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Success! Lewis from Kenya raised $685 to fund brain surgery.

  • $685 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Lewis's treatment was fully funded on January 8, 2018.

Photo of Lewis post-operation

December 11, 2017

Lewis underwent brain surgery.

Lewis underwent a successful shunt insertion, draining the excess fluid from his cranial cavity and relieving pressure on his brain. He will now be able to grow and develop normally, enjoying life free from this burden.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to all who were involved in getting this generous gift of financing my son’s treatment to me. Thanks again,” says Lewis’s mother.

Lewis underwent a successful shunt insertion, draining the excess fluid from his cranial cavity and relieving pressure on his brain. He will...

Read more
November 10, 2017

Lewis is a baby from Kenya. He is the youngest of three children living with his parents and siblings in a one-room house in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. His parents are subsistence farmers without any other source of income to care for their family.

Lewis has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Lewis has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Lewis will experience severe physical and developmental delays.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of surgery for Lewis that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 13 and will drain the excess fluid from Lewis’s brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Lewis will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy.

“I am glad the doctor found out about this before Lewis’s head got so big. I am looking forward to have him treated,” shares Lewis’s mother.

Lewis is a baby from Kenya. He is the youngest of three children living with his parents and siblings in a one-room house in the Rift Valley...

Read more

Lewis's Timeline

  • November 10, 2017

    Lewis was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare.

  • November 10, 2017

    Lewis's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • November 13, 2017

    Lewis received treatment at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH) in Kenya. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • December 11, 2017

    Lewis's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • January 8, 2018

    Lewis's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 6 donors

Funded by 6 donors

Hydrocephalus - Shunt
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $685 for Lewis's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Symptoms of hydrocephalus include an enlarged head size, irritability, abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, and increased intracranial pressure. Cognitive development can be affected, and damage to the optic nerve can cause blindness.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

In young children, hydrocephalus affects brain development, cognition, and vision. In older children and adults, hydrocephalus also causes headaches.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

The burden of infant hydrocephalus in East Africa is significant, with more than 6,000 new cases estimated per year. The majority are caused by neonatal infection and vitamin deficiency, and should thus be preventable. In East Africa, the single most common cause of hydrocephalus is infection, usually via neonatal meningitis or ventriculitis. Neonatal sepsis is common and is exacerbated by the lack of skilled perinatal care for the majority of births in Africa.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Hydrocephalus patients are usually treated within a few days of arriving at the hospital. Fortunately, our medical partner can accept many patients who would otherwise go home if they could not afford the surgery cost. Treatment involves inserting a shunt into the brain to route cerebrospinal fluid to another part of the body. One month after surgery, the patient returns for a follow-up appointment.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

This surgery is lifesaving. The patient will no longer be at risk of cognitive and vision damage. Surgical treatment for hydrocephalus can restore and maintain normal cerebrospinal fluid levels in the brain.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is treatable, though the outcome depends on how quickly the disease is identified and treated.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

There are few quality care centers in the region. Hospitals lack adequate resources and expertise to treat this condition. With about one neurosurgeon per 10,000,000 people in East Africa, initial treatment for hydrocephalus is often unavailable.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Surgery is the only option.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Natan is a two-year-old boy from Ethiopia who loves music, cars, cartoons, and playing with other children. Both his mother and father unfortunately lost their jobs during the pandemic. After losing her accounting job, his mother now works at a factory. Natan's father stays home caring for him, but he is currently searching for a job as an electrician to supplement his wife's income. They all live together in a rental home. As of right now, family members and friends who know their story kindly help support them. Natan was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Natan has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Due to the financial challenges Natan's family is currently experiencing, they are currently unable to fund their son's needed procedure. Fortunately, Natan will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 23rd. AMHF is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Natan's father says, “I hope my child will be as healthy as other kids. I have hope that he will heal. Once he heals, I am ready to fulfill all my responsibilities for him. I love to teach him. I also want to work to support him with his hobbies, especially with music. I want to teach him to play at least one music instrument.”

6% funded

$704to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.