Blackthorn joined Watsi on November 4th, 2021. Six months ago, Blackthorn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Blackthorn's most recent donation supported Marc, a bright teenager with big goals from Haiti, to fund surgery that will repair the birth defect in his heart.
Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 6 countries.
Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 6 countries.
Marc is a 16-year-old boy who lives in an urban neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, with his parents and four younger siblings. He is in his first year of high school and would like to eventually become either an engineer or a teacher. Marc was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The birth defect means there's a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which often leaves Marc weak and short of breath. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. There is not a local pediatric cardiac surgical team in Haiti, but our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to accompany Marc to the Dominican Republic. There, on May 25th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole in his heart. "I have been waiting for this chance for many years," Marc said, "and I am very happy the time is almost here!" The Rotarian-based organization Gift of Life International is contributing $5,000 toward Marc's surgery. His family needs to raise $1,500 to help cover remaining medical costs and travel for Marc.
Chris is a 19-year-old student and in senior school. He has just recently resumed school after a two-year COVID lockdown in his country. His father works at a saloon while his mother works on the farms to help provide for the family. Chris has three older siblings who have left home to start their own families. He hopes to finish senior school in good health. For over a year, Chris has had a hydrocele, which is a swelling in a sensitive area. The swelling has made it hard for him to walk with ease and he is worried about having to miss multiple days of school as his condition worsens. Fortunately, on February 8th Chris will undergo hydrocele repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, Karoli Lwanga Hospital in Nyakibale. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $146 to fund Chris's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably and go back to school with confidence. Chris says, “I have had this for quite long and am really affected. I kindly ask for the support to enable me to continue with school so I may be an important citizen in future.”
Sapuro is a bright student from Tanzania. He is social, friendly, and funny. He's in class three in school and his best subject is mathematics. Sapuro is the third born child in a family of seven children. “It was last year on a Saturday afternoon, as I was looking after my father’s cattle. It had rained for a few hours, so the ground was slippery. I was grazing my father cattle’s on a slope which had green pasture. As I was siting under a tree, I saw one cow going down the slope and I had to run after it to bring it back because at the bottom there was a road where trucks carrying sand and rocks from the quarry pass through. As I was running, I slipped and rolled all the way to the road just as a truck was coming and one of the tires went over my foot. I have never been able to walk well since then,” Sapuro recounted about how he injured his foot. Now he cannot walk and it has really impacted his life. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Sapuro receive treatment. On March 15th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure which aims to prevent amputation of his foot should the infection persist. Now, Sapuro's family needs help to fund this $747 procedure. Sapuro says, “I miss walking without support and being able to run around freely.”
Margaret arrived at the hospital with visible yellow eyes and prolonged discomforts that is causing her worries. The medical team has scheduled her for a binary reconstruction to help heal her condition. As a mother of three, she has been visiting different faculties for medical care since 2009. These frequent visits have depleted her family's resources and exhausted her health coverage. Margaret's husband is a Boda-Boda taxi driver, but the income he earns goes to rent and other basics for their family. Margaret told us, "My eyes are turning yellow and they making me very uncomfortable and scared. I need this surgery to help me get well.”
William is a cheerful, fun-loving boy. He's a hardworking student in class four at school and enjoys reading and playing football. He is the fourth-born child in his family, and they live together in a two-room mud house in their village. William's parents work as farmers. William was born with clubfoot of his left foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, he has difficulty playing football (his favorite sport!), walking, wearing shoes, and it has impacted him going to school. Fortunately, William traveled to the care center of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). On January 10th, surgeons at AMH will perform clubfoot repair surgery. After treatment, William will be able to walk easily, wear shoes, and play without any difficulty. AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund William's surgery. William shared, "I would be very happy to go to the field and play football without any problem and as well as continue with my studies."
Jeffnalda is a four-year-old preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents, two older brothers, and baby sister. She enjoys playing with blocks and listening to music with her family. Jeffnalda has Down's syndrome and a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means there is a hole between the two lower chambers of her heart. Since the cardiac care she needs is not available anywhere within the country, to receive treatment Jeffnalda is a very brave girl and will fly to Dominican Republic. On March 17th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole in her heart so that blood no longer leaks through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $8,000 to help pay for Jeffnalda's critical surgery. Jeffnalda's family needs help raising funds to cover the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jeffnalda's family overseas for her surgery. Jeffnalda's father shared, "our family is very hopeful that our prayers for our daughter might be answered soon!"
Meet Enock, a twelve-year-old playful boy in grade five. Enock is the youngest in a family of five. His father is an electrician while his mother does maize farming in their village to help support their family. Enock's family lives in a two-roomed iron sheet-built house in their small piece of land. Two months ago, Enock sustained a severe injury while he was playing with friends in school. He was taken to the nearest hospital where a cast was placed and was scheduled for follow-up. Seven weeks later, he was still having pain and he could not even move his leg. That is when his family sought a second opinion at our medical partner's care center Kapsowar Hospital. They visited the hospital and after X-ray imaging, a closed right femur fracture was revealed which needs surgery to heal. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 1st, Enock will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. With treatment, Enock will be able to walk again and play with friends at school. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Enock's father says, “He has so much pain, I feel sorry for him. I hope he gets treated and feels better and will be well again."
Sarouen is a 40-year-old rice and vegetable farmer. He is married and has a four-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter who is in the 2nd grade. In his free time, Sarouen enjoys listening to classical music and looking after his children. In June 2019, Sarouen was hit by a grass cutter causing an open fracture of his left tibia. A local hospital inserted hardware to support Sarouen's leg, but surgical repair is necessary for his full recovery. This injury has caused Sarouen great pain, impacting his ability to walk. When Sarouen learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled six hours to seek treatment. On February 3rd surgeons at CSC will perform a fibular repair surgery to help heal Sarouen's leg so he can walk again without pain. Sarouen and his family seek $657 to help fund this procedure. Sarouen shared, "I hope the surgery will be successful so I can return to work to earn money for my family."
San is a 69-year-old man who used to work as a laborer but is no longer able to work. He lives with friends in Tak Province. His friend works as a construction laborer, and his friend’s wife is a homemaker. San’s friends provide food and accommodation for him, as he has no income of his own. In his free time, San enjoys listening to Buddhism Dharma and meditation. Currently, San cannot see at all with his right eye and can only read with his left eye. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help. On January 4th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove San’s natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly again. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund San’s lens replacement surgery. San shared his hopes for a healthier future: “If I regain my vision, I want to become a monk.”
Theara is a bright 3rd grade student. He has two older sisters and his parents are garment workers in a factory. Theara loves to play football with his friends. Three years ago, the retina of Theara's left eye detached, causing him partial blindness and tearing. When Theara's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for one and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 23rd, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, our medical partner needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Theara's mother says, "I hope his eye can heal so he can see clearly again."
Rosaline is a 49-year-old woman. She is the mother of three children aged between 30 years old and 16 years old. Rosaline used to work as a mobile clothes vendor but has not been able to work since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived. Her husband works as a lorry truck driver, but they shared that the income is inconsistent due to the nature of the work. Over a year ago, Rosaline began experiencing pain, bloating, and lack of appetite. She was diagnosed with multiple intrauterine myomas. Rosaline needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. On November 16th, Rosaline will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Rosaline will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1260 to fund Rosaline's surgery. Rosaline shared, "I am uncomfortable and in so much pain. These swellings are worrying me a lot and have even started to compromise my marriage life."
Joseph is a 9-year-old boy and bright student. His family hails from the Mathare neighborhood in Nairobi County in Kenya and he is the 1st born in a family of 2. Joseph's family lives in a one-roomed rental house in a difficult area of the capital city. His mother is a cook at a nearby school and father is a casual laborer at construction sites within Nairobi. They don't earn much and it is often hard to get by. At the age of 1, when Joseph was learning to walk, he accidentally fell on a pot of boiling water and sustained severe burns on his left hand. He was rushed to Machakos General Hospital where he was given first aid to prevent the burn from extending and also relieve the pain. His left hand now has severe contractures and he cannot use it in his normal duties. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Joseph receive treatment. On October 27th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. The surgery will restore the functioning of his hand and enable him to live a comfortable life. However, his family is not in a position to raise the required amount of money. Now, they need help to fund this $840 procedure. Joseph's mother says, “We are unable to raise the estimated cost of this surgery but we would like to see our son using his hand fully. Any help for my son to undergo surgery will be appreciated."