A few weeks ago I posted an email to the Dundalk Amateur Radio Society list about an operator in Azerbaijan called Vlad who is a bed-ridden invalid. 4K9W might have had to move into a state care home after the death of his mother, leaving his amateur radio hobby behind, were it not for the gallant and remarkable efforts of the ham community around the world, who responded with generosity to an appeal to support him. So he now has a helper in every day for a total cost of $350 per month, which is funded, it seems, by Vladimir's amateur radio friends and supporters around the globe.
You can read more about Vlad on his QRZ page and also on his blogspot page.
I had the pleasure of working Vlad this morning on CW (morse) on 17 metres. He was calling CQ and I came back to him and he answered. I am very glad to have him in my log, and to hear that he is QRV (apparently daily!) and still operating from his own home under the tender care of his home help. Thanks Vlad - you are my first Azerbaijan contact. I'm very glad for that. 73. By the way, he was my 800th logged contact. Not bad in less than three months.
Also new today was ZB2EO, also on 17 metres, in Gibraltar. I hadn't worked Gibraltar before, so to do so on CW was a pleasure.
At this moment I have the following statistics:
CW: 29 countries worked
Phone: 78 countries worked
US States worked: 25 out of 50
AG eQSL: 35 countries confirmed
Total QSOs logged: 808