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 8,800 miles to support Sreymom, a 37-year-old caretaker from Cambodia, to fund eye surgery.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 473 patients in 17 countries.
Benjamin has funded healthcare for 473 patients in 17 countries.
Sreymom is a 37-year-old woman, living in rural Cambodia. She takes care of her mother full-time, while her oldest sister, who works as a rice farmer, helps to support them. Sreymom's main jobs around the house are cooking and cleaning, during which time she enjoys listening to Cambodian music on the radio, and singing along. Two months ago, Sreymom developed a chalazion - an inflamed cyst in her tear gland - in her right eye. As a result, she experiences irritation and swelling of her eye, which causes discomfort, and which also impairs her vision. Sreymom sought treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. On January 23rd, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will remove the cyst through a chalazion excision procedure. After recovery, Sreymom's symptoms should improve. Now, she needs your help raising $210 to fund this procedure. Sreymom said: "I hope my eye gets better soon so I can take care of my mother without problems."
Ly is a 61-year-old grandmother. She lives with her husband and has one son, four daughters, and seven grandchildren. They are rice farmers in Kampong Chnnang province, which has a 1,500-year-old tradition of making clay pottery which they are proud of. When not working outside, Ly likes to visit the pagoda for ceremonies or listen to the monks pray on the local radio. Two years ago, Ly developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her tearing, cloudy vision, and sensitivity to light. She can no longer cook well or do housework due to her limited vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go many places on her own. When Ly learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 2nd, doctors will perform small incision cataract surgery and implant a new lens 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 my eyesight can improve so I can take care of my family again."
Erick lives in a neighborhood on the outskirts of La Paz with his mother and his grandparents, who help take care of him while his mother works in the market. He was born with three different holes in and near his heart; as a result, blood leaks through these holes, and his heart cannot deliver enough oxygen to his body. Thankfully, our medical care partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has been of great help and has helped Erick and his family receive the right medical attention. During his surgery, doctors will close all three holes to ensure oxygen-rich blood circulates throughout his body and he is able to grow into a strong young boy. On February 17th, Erick will undergo cardiac surgery at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría in Bolivia. His family needs financial assistance to cover the $1,500 cost of this life-saving procedure. His mother shared, "I almost gave up hope that my son could live, and I am so thankful to everyone who is giving him this chance!"
Thet is a 35 year old husband and father, who lives with his wife, son and in-laws in Mon State in Burma. Both Thet and his wife work in his uncle's grocery store, while his in laws are farmers. When he isn't working, Thet enjoys spending time with his son and reading. In November 2018, Thet started to experience tiredness when working, and frequent headaches. He also had a rapid heartbeat, and he couldn't sleep well. He went to a hospital in Mawlamyine, where he was referred to a different hospital in Yangon for further treatment. At the hospital in Yangon, Thet was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and stenosis, which would require surgery to correct. Thet was sent home with medications to manage his condition. In March 2022, Thet went back to the hospital in Yangon, because of continuing fatigue, headaches, coughing and fever. The doctor told him they would contact him to schedule his surgery in May, but Thet never heard back from the hospital. When Thet told his neighbor about this, his neighbor gave him the phone number of a heart patient who had been helped by our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Thet followed up, and thanks to the assistance of Burma Children Medical Fund, he is finally scheduled for surgery to replace the valve in his heart on October 13th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Thet needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of this surgery. "I have sold all my jewelry to pay for the cost of traveling to the hospital. I feel less stressed since I met the BCMF staff,” said Thet.
Meet 36-year-old Diana, a quiet, humble, and loving mother to two children, who lives with her family in Uganda. While Diana had once dreamed of becoming a teacher, with the death of her parents, there was no money for the necessary school fees. She became the provider for herself and her two younger brothers, starting up a small business selling vegetables, in order to earn a sufficient income for the three of them. Today, Diana and her husband work as small-scale farmers, growing food crops for home consumption, while selling any surplus they have to generate money for their family. For the past two years, Diana has experienced severe lower abdominal pain, accompanied by backaches and dizziness. Additionally, she has experienced bleeding. Surgery was recommended, but Diana couldn't afford to pay for the treatment that she needed. However, the pain she has been living with has increased, and at a recent visit to the doctor, a scan was done, which showed a right pelvic mass. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $242 to cover the costs of a curative laparotomy, which is scheduled to take place on February 2nd, at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale. Diana is hopeful that with your help, her unpleasant and debilitating symptoms will be gone. Diana says: “If given a chance to be supported, I hope I will go through the surgery and I expect to get well afterward.”
Phen is a 39-year-old rice farmer from Kandal province. She is married and her husband also works on their rice farm. In her free time, she likes watching the news and Cambodian comedy TV shows. About one year ago, Phen developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Phen learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for an hour and a half seeking treatment. On February 2nd, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and implant an intraocular lens in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. She said, "I hope after surgery my eye can see better and I can go back to work."
Leang Sim is a 75-year-old widow from Cambodia. She worked as a rice farmer until her retirement several years ago. She was married and had one son, but sadly, both have passed away. She lives alone near her nephew, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. One year ago, Leang Sim developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision and sensitivity to light. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces. She is also worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places on her own. When Leang Sim learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 14th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help raising $253 to fund her procedure and care. Leang Sim shared, "I hope after surgery, I can take better care of myself, do housework and go outside to join local ceremonies."
Bless, who is 13 years old, is a student who lives with his uncle. Bless lost his father last year, and now Bless' mother - who is a farmer - is the sole breadwinner for herself and her four children. Beginning two years ago, Bless has been living with a hydrocele, which is a swelling in a sensitive area. Initially, Bless felt shy to talk with anyone about his condition, but when he developed pain, he shared with his uncle about what was going on. He was brought to the hospital, and on examination, it was determined that he had a hydrocele. The hydrocele is infected, and could result in more serious complications if left untreated. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $146 to fund Bless's hydrocele repair surgery, which is scheduled to take place on January 24th, at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale. Once completed, this procedure should enable Bless to live more comfortably and confidently. His uncle says: “I feel bad whenever I see him in pain; he is a good boy at home, yet his condition leaves him in pain. Please support us."
Phouri is in eighth grade, and lives with his six year-old sister and his parents in Cambodia. Phouri's parents work at the local market, selling fish. Phouri is hoping to become a doctor after completing his studies. Phouri was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgum, also known as knock knees. This condition forces his legs to turn inwards, and makes it difficult for Phouri to walk. Fortunately, doctors at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help improve Phouri's mobility. On January 5th, Phouri will undergo a procedure at Kien Khleang Rehabilitation Centre to help resolve his condition. Now he and his family need your help to fund the $521 cost of the surgery. Phouri's mother said: "After surgery we hope that he can walk and play with his friends more easily."
Ashin Mala is a 30-year-old monk who lives in a monastery in Karen State, Burma. He became a monk a year ago. As a monk, Ashin usually doesn’t have the right to save money and keep cash. But sometimes, worshippers donate some money, and he keeps it to use just in case. The monastery usually provides him two meals a day donated by the Buddhist followers. In October, one day, he visited a house of a member of ethnic armed group in the village. A kid was playing with a pistol and accidentally shot the gun in the wall. Unfortunately, the bullet ricocheted and hit his left eye. The villagers sent Ashin Mala to Myawaddy General Hospital immediately. At the hospital, an X-ray was done and showed that a piece of the bullet had entered below his right eyeball. The doctors stitched the gunshot wound and gave some medications. There was no ophthalmologist at hospital. Ashin visited the hospital regularly and got wound dressing as well as medication to relieve pain. But the pain didn’t go away. He has lost sight in his left eye. Pain and itchiness, and sometimes a burning sensation, is present in the right eye and surrounding area. Hot tears are coming out from both eyes during blinking occasionally whenever he reads book for a long time. Due to the lack of ophthalmologist, he was provided only with medications and eyedrops. Now doctors want Ashin Mala to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Ashin Mala's CT scan and care, scheduled for December 9th. Ashin Mala said, "I don’t want to blame anyone. It is my destiny. I am not sure my condition can be treated or not. But I am so happy to be treated here because I think I can have better health care here than in Burma. I don’t expect complete recovery, but it will be great if I can see with both eyes. In the future, I want to learn more about Dhamma and hope to attend Buddha University in the future."
Queen is an adorable 4-month-old baby from Tanzania. Her mother is a sole proprietor who has recently started a new small business, while her father works as a security guard. Queen has an older sibling. While their current income is limited, her mother is confident that her new business provide for their family's basic needs. Queen has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Queen's parents took her to a nearby hospital, but they lacked the needed specialized medical staff. Concerned about waiting a long time for a consultation, Queen's father visited another hospital but experienced the same issue. Queen's father then visited the hospital of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), where the doctors were able to diagnose the condition and recommended surgery. On November 18th, Queen will undergo clubfoot repair surgery that will allow her to learn to stand and walk as she grows. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Queen's father shared: "We have been traveling far and wide in pursuit of a cure for our daughter. We're determined to see her feet get back to normal. We appeal for your financial support to help our daughter receive treatment."
Chanthy is a 34-year-old farmer, who works alongside her husband in the rice fields. She is married and has one daughter. After a long day outside, she likes to cook for her family and watch Khmer movies on TV. For the past several years, Chanthy has had facial pain and headaches. She suffers from frequent fevers, has difficulty sleeping or breathing out of her nose, and often feels poorly. Surgeons have determined Chanthy has a nasal cyst that obstructs her breathing and is frequently infected. Chanthy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 6th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will remove the mass. Now, Children's Surgical Center, is helping Chanthy raise $273 to fund this procedure. Chanthy shared, "I hope my infection will go away, and I will be able to breathe and take good care of my family again."