Blackthorn's Story

Blackthorn joined Watsi on November 4th, 2021. Eleven months ago, Blackthorn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Blackthorn's most recent donation supported Margaret, a middle-aged single mother from Kenya, to fund a hysterectomy surgery to treat cancer.


Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 29 patients in 9 countries.

All patients funded by Blackthorn

Mkaluza Katunga is a 54-year-old woman from Malawi. She is the mother of eight children and is currently separated from her husband. Because he no longer supports her, Mkaluza depends upon selling her pottery and on farming, in order to survive. In 2021, Mkaluza started experiencing pain on the left side of her abdomen, which would be especially bad after she had eaten. She went to the hospital, where she was given medication and sent home. In early 2022, Mkaluza noticed that the left side of her abdomen was becoming hard and swollen. She returned to the hospital, but could not afford the tests that were recommended. Instead, she went home with pain medication. On September 14th of this year, Mkaluza visited the hospital once again, as her condition had persisted. After assessment in the surgical clinic, and after having undergone an X-ray, Mkaluza was diagnosed with an enlarged spleen. The doctor told her that she would need to undergo a splenectomy, to remove the enlarged organ. While Mkaluza does not have sufficient funds to cover this procedure, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help. They are requesting your assistance in funding the $709 needed to pay for Mkaluza's surgery, which is scheduled for October 13th, at Nkhoma Hospital. This operation will prevent the possible rupture of Mkaluza's spleen, and will also enable her to return to her life, free from pain and the worries of the potential complications posed by her condition. Mkaluza says: “I am looking forward to a healthy and bright future after treatment.”

Fully funded

Khin is a 40-year-old woman who enjoys growing flowers and vegetables in her free time. She lives with her husband, son, and four daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker and takes care of her youngest daughter while her husband sells snacks in front of their home. Her son works in a teashop and her three oldest daughters currently attend primary school. Khin shares that she hopes to run a fruit shop to further support her family once she recovers. When Khin was 22 years old, she developed an ulcer on her right heel that made it difficult to put weight on her foot and walk. Fortunately, she received multiple skin grafts and the ulcer eventually healed. However, the ulcer returned in 2019, and despite receiving the same treatment as before, she was only able to walk with a limp after surgery. Last April, Khin began experiencing severe pain on her right heel once again. She eventually sought medical attention and was told by her doctor that she has cancer in her right lower leg. Her doctor advised that she have her leg amputated below her knee, but due to financial constraints, she could not proceed with the surgery and returned home. After three months, the pain continued to worsen and Khin visited our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), to request painkillers. After examining her leg, the doctor at MCLH told her that she would have to have her lower right leg amputated to prevent the spread of the cancer. Just as before, Khin refused the amputation. The doctor then referred her to the oncology department of Mawlamyine General Hospital and recommended that she receive a biopsy to confirm her diagnosis and need for surgery. The biopsy revealed that she has skin cancer. Khin decided that she wanted to proceed with the amputation despite being unable to fund the cost. The doctor admitted her that same day and fortunately referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On September 1st, surgeons at MCLH's care center will perform a leg amputation. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Khin's life-changing procedure. Khin shares, “I just came to MCLH for painkillers, and I did not know that the doctor would help me through donors. When I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I felt so happy and my stress was relieved. My family also encouraged me to have the amputation so I can live a longer life with my children. I would like to say thank you to the donors for giving me a chance to live longer with my children.”

Fully funded

Daw San is 64-year-old woman who lives with her daughter-in-law in a border town in Thailand. Originally from Burma, she moved to Thailand to live with her son and daughter-in-law after her daughter unfortunately passed away. Daw San is now retired and helps her family with cooking. At the end of 2020, Daw San began experiencing lower back pain and a fever. After receiving an ultrasound at a medical clinic, she was diagnosed with stones in her right kidney. The medic provided her with oral medication and follow-up appointments. At these appointments, she would receive an ultrasound and a refill of her medication. After feeling her symptoms improve, she did not return to the clinic. However, Daw San began experiencing strong pain in her lower abdomen and back this past June. She also began to experience dizziness, difficulty sleeping, a lack in appetite, and pain when using the restroom. After undergoing an ultrasound and X-ray, it was determined that Daw San has very large stones in her right kidney, which need to be broken up through laser treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Daw San receive treatment. On August 3rd, surgeons will perform shockwave lithotripsy to break down and treat the kidney stones. Now, she needs help funding this $1,500 procedure. Daw San shares, “I am very happy to learn that an organization will help pay for the cost of my surgery. I am very thankful to the donors and the organization. When I recover fully, I will go back to my village in Bago Division to live with my aunt.”

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