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 Pwey, a 72-year-old man from Thailand, to fund lens replacement surgery.
Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 12 countries.
Blackthorn has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 12 countries.
Pwey is a 72-year-old man from Thailand. He lives alone in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. He raises chickens and receives some financial help from his daughter who also lives in the camp. He has cataracts and his vision is blurred. His eyes are also sensitive to light and from his right eye, he can only make out shapes. He can still see with his left eye but he is unable to cook and walk without assistance. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pwey. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pwey's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Pwey needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. He said, “I like living alone. Even though my daughter asks me to move in with her, I don’t want to. Since I live alone, I want my vision to improve so that I can cook and do everything on my own. Most importantly, so that I can walk faster without worrying about slipping or tripping on something.”
Jane is a 56-year-old mother of two and a vendor of children's clothes, who lives in Kenya with her adult son. Jane is still in shock and struggling to understand her recent diagnosis of breast cancer, for which she needs urgent surgery. Jane first experienced pain in her right breast in January 2022, and, when she visited a local health facility, she was only treated for her discomfort. The pain persisted, however, and after further examination and testing a year later, it was determined that she was suffering from cancer. The doctors have recommended a partial mastectomy and axillary dissection surgery to help fight the cancer and prevent metastasis, or the spread of the cancer, to other areas of Jane's body. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,110 to cover the cost of Jane's surgery. The procedure is scheduled for February 23rd at AIC Kijabe Hospital, and Jane is looking forward to life without cancer after she has recovered. Jane says: “I am in shock and so worried. The news about cancer and the surgery is making me scared. I hope to stop the disease.”
Francis is a 68-year-old father of four children from Kenya. He is a small-scale corn farmer with a motorbike that he uses as a source of income to feed his family. In November 2021, Francis was hit by a police officer pursuing criminals in a high-speed chase when they lost control and hit him by the roadside. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where an X-ray confirmed he had broken his tibia and fibula in his right leg. He received surgery to repair the fracture that month. However, a year later, the pain persisted from his injury, and a wound developed. He decided to visit Kijabe Hospital (KH), the care center of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), to seek a second opinion. Upon examination, the doctors quickly realized that the nail inserted to stabilize his leg during his last operation was infected and needed to be removed. He had the nail removed in October 2022, followed by a procedure to remove dead cells from the chronic wound that had developed. However, he still needs another procedure to create a cover for the wound in order to decrease the odds of future infection. Francis has been unable to walk or use his right leg for over 15 months, preventing him from working or using his motorbike. The multiple surgeries and the numerous hospital visits, coupled with his inability to work, have caused his family financial instability. Additionally, Francis was dependent on insurance for the previous treatments and surgeries. However, his insurance is now exhausted, and he cannot afford the next procedure. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Francis receive treatment. On February 16th, AMH surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure which will allow Francis to walk easily again and reduce the likelihood of further infection. AMH is requesting $1,185 to fund this procedure. Francis says, “I have never been able to walk since the accident. I depend on my motorbike to feed my family. In this state, I am unable to ride it. I hope to get the surgery to help me use my leg again."
Sebastiana, who is eight years old, lives with her mother and four siblings in Tanzania. Because she is separated from her husband, Sebastiana's mother works many different jobs in order to support her children. One day, when their mother was away, Sebastiana and her siblings were busy helping out with household chores. Sebastiana got into an accident, and hot water spilled all over her arm. She received treatment for her burns - which healed - but they have left her with scars that limit the use of her arm. Sebastiana and her mother traveled a long way to meet with doctors from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. As a result of their visit, Sebastiana is now scheduled to undergo contracture release surgery, and the amputation of her left thumb, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre on October 13th. After her surgery, Sebastiana should regain full use of her hand and arm, which will be a big relief to her mother. Now we need your help to fund the $1,088 required for the surgery. Sebastiana’s mother says: “When we were leaving home, she was so happy knowing that she is going to get treatment.”
John is a hawker (the local name for a street vendor) from Kenya. He has six children all under the age of 18 years. His wife helps at home and John is the family's sole breadwinner. Lately, due to his condition, John has been unable to work. He has no alternate source of income, and shared that he is struggling to raise his family. John first started experiencing a loss of appetite and stomach pain in April 2022. He visited a local health center and was treated for stomach aches, but his condition did not improve. He later started having episodes of diarrhea and has lost a significant amount of weight. He also has been experiencing bleeding that has caused him anemia. As a result, he has had several blood transfusions and hospital admissions. Recently, a biopsy at Kijabe Hospital revealed that John has colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cells in the colon grow out of control. At the current stage, his doctors feel the cancer can be stopped surgically from spreading. However, the procedure has to be done as soon as possible because it is urgent. He is now scheduled to undergo surgery and needs support. Unfortunately, John does not have medical coverage and cannot afford the surgery. He is requesting financial assistance to support the $1,074 needed for his medical care. John says, “I cannot eat, and I have lost a lot of weight. I have had several blood transfusions because of bleeding. I need this surgery to help fight the cancer.”
Gareth, who is four years old, lives with his parents and three siblings in central Bolivia. His parents are shopkeepers and have so much love for their family. Gareth was born with ventricular septal defect, a heart condition that creates a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood, which should circulate through his lungs to obtain oxygen, simply leaks out through the hole, leaving Gareth weak and short of breath. In addition to his heart condition, Gareth was born with Down syndrome. Doctors at our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, are scheduled to operate on Gareth on January 19th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uria. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in Gareth's heart, so that his blood will flow normally. Gareth's family needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the costs of his care. Gareth's mother said: "Our family is very grateful to everyone who is making it possible for Gareth to have this surgery."
Adrian is an 8-year-old boy from Bolivia. He lives in a neighborhood in the mountains above La Paz with his parents and three siblings; he is in the fourth grade in school. Adrian was born with a cardiac condition called pulmonary valvar and subvalvar stenosis, in which the area in and around one of his valves is too small to allow blood to flow through it properly. As a result, blood backs up into his heart, leaving him weak and short of breath. During surgery, doctors will use a balloon to stretch the valve open so that blood can pass through it more freely. His family is raising funds to support his treatment with our medical partner HCA. Adrian's mother says: "Our family is very excited to know that our son can finally have a normal heart!"
Natalia, who is 13 years old, lives in the mountains above La Paz with her parents and two younger brothers. Natalia was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Because of this hole, blood leaks out without passing through the chambers of her heart to gather oxygen, leaving Natalia weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Natalia's family sought care through our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, and Natalia is now scheduled for corrective surgery on January 17th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. During the surgery, doctors will sew a patch over the hole in Natalia's heart, enabling her to live a healthy life. Another organization Gift of Life International has contributed $3,000 and our medical partner is seeking your help to fund the remaining $1,500 needed for this life-saving procedure. Natalia said: "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can go to school without feeling tired."
Den is a 47-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He and his wife have two sons and one daughter. Their oldest son is married, while the other two children are still students. The family grows rice in the rainy season. In his free time, Den likes to watch boxing on television and listen to the radio. In December 2018, Den fractured his right arm in a motor vehicle accident. He underwent an open reduction/internal fixation procedure at a local hospital, where a plate and screws were placed to stabilize the broken bone. Unfortunately, it has been several years, and he still feels poorly. The hardware is chronically infected and requires debridement. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help. On September 6th, Den will undergo a hardware removal procedure at CSC's care center, which will resolve the chronic infection and help him to use his arm again. Now, he needs help raising $304 to fund his procedure and care. Den shared, "after surgery, I hope my right arm will have no pain or infection, and I can support my family again."
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."