Helen Tsantsoulas
Helen's Story

Helen joined Watsi on August 24th, 2016. 18 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Helen's most recent donation traveled 8,400 miles to support Imran, a baby from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot surgery.

Impact

Helen has funded healthcare for 3 patients in 2 countries.

All patients funded by Helen

Mary is a cute little baby girl who was born less than one month ago in Tanzania. She is the third child in her family, and she is loved by all of her family members. Mary was born with an open lesion on her lower back that is leaking cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Her condition—known as spina bifida—is a birth defect in which several vertebrae in the lower back do not close properly, leaving the baby’s spinal canal exposed. The spinal cord and its surrounding membranes protrude through the opening in the backbone, forming a sac on the baby’s lower back that may tear and leak. If not treated, Mary will be at risk of easily contracting an infection, and she will continue to lose CSF, which could be fatal. As is common in infants with spina bifida, Mary also has hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an accumulation of CSF in the brain. Too much fluid can increase pressure on the brain and inside the skull, leading to an enlarged head and developmental issues. Mary's head is unusually soft, and the circumference has slowly been increasing in size. Mary’s parents are small-scale farmers who rely on growing and selling maize and beans to support their family. As much as they would like to help their daughter, the cost of surgery is too expensive for them. Her mother worries about what will happen to Mary, as she has never seen a child with this condition. Fortunately, the baby girl is feeding well. For $1,200 in funding, Mary will undergo two surgical procedures to close the lesion on her spine and drain the excess fluid from her brain. First, doctors will place the spinal cord and membranes back inside the spinal canal and close the opening on her back. Next, they will place a shunt in Mary's brain to drain the excess fluid and transport it to her abdomen, where it can be resorbed by the body. Funding for Mary also includes 10 days of hospital care, lab tests, medicine, five physical therapy sessions, and a two-week stay at The Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation. “How we wish our daughter to get well," shares Mary's mother. "We’ll take her to school so that she can study and later on get a good job and live an independent life."

$1,200raised
Fully funded