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 Phoun, a rice farmer from Cambodia, to fund cataract surgery.
Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 13 countries.
Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 13 countries.
Phoun is a rice farmer who is married, and lives with his wife and their youngest daughter. Their other daughter lives nearby, and they have five energetic grandchildren. When at home, Phoun enjoys repairing things around the house, assisting his wife with household chores, and reading books from the local pagoda. More than six months ago, Phoun developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him photophobia (difficulty seeing in bright light), and blurry vision. He is unable to read books, and feels lonely because he cannot see the paths when he walks outside. When Phoun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 3rd, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Phoun said: "My left eye feels blurry and lately I feel worse and cannot go to plant rice. I hope the operation helps me see better to work outside again."
Margaret is a shopkeeper and a single mother of three. Her kids are all adults. She used to work at a small shop selling exam papers. However, she has not been able to go to work since December because of her pain. She is currently at home without a source of income and does not have medical coverage. She lives in a three-room house which her family shares with her elderly mother. Margaret has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Margaret. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 23rd. After treatment, Margaret will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Margaret says, “I am currently experiencing a lot of pain. This condition has caused me not to be able to work at all. I need this surgery to stop the disease from spreading.”
Sok Kong is a motor mechanic and lives with his wife in Kampot province. He finds joy in tinkering with various motors, often continuing this passion even after their evening meals. As a baby, Sok Kong suffered a burn on his foot, leading to a contracture that left his foot in an unusual position. Being part of a financially strained farming family, he faced adversity without proper care for his disability. He also has a history of a left leg fracture several years ago. Recently, Sok Kong observed alarming changes in the scar on his foot and ankle – it became dark and lumpy, forming a rough growth that crusts over like a scab and occasionally bleeds. What initially seemed like a chronic skin sore prompted a local clinic to advise him to seek treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. Following an examination, surgeons diagnosed Sok Kong with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and expressed concerns about its potential spread. Given the destructive nature of untreated squamous cell carcinoma and the fear that it may have advanced, a below-the-knee amputation was deemed necessary. Considering the late stage of cancer and the likelihood of its spread to the lymph nodes or other organs, surgeons plan to remove the enlarged lymph nodes on his right side for histology. Our medical partner is requesting $726 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care, ensuring Sok Kong receives comprehensive surgical treatment. Sok Kong said: "I hope the cancer has not spread any further and I will be able to return home soon with my wife."
Mourine is a 9-year-old bright, social and friendly girl from Kenya. She is the firstborn of a family of two and hails from Merigi village in Bomet county. Her mother told us that she is very active while at school and at home, helping do household chores, including tending to a kitchen garden as part of her work. Mourine is passionate about studying and she told us that she aspires to become a neurosurgeon in the future! Mourine was first seen in August 2023 at our medical partner's care center (AIC Cure International Hospital) mobile clinic and scheduled to undergo serial casting. She comes from a humble background where her mother is a homemaker while her father is a farmer. Mourine has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. This condition was not noticeable at a young age and her mother came to notice it when she was 4 years old. Mourine was taken to a hospital and the family were told that her foot needed to be corrected. They stayed home for quite sometime until they heard about AIC Cure mobile clinic and upon review, she was scheduled to undergo treatment. Currently Mourine walks with discomfort, is not flexible, and has pain when walking for a long distance. Fortunately, Mourine's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 30th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Mourine's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk comfortably like other children, she will be able to play with her peers since there will be no pain and she will continue with her education without any challenge. She has a bright future ahead. Mourine said: "I'm looking forward to healing and walking comfortably to avoid people always asking me what is wrong with my foot."
Yhair is the third child of his mother and father, who farm and raise cows in a rural area in central Bolivia. Shortly after being born, his mother noticed he struggled to breathe and took him to the doctor. Yhair was diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta, a condition in which the blood vessel leading from the heart is too narrow, causing blood to back up. This can lead to difficult breathing, heavy sweating, and irritability in an infant. Without treatment, it can lead to brain bleed, stroke, and enlarged heart. Our partner International Cardiac Alliance is looking to raise $1,500 to fund surgery for Yhair. During surgery, doctors will open the aorta up to a more normal size. After surgery, he will hopefully have improved breathing and activity tolerance. Yhair's mother shared: "I was very afraid to come to La Paz for the surgery, but I gathered all my courage and I am hopeful everything will be ok."
Lydiah is a 36-year-old fruit vendor from Kenya. Her husband is a motorcycle driver, and they have two children, ages eleven and seven. For seven months, Lydiah has been experiencing pain and abnormal bleeding in a sensitive area. After seeking treatment, Lydiah was diagnosed with a left ovarian benign cystadenoma and uterine fibroids. To relieve her pain, Lydiah needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. However, Lydiah does not currently have medical coverage and cannot afford the proposed procedure. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On July 21st, Lydiah will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Lydiah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Now, AMH is requesting $1260 to fund Lydiah's surgery. Lydiah said, “These stomach pains are unbearable and very uncomfortable. I cannot go to the market to sell fruits because of the pain. I hope to get this surgery to ease the pain and get back to my job.”
Dennis is a hardworking tricycle driver from the Philippines. He lives with his wife, Marecar, and their three-year-old child. Despite his hard work and dedication, Dennis's income is just enough for his family's basic needs but not for his needed surgical treatment. In October 2022, Dennis began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain and bleeding in a sensitive area. He sought medical consultation and was advised to undergo a colonoscopy. He was prescribed medicines to relieve the pain, but unfortunately, it has continued. He was then forced to have another medical checkup and was diagnosed with bleeding internal hemorrhoids, which gives him discomfort and pain, and hinders him from working to support his family. He needs surgery to prevent his symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Dennis receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy on June 20th at WSFP's care center. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is supporting a portion of the cost of his treatment, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,285 to cover the cost of Dennis's procedure and care. Dennis shared, "I am very thankful to Watsi, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and those helping us get this surgery done. It is such a big help for me and my family."
Simeona is a 65-year-old woman, living in the Philippines. She lives alone, and works selling clothing outside of the church. While she has two adult children, they have families of their own, and Simeona is determined to be financially independent, even as there are many days when she doesn't earn very much. Three years ago, Simeona began to experience stomach aches that would radiate to her back. These symptoms made it difficult for her to take care of her daily chores, and as she lives alone, there was no one to help her. It was determined that Simeona needs to have her gallbladder removed, in order to alleviate her symptoms, and to ensure that she does not experience further health complications. While a portion of Simeona's surgical procedure is being covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is seeking $1,128 to cover the remainder of what is needed for Simeona's cholecystectomy, which is scheduled for October 18th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Simeona said: "It is a significant help for me to receive medical treatment without any expenses. Even if I sell clothes everyday for the rest of my life, I would have never earned the money needed for this treatment. So, thank you very much to all the donors who will make this surgery possible for me."
Than is a loving grandmother from Thailand who lives with her son and grandson. In her free time, she enjoys watching YouTube videos on her phone. Five years ago, Than began experiencing pain when frequently passing urine, accompanied by lower abdominal pain. She has been diagnosed with kidney stones, which are hard deposits of minerals that form in the kidneys and are often very painful to pass. She has been advised to undergo surgery to remove her kidney stones. If left untreated, Than's symptoms will continue to worsen and will put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is requesting $1,500 to fund Than's kidney stone removal surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 8th. Than shared, "I felt hopeless that I couldn't afford the operation, considering our prolonged lack of income. Now, I have had the chance to receive surgery with the help of BCMF. I am deeply grateful. My sincere wish is for the operation to go well, and I look forward to resuming my chores after the surgery."
Jasmin is a young mother of three from Philippines. Her partner, Crisanto Olivar, works as a food handler and earns $155 a month for their family. The couple has 3 children and Jasmin brings them to school every day. She shared that due to family problems, Jasmin was only able to finish her first year in high school which gave her a hard time finding employment, so to help with household expenses Jasmin sells drinks near their house and earns around $2 a day. In 2017, Jasmin began to experience troubling symptoms, including back pain, abdominal pain, and nausea. In 2018, she was diagnosed with gallstones and was advised to undergo a surgery immediately. Due to financial constraints, she suffered the pain for years until she heard about treatment offered at our partner care center. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Jasmin is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on October 21st. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1128 to cover the cost of Jasmin's surgery and care. Jasmin says, "The surgery will be a big help for me and my family because there is no way we can afford the cost of the procedure, hospitalization and medicines for my treatment. I dream of having a long life and to see my children finish school and live a nice life. So I am very grateful to the people who will help me make my dream come true."
Lu lives with her family in a refugee camp in the border area of Thailand. She works as a community health worker and enjoys cooking, watching TV, and playing with children in her free time. Over three years ago, Lu started to experience pain in her back and lower abdomen, accompanied by blood in her urine. She felt tired and had a low appetite. She was able to visit Chiang Mai Hospital and was diagnosed with kidney stones. Unfortunately, Lu's treatment was delayed due to a Covid outbreak in the camp. Additionally, she was unable to afford the procedure she needs. Fortunately, Lu was able to meet our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Lu's doctor wants to perform percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), an operation to remove her kidney stones. Lu is scheduled to receive her operation on June 8th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure so Lu can return to being pain free in life. Lu said, "I love my job working as a community health worker in the refugee camp. But I cannot continue to work with this condition. Thank you BCMF and all of the donors for helping me."
Kyar is an elderly woman from Thailand. She lives with her two granddaughters, two grandsons and a great-grandchild. She is retired and helps with cleaning their home. One of her granddaughters goes to school and the other granddaughter and her grandsons work as community health workers. On November 20th, Kyar slipped on the wet bathroom floor, and fractured her left hip. Currently, she experiences pain in her left hip and she cannot walk. She needs someone to assist her when she needs to go to the bathroom or shower. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Kyar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for December 1st and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help her walk again and live pain-free. Kyar said, "I feel sad that I have to go through this and my grandchildren need to take time off from work to accompany and assist me. I am very thankful to all the donors for their support of my treatment."