his symptoms to persist and possibly intensify over time. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $265 to fund a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for Huot, which is scheduled to take place on September 11. Surgeons will remove his tonsils and adenoids, hopefully relieving Huot of his symptoms and helping him live much more comfortably. His grandmother shared, "I just want him to feel healthy again and go back to school."