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Success! Michela from Haiti raised $897 to fund life-saving brain surgery to treat hydrocephalus.

Michela
100%
  • $897 raised, $0 to go
$897
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Michela's treatment was fully funded on October 23, 2021.

Photo of Michela post-operation

October 25, 2021

Michela underwent life-saving brain surgery to treat hydrocephalus.

Michela now has a chance to continue to grow and develop into a healthy child. Her family is relieved and feeling hopeful.

Michela’s father was very teary and said: “We are a poor family with a sick baby. I don’t know how to thank the people that made this surgery possible. We are very grateful.”

Michela now has a chance to continue to grow and develop into a healthy child. Her family is relieved and feeling hopeful. Michela's fath...

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October 13, 2021

Michela is a 6-month-old baby from Haiti. Michela’s family shared that she was born healthy and they are very worried about how to help her condition now since they have limited ability to pay for hospital costs.

Michela has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. When Michela was two months old, her parents noticed Michela’s head looked bigger that it should be. They have not known how to help without money for her care. Without treatment, Michela will experience severe physical and developmental delays.

Fortunately, our medical partner, Project Medishare, is teaming up with Watsi to raise $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Michela at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat her hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Michela’s brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Michela will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl.

Their family has been so sad but now are very happy that their baby will get the surgery that she needs. They shared, “Thank you Jesus! Bless this organization who is so good to us and bless Bernard Mevs Hospital and it’s team.”

Michela is a 6-month-old baby from Haiti. Michela's family shared that she was born healthy and they are very worried about how to help her ...

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Michela's Timeline

  • October 13, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Michela was submitted by Jennifer Rogers, Chief Nursing Officer at Project Medishare.

  • October 15, 2021
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Michela received treatment at Hospital Bernard Mevs in Haiti. 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.

  • October 18, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Michela's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 23, 2021
    FULLY FUNDED

    Michela's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 25, 2021
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Michela's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 11 donors

Funded by 11 donors

Treatment
Hydrocephalus ETV
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $897 for Michela's treatment
Hospital Fees
$357
Medical Staff
$100
Medication
$80
Supplies
$0
Labs
$10
Radiology
$350
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Families usually notice this condition with their child as their head grows large. These children do not reach normal developmental milestones and become unable to hold their head up, sit on their own, or talk. Some children become very irritable and become unable to suck and swallow so getting enough nutrition becomes difficult.

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

Children living with hydrocephaly are living with some form of brain damage that progresses as they get older. This damage will prevent them from developing on a normal trajectory. They have trouble eating, being able to sit, stand and communicate. Often they develop seizures and often experience pain and irritability. If it remains untreated, this condition will lead to death.

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

There is a lot of fear and stigma toward these patients as their heads grow large. Families with children who have hydrocephalus have trouble finding caregivers and support because of this fear. Also it is a financial burden to care for these children because of medication for seizures and the extra care they require as they grow older.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The treatment process involves a surgery to stop the extra fluid in the brain from accumulating and putting pressure on the brain. This is done by making a hole in part of the brain to drain the liquid (ETV). The patient usually spends one or two nights in the hospital and then goes home with a tiny incision in their head and abdomen.

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

This treatment is the only thing that will save the patient’s life. This treatment will prevent further brain damage. If it is caught early it allows the child to grow and develop fully. If it is caught late, the patient can receive therapy to assist them to overcome the developmental difficulties caused by the damage already done to their brain.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

The main complication caused by this surgery is simply that is does not work. In this case the child is given another surgery and a shunt is placed.

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

There is only one hospital in the country that performs surgeries for children with hydrocephaly. This hospital is in Port au Prince, Haiti. Children that live in the North or South of the country have to travel very far for clinic visits and surgery. This requires spending all day or several days on public transport to reach the hospital.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no current alternatives this treatment. If the brain damage is too far advanced then palliative care to treat the child’s pain and support the family is the only other option.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Hser

Hser is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her parents in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. She and her family fled there many years ago from Karen State in Burma because of civil war. Hser is now a high school teacher in the refugee camp, and she earns 1,000 baht (approx. 33 USD) per month. Hser used to teach groups of students at their home due to Covid restrictions that closed schools in July 2021, but all home teaching was also stopped in September 2021 when Covid cases increased in the refugee camp. Since then, Hser teaches students online, but many of her students cannot afford to pay for mobile data to study from their family’s mobile phones. Since late 2019, Hser has been experiencing pain in the right side of her abdomen every day, especially at night. She says that she has lost her appetite and has lost some weight because of this. She feels like the mass is gradually increasing in size and feels more comfortable lying down then sitting. She also feels tired when she walks. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumour, and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which involves surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Hser's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Hser is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 9th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, this treatment will help Hser to live free from pain and she has hope that she'll be able to live her life happily with her parents in the future. Hser said, “I love being a teacher and when I have recovered, I will continue to teach. My parents worry about me a lot and they want me to receive surgery as soon as possible. They are stressed about my condition, but I do not want to feel stressed because stress cannot help me feel better. So even though I cannot eat a lot, I try to eat as much as I can to stay strong.”

76% funded

76%funded
$1,141raised
$359to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.