Ben joined Watsi on March 18th, 2015. Seven years ago, Ben joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ben's most recent donation traveled 6,900 miles to support Evangeline, a hardworking mother from Philippines, to fund thyroid surgery to alleviate her symptoms and prevent future complications.
Ben has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 12 countries.
Ben has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 12 countries.
Evangeline is a hardworking mother of two from the Philippines. She and her husband work as graphic artists; however, they were highly impacted by the pandemic, resulting in them being switched from full-time workers to part-time ones. This affected their ability to save up for Evangeline's needed treatment. In 2016, Evangeline began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. When she was finally able to seek medical care, an ultrasound showed a large mass located on her throat. She was diagnosed with colloid adenomatous goiter, a benign, noncancerous enlargement of thyroid tissue. She now needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Evangeline receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on July 16th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $890 to cover the cost of Evangeline's procedure and care. Evangeline shares, "Our income is just enough to provide for our basic needs. This free operation will be a big help to us. I've been praying that my pain will go away, and God answered my prayer through Watsi and World Surgical Foundation. Thank you so much for your help."
Morn is a 53-year-old recycled material collector. She is married, and has two daughters and two sons. In her free time, she helps to take care of her grandchildren. Many years ago Morn had an ear infection. This infection caused both of her ear drums to perforate. As a result, Morn experiences pain, hearing loss, and ear discharge. She also has difficulty communicating clearly with others. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Morn to receive treatment. On June 8th, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will close the perforations in Morn's ear drums. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund the procedure, and to pay for medications, supplies and inpatient care. Morn says: "I hope after surgery the ear discharge will end, and my hearing finally improves."
Randy is a 49-year-old from the Philippines. He has developed a large mass on his left shoulder. Because of this mass, Randy has been unable to secure full time employment. In order to support the needs of his family, Randy works part time in the neighborhood where he lives. Because of his inability to afford and access care, Randy had to delay treatment for a couple of years, and the mass increased in size. Fortunately, Randy found his way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and he is now scheduled for surgery on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is requesting $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care, which will remove the mass and enable Randy to return to full time employment. “Randy is so eager to be treated so he can work and provide for his family,” his sister said. “We are very grateful to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping people like us. Thank you for your generous hearts," she added.
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Jephte is a sweet 3-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a small town in Northern Haiti. He loves playing with toys and watching cartoons. Jephte has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. The care the Jephte needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to the Cayman Islands for treatment. On March 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Their family has raised funds for his surgery, but they also need help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jephte's family overseas. His mother shared, "Our family will be praying for everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"
Elias is a two-year-old boy who is already playful and curious. He loves to ask questions about anything he doesn’t understand. He wants to know about almost everything around him. Elias and his older brother live with their mother after their parents separated about one year ago due to family conflicts. His mother earns a living by selling vegetables, while his father works as a mechanic, and sends money on occasion for care and support. When Elias was about one year old, he was outside playing with his older brother when he accidentally stepped into hot charcoal and sustained burns. Burn scar contractures have developed as he healed, which entails the tightening of the skin around his burns. As a result, Elias feels a lot of pain when he wears shoes on his left foot. Fortunately, on February 10th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform a burn contracture release surgery. With treatment, Elias will no longer be in pain, and will be able to wear shoes comfortably. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is asking for $639 to help fund Elias's procedure. Elias’s mother says, “He now does not enjoy wearing closed shoes due to the pain he goes through. Please help my son.”
Jane is farmer and a mother of two children. Jane has a small grocery store where she sells vegetables to earn a living. Her husband works in construction sites to help provide for their family. For her husband, work is hard to come by and if he gets a job, he does not earn much. To facilitate for the many hospital visits and scans that she has needed recently, Jane and her husband had to sell the two cows and chickens they had kept. Jane first noticed her belly was increasing in size about six moths ago. She hasn't been able to eat and has been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,260 to fund Jane's surgery. On January 14th, she'll undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Jane will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Jane says, "i’m very happy that I will be treated but I’m feeling sad that I do not have the funds for the surgery.”
Mu lives with her four nieces and nephew in a refugee camp along the Thai/Burma border region. One of her nieces is a medic, the other a teacher, and the two youngest go to school with her nephew. Mu is unemployed and in her free time she enjoys gardening and reading the Bible. In 2019, Mu started to suffer from abdominal pain, back pain, and exhaustion. When she touched her lower abdomen, she could feel a mass. After the International Rescue Committee (IRC) helped her undergo medical investigations at multiple hospitals, she was diagnosed with bilateral endometriosis cysts and was told she has cysts outside of her uterus. Although she needed surgery, she was told she would have to wait because all surgeries had stopped due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Thailand. In September, she had an ultrasound which showed that she had one new cyst. The doctor said she would need surgery soon but Mu could not go back to Mae Sot Hospital for the next few months because more COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp caused a lockdown. When she was finally able to go to the hospital this month, doctors have scheduled her for surgery to remove her cysts. With Mu unable to pay for the procedure, IRC referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance to raise $1,500 that is needed for her treatment. "I felt like half of my worries disappeared when I heard that I could have surgery with the support of donors," said Mu. "I have waited so long to receive surgery and my condition is so painful. I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who is helping me."
Ananiya is a 5-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves playing football and playing with toys. Ananiya is the firstborn in a family of two children. Ananiya's father passed away five years ago so his uncle helps to take care of them. His mom is worried and concerned about her son's wellbeing and is seeking financial assistance to help Ananiya get the second-stage surgery that he needs to be healthy. Ananiya 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, Ananiya is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His mom is feeling a renewed sense of hope for the future. She said, “I hope my child goes to school after the treatment. If it's God's will, he may even be a doctor in the future."
Yee is a 48-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, her daughter and a granddaughter in northern Tak Province. Yee's husband works in a rose farm and she is a homemaker as well as a caretaker of her granddaughter at home. Their family income is enough for their daily expenses and they are able to pay for basic healthcare but not for major treatment like Yee now needs. Currently, Yee feels that the right side of her head is achy and she experiences on-and-off pain around her right eye. When Yee feels the pain, she takes a pain medication, but she is worried because she cannot see anything with her right eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yee. On October 12th, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Yee's natural lenses and replace them with intraocular lens implants. After recovery, Yee will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I recover from surgery, I want to raise chickens and pigs for my family to eat and sell some too. I will also be able to plant vegetables for my family to eat and sell some of those,” said Yee.
Beatrice is a quiet lady in her early 50’s who has been blessed with six children, now ages 14-27. She runs a small grocery at the marketplace to provide for her family. Beatrice's husband doesn’t have a stable job. He does casual jobs across the village such as clearing bushes to meet the needs of his family. Beatrice and her family live in a two-bedroom house constructed with mud. They depend mostly on their daily jobs for food and save a little to pay school fees for their children and bills at the end of the month. A week ago, Beatrice sustained a left arm injury after fainting. Beatrice was brought to Kapsowar Hospital and an X-Ray was done which confirmed a fracture to her left humerus. Beatrice shared that she has a history of fainting and subsequently falling. Beatrice is in pain and she is unable to attend to her normal day-to-day things now. Beatrice is concerned that she can’t cook for her family or run her grocery business due to her injury. Beatrice had a cast applied about a week ago and was discharged to go home to look for funds for her surgery. A week later, Beatrice returned to the hospital with no hope of raising funds for her surgery. Their family is unable to raise the required amount with their low wages only able to afford daily needs like meals and clothing. Fortunately, our medical partner can help. On September 7th, Beatrice will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation procedure. Beatrice will no longer be in pain, she will be able to attend to her grocery business and take care of her family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Beatrice says, “Life has never been the same since I broke my hand. I am worried about my children who need care every day. My hope is to get treated so that I can continue supporting my family.”
Teltila is a lively five-month-old girl from Ethiopia and a sibling to an older brother and sister. She is sociable, loves to play with her mom, and enjoys it when her mom talks to her. Her dad is physically impaired and unable to move around easily. He sells candies and some sweets on the street for a living and her mom is a housewife raising their three kids. His income is not enough to maintain the family but fortunately, they are supported by a foundation in their town that works with people with impairments. Teltila was born with a birth condition called anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage causing pain and complications. She developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy, one of the series of procedures needed to eliminate the condition, was done for her at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM). She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications and as a result, she continues to feel significant discomfort. According to her mother, Teltila had her first surgery when she was 45-days-old and unfortunately, the second surgery was delayed due to finances. The money they saved could only cover doctor reviews and some level of surgical fees. After getting an appointment, her bag was stolen with all the money and documents at a bus stop. Teltila's mother was devastated and did not know what to do. She heard of a charitable organization that supports the poor and went there to share her story. Teltila is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Teltila's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Teltila's mother says, "I am now so thankful. I lost all I had and I just received it back through you all. I hope my daughter will be treated."