Blackthorn joined Watsi on November 4th, 2021. Two years ago, Blackthorn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Blackthorn's most recent donation supported Maria, a tenacious one-year-old from Bolivia, to fund the surgical closure of two small holes in her heart.
Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 13 countries.
Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 13 countries.
Meet Maria, a one-year-old with Down Syndrome from La Paz, Bolivia, who lives with her parents; her father is a musician, and her mother is a student. Maria was born with two holes in her heart: one between the two upper chambers, and another between the two lower chambers. Because of her heart defect, blood leaks through the holes, leaving her weak and short of breath. To improve her quality of life, skilled surgeons with our medical partner, International Cardiac Alliance, will sew both of the holes closed so that blood flows normally through her heart and body. Her family is currently reaching out for your assistance in raising $1,500 to support the cost of this treatment. Your help can make a significant difference in Maria's life and her family's journey towards her health and well-being. Her mother shared: "Our family was so happy to learn that our daughter can have this chance to have her heart fixed!"
Anne is a toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents in Port-au-Prince; her father is a civil servant and her mother is a homemaker. She is their first child. Anne was born with a congenital heart defect called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Because the surgery that she needs is not available in Haiti, Anne will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to help pay for the surgery. Anne's family needs help to fund related expenses for her care. The $1,500 will help cover the expenses of labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It will also go toward the expenses of obtaining passports and the cost of social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Anne's family overseas. Anne's mother said: "My husband and I have been very afraid for Anne's life since we got this diagnosis. We are very hopeful that we can stop worrying after her surgery!"
Hayden is a 14-month-old baby from Haiti who lives with his parents and three older siblings in a small city in the far southwest part of Haiti. His parents both fish and farm for a living. Hayden has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, meaning that a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Hayden will need to travel to Dominican Republic to receive treatment as the care he needs is not available in Haiti. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole to close it, so that blood can no longer leak through. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 towards the cost of the surgery, and Hayden's family needs help raising the remaining $1,500 that will cover the cost of labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. This money will also support passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner International Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Hayden's family overseas. Hayden's mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after this surgery, our son will get his appetite back and start gaining weight."
Scovia is a mother of four. She shared that she separated from her husband three months ago due to domestic violence and is now living alone with two of her children. The other two are with their father, but she pays school fees for all of them. She does so through farming and selling Irish potatoes. Her firstborn is 18 years old and in primary school class seven while her youngest is 11 years old and in the fifth grade. Since three years ago, Scovia has been experiencing recurring lower abdominal pains accompanied by other challenging symptoms. She has been on medication since then but her condition has not improved. She is at risk of getting anemia and needs surgery which she cannot afford. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $319 to fund Scovia's surgery. On March 4th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Scovia will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Scovia says, “I have suffered in this condition for a while and need medical intervention. I pray that I may have a successful surgery so that I may be able to live a normal life once again. I will continue with farming for my children’s survival.”
Zin is a 17-year-old student who lives with her parents and older brother. She is in eighth grade but stopped her schooling six months ago due to her deteriorating health. Her father is a carpenter, and her mother is a homemaker. Her older brother works at a furniture factory. Zin enjoys dancing in her free time. In June 2022, Zin started to experience persistent coughing. She also occasionally felt tired, which worsened when she laid down. Due to this symptom, she had difficulty sleeping at night. She received medications at a clinic, but they only helped her temporarily. In April 2023, both of Zin's legs became swollen, so they sought medical care. The cardiologist performed an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, and chest X-ray, and diagnosed Zin with mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation due to rheumatic heart disease. This means that the valves of her heart are not properly closing. On July 21st, doctors with our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) will perform heart surgery on Zin, replacing her mitral and tricuspid valves. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure. Her father shared, “I am thankful I got in contact with you. It is a blessing to receive help from you. I wish you the best. I am also happy for my daughter because she is so lucky to receive such support. It is impossible for us to pay for her treatment without your help.”
Miguel is a 7-month-old baby boy who lives in a small town in the jungle of northern Bolivia with his parents and his older sister. Both of his parents work as barbers. Miguel was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole exists between two major blood vessels near his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving him weak and unable to gain weight. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on July 20th, when doctors will tie the hole between the vessels closed so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure. This surgery will help Miguel thrive so that he can grow up to be a healthy young boy like other children in his village. His mother shared, "Our family is so grateful to know that our son can finally have this surgery, and we are praying that he will be fully healthy afterward!"
Abril is smiling, beautiful 8-year-old from Colombia. She lives in Santa Rosa de Osos, a little town near Medellín. She loves going to school and watching videos about animals. Her favorite movie is The Little Mermaid, and she dreams of becoming a firefighter or a vet in the future. Abril has clubfoot of her right foot, which means that the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Abril's family traveled to visit our medical partner Clínica Noel where they can offer life-changing treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 20th. Clinica Noel is requesting $1,422 to fund Abril's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk and run without pain. Her mother said, "I really appreciate your support for my little princess. She means everything to me and I would do anything to see her following her dreams."
Chamroeurn is a 20-year-old soccer player from Cambodia. He lives with his mother and father in Preah Sihanouk province. His father is a fisherman, and his mother is a homemaker. Chamroeurn plays soccer and is hoping to get a soccer scholarship to attend university. Last year, while training, he tripped over and fell without any collision. He tore a meniscus- a cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the shinbone and the thighbone- and ruptured a ligament in his right knee. Chamrouern has pain, swelling, and loss of range of motion in his right knee. He continues to have a feeling of instability or "giving way" while bearing any weight on his knee and requires pain medication. Missing out on training and competing has affected his emotional and social well-being, as well as his identity as a fierce competitor. When Chamroeurn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for five hours seeking treatment. On February 17th, surgeons at CSC will perform an anterior cruciate ligament repair procedure to relocate and secure his right knee. Chamroeurn needs help to fund this $600 procedure. Chamroeurn said: "After surgery, I hope that I can play soccer again and get the scholarship. This will help me to support my parents."
U Sein is a 61-year-old man who lives with his sister's family in Yangon, Burma. In his free time, he enjoys cleaning his car and fixing electrical devices. U Sein experiences heart palpitations, tiredness, and chest pain. Due to his tiredness, he cannot walk long distances and cannot work. He was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease with severe aortic valve stenosis. The doctor wants to perform an aortic valve replacement. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is requesting $1,500 to support the cost of U Sein's surgery scheduled for June 11th. U Sein shared, “When I learned that my surgery will be helped by BCMF and donors, I felt very happy. I would love to say thank you to all the donors."
Angel is an 11-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of three children. Her father works as a teacher in a local school, and her mother is a homemaker. Angel's hearing ability has declined and the doctors are recommending hearing aids to enhance her hearing. She had delayed milestones and did not start speaking until she was 8 years old. This also resulted in delays in her studies compared to her peers, who are in grade seven, while Angle is in grade one. Her mother noted that she is performing well in subjects like environmental science that do not require as much hearing. She had to be enrolled in special needs school, but her doctor recommended that she join a school with her peers. The hearing aids will significantly enhance her hearing and hopefully allow her to comfortably attend a school like her peers and live a full life. Her family has medical insurance, but it does not cover this treatment and hearing aids. Our partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $1,171 to fully fund her care. Angel's mother says, “Angel has delayed her studies because of her difficulties in hearing. Her peers are in grade seven but she is still lagging behind in grade one. She was enrolled in a special needs school but should ideally be in a normal one. These hearing machines will help to make this a reality and help her to hear well.”
George a 29-year-old bus conductor. He is rehabilitated now but used to live on the streets for over eight years. He never had a chance to meet his parents since they passed away when he was a small boy. He was taken to Nairobi city to be raised by relatives. In April, George was involved in a road accident; he was riding a motorcycle when he encountered an oncoming speeding vehicle that caused him to sway off the road. He was ferrying two individuals who were unhurt, but, unfortunately, he sustained injuries to his left leg. He is currently nursing a large wound on his leg and a fractured ankle. It is difficult for him to walk, and he is in chronic pain. Surgeons at our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. On June 27th, George will undergo a fracture repair procedure that will help him walk easily again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. George says, “I survived a lot of things while living on the street. This accident came as I was settling out of the street. I cannot go to work with a broken ankle and a wound on my thigh. I hope to get treatment.”
Yeu is a 44-year-old mother of two. She lives in Kampong Thom province with her husband and two daughters, who are both high school students. Her husband is a rice a farmer and fisherman in the off-season. Yeu works full-time at a fruit cart in her village. When not at work, she likes to watch TV and be with her family. Ten year ago, Yeu had an ear infection. This infection caused her left ear drum to perforate. For this reason, Yeu experiences pain, severe tinnitus, discharge, and hearing loss. She cannot communicate clearly with her family and customers, and experiences almost constant discomfort. Yeu traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 26th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear, where surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $487 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She said,"I hope when I have an operation my hearing will improve and I won't have pain anymore."