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.
Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 43 patients in 12 countries.
Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 43 patients in 12 countries.
Somethea is a 12-year-old boy from Cambodia. He is in the 8th grade and enjoys studying Khmer literature and history. He hopes to become a policeman when he grows up. Somethea has two brothers and likes to play football with them in his free time. His mother is a tailor, and his father stays home. When he was two years old, Somethea's right hand was burned in a cooking fire. After the burn healed, the skin around his fingers retracted and bent his finger, resulting in one of his finger joints becoming partially dislocated. This condition causes him pain, and he cannot move his fingers, write with a pen or pencil, or hold objects in his hand. When Somethea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On December 15th, surgeons at CSC will perform a contracture release and full-thickness skin graft to relieve him of pain and allow him to use his fingers again. CSC is requesting $673 to fund this procedure. Somethea's family was able to gather $100 to contribute to his care. Somethea said: "I hope I can use my hand after this operation and have no more pain."
Itzael lives in the mountains above La Paz, Bolivia with her parents, who are farmers, and her older brother. She was born with Down's syndrome and a cardiac condition called atrioventricular septal defect, in which a large hole exists in the center of the heart, causing blood to leak between all four chambers. This condition leaves her sick, short of breath, and unable to gain weight as her body needs to grow. Fortunately for Itzael, surgeons at our partner hospital will perform heart surgery to fix her condition. During the surgery, doctors will close the hole using a patch so that blood can flow normally through her heart. Her family needs to raise $1,500 for her surgery. Itzael's mother says: "Our family is very happy and thankful to have this chance to help our daughter."
John Paul is a 27-year-old man from the Philippines, who works as a marketing agent. One month ago, John Paul began to experience a constellation of symptoms, including urinary frequency, and a lump by his navel that was growing in size. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia, and told that he would require surgery to heal his condition. Much of John Paul's income goes towards the treatment and medications needed for his hypertension, so he is not in a position to cover the costs for his surgery. While a portion of the costs for his procedure will be covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is seeking $845 to cover the remaining fees for John Paul's surgery, scheduled for December 3rd, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. John Paul said: "I was struck greatly by the pandemic. I'm full of debt, and that's why I can't afford to pay for my hospitalization. WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines are really of great help. I'm truly grateful for the services that you're giving us. May you continue helping the ones in need."
Hannah is a 70-year-old mother of seven children. She is a widow who lost her husband ten years ago. She is a small-scale tea farmer and relies on her children for upkeep and survival. For eight months, Hannah has been experiencing abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain. She has been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Although supportive, her children are unable to raise the funds required for her procedure. She had one cow that she sold to pay for a biopsy, treatment and fare to the facility. However, she is requesting financial support for her surgery cost. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping raise $1260 to fund Hannah's surgery. On December 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Hannah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Hannah says, "I am old now and fragile. This cancer has depleted my financial resources and affected my health. I need the surgery to avoid the spread of the cancer.”
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."
Hser is an 11-year-old student from Thailand who is in sixth grade. He lives with his parents and three brothers, all of whom attend school, in a refugee camp. His father is on the school committee at the camp, and his mother occasionally works as an agricultural day laborer outside of the refugee camp. Hser enjoys going to school, attending church, and praying. In his free time, he also likes playing games on his parents’ phone. This past June, Hser slipped on the mud under his house and landed on his left arm and shoulder. Although he initially felt fine, he developed pain and swelling in his left arm and shoulder a week later. He was diagnosed with a dislocated left shoulder and a fractured upper arm. However, after visiting another hospital, his doctor suspected he might have osteomyelitis, or inflammation of the bone, in his left upper arm. Doctors want Hser to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Hser's MRI and care, which is scheduled for August 4th. Hser shares, “I would like to become a pastor when I grow up.”
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.”
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.”
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."
Nelvis is a very playful baby boy and the only child in his family. He was born when his mother was still a student in secondary school, form three. She had to take a break from her studies for some time to take care of her newborn baby. They do not receive any support from his father. Early this year, she resumed schooling and Nelvis is under the care of her aunt. When he was born, Nelvis' mother first noticed that something seemed different for Nelvis and his aunt also shared the concern. Nelvis’ grandmother advised them to bring him to BethanyKids Hospital for treatment. Upon arrival, he was examined and diagnosed with cryptorchidism where one or both of the testes fail to descend. The medical team has recommended surgery to cure his condition. If left untreated, Nelvis has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Nelvis will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 21st. Now, Nelvis and his family need help raising $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nelvis' mother says, “When I learned that my son needed surgery, I was very much worried and stressed out as I have no money to cater for the surgery.”
Edith is a house-helper for a family in Nairobi. She goes to work for two days a week and is paid Ksh 1,000.00 (8 US dollars) per day. As a widow, this is the income she relies on to support herself and her two kids who are high school teenagers aged 17 and 15 years old. For some time now, Edith has been experiencing abdominal bleeding and lower back pain. She has been diagnosed with an intrauterine myoma (fibroids). She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1260 to fund Edith's surgery. On November 3rd, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Edith will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain but she needs help to pay for this surgery. Edith says, “I started feeling weak and drained. I thought it is the long hours I work. It gradually became hard for me to endure working for a lengthy period and I could not walk for long distances. I was losing lots of blood. I was admitted to the hospital because my haemoglobin levels were so low. I need this surgery to correct these anomalies and get back to my normal life.”
Mesert is an eight year old boy, living with his father - a day laborer - in a war torn area of Ethiopia. Mesert's mother died ten months ago in an accident. Mesert loves to play football with his friends, and playing with toy cars. He dreams of becoming a driver when he grows up. Mesert was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms, and he will be at risk for cancer and infertility in the future. Mesert's father brought him to numerous hospitals in search of care, but he cannot afford to pay for the treatment that Mesert needs. Fortunately, a friend referred them to BethanyKids in Addis Ababa, where our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. Now Mesert is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 27th, after which he will no longer experience his current symptoms, or be at risk for future problems. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of Mesert's procedure and care. Mesert's father says: “I hope my child will be healthy and I can work hard to raise him well. Since he loves cars, I will try to help him to learn about cars and be good with his education.”