BlackthornMONTHLY DONOR
Blackthorn's Story

Blackthorn joined Watsi on November 4th, 2021. One year ago, Blackthorn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Blackthorn's most recent donation supported Somethea, a 12-year-old from Cambodia, to fund surgery to regain the use of his hand.

Impact

Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 43 patients in 12 countries.

patients you have funded

Benina is a cheerful woman with an infectious smile, she is married and has been blessed with five children, all boys. The first two children have completed their high school education; the other two are still in high school, while the youngest is in primary school. Benina and her husband own a piece of land where they primarily cultivate potatoes for their family's consumption and sell the surplus in the market. They also sporadically work on the farms of their neighbors to supplement their little income. This year, rainfall was very inconsistent, and the couple did not have any potato produce, thereby earning no income from their land. For the past 6 years, Benina has been experiencing severe abdominal pains, bleeding, and a persistent headache. She sought medical services from a clinician, who referred her to the obstetrics and gynecology department for further review. In 2019, the symptoms became severe, and she decided to visit a nearby health facility where she was given medication and sent back home. She experienced temporary relief from the condition, but it later reappeared. Benina made the decision to come to our partner's care center, AIC Kapsowar Hospital, because the situation did not get any better. After learning about her medical history, medical test were recommended which revealed that she had a hemoglobin level below 6, which is extremely low and dangerous. She was hospitalised and underwent a blood transfusion to boost hemoglobin levels and enhance blood quality. To help her heal she needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $918 to fund Benina's surgery. On November 29th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Benina will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Benina says, "I have endured a lot while holding out hope that I may soon recover. Day by day, the symptoms are getting worse, and I've lost a lot of blood. I'm in a terrible situation, please support me to get this operation."

$918raised
Fully funded

Swe lives with her parents and her son in a village in northern Burma. Her father is subsistence farmer, her mother owns a small weaving business where traditional Burmese blankets and sarongs are hand woven. Her son goes to school and Swe is a homemaker. In her free time, she enjoys visiting and talking to her friends in their village. In December 2021, Swe began to experience fatigue, sweatiness, vomiting and difficulty breathing. She also had a headache and a stiff neck. At first she could not travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but eventually went to Mandalay in August to seek help. At a hospital, she received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. She was told she would need surgery costing 15 million kyat (approx. $15,000 USD), but she could not afford to pay for it. She then went to Yangon with her son, in the hopes of finding another hospital that cost operate on her for less money. While in Yangon, her condition deteriorated and her son rushed her to a hospital. The doctor there confirmed her diagnosis and her need for surgery, but told her it would cost 20 million kyat (approx. $20,000 USD). When Swe told the doctor that she could not afford to pay such a large sum, the doctor referred her to an abbot, who in turn referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment. Currently, Swe cannot walk for more than 10 minutes or she feels very tired and short of breathe. She has a rapid heartbeat, dizziness and headache. She said, "I want to say thank you so much to BCMF and all the donors to help me with my treatment cost.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Leah is a middle-aged woman from Kenya. She is married with two daughters and a son. Leah and her husband work whenever they can get small jobs and live together with their children in a two-roomed house that was constructed by the county government for rental at a subsidized price. Their firstborn dropped out of school because of financial issues, and currently works with them on farms to earn a living. The other two children are in secondary and primary school respectively. Leah has no medical coverage or money to cover her medical expenses and is seeking support to help her undergo surgery. Four years ago, Leah began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck swelling, an increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sleep disturbances, difficulty swallowing and easy fatiguability. She was diagnosed with a toxic multinodular goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She has been to several hospitals without much improvement. Last month, she attended a surgical screening camp organized by Kapsowar Hospital near her home area, from where she was referred to the main hospital for surgery. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Leah receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 25th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Leah says, “I am really disturbed seeing my family working hard without my help. I really look forward to getting well so that I may join them in working hard and so that we may have our own piece of land and house in the near future. Kindly help me so that I may continue working and being there for my family.”

$936raised
Fully funded

Thu Ya is a 24-year-old man who moved to Mae Sot in April to live with his older sister and search for better job opportunities. Thu Ya’s sister works in an electronics factory, and his brother-in-law works as an agricultural day labourer. Thu Ya does not have regular work yet, but he is paid per task for completing miscellaneous jobs for the factory where his sister works. Their monthly income is just enough to cover their daily needs and pay for basic health care. Every month they send money to Thu Ya and his sister’s parents, who look after his sister’s daughter. Thu Ya was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Thu Ya experiences shortness of breath when he walks longer distances or whenever he is active. He often experiences rapid breathing and feels tired. He cannot sleep well at night, and he has heart palpitations. He has a poor appetite, and he has not been able to help his sister much around the house since early September 2022. His sister is very worried about his condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Thu Ya. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 22nd and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. His sister said, “I have a few sisters, but Thu Ya is my only brother. When I see him in this condition, I feel sad and worried about him. I hope that he will receive surgery and that he will get better soon."

$1,500raised
Fully funded