Benjamin OrthliebUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Benjamin's Story

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.

Impact

Benjamin has funded healthcare for 559 patients in 17 countries.

Patients funded by Benjamin

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.”

$365raised
$355to go

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.

$1,122raised
$378to go

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.”

$243raised
$90to go