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Gladness is a baby from Tanzania who needs $728 to fund brain surgery.

  • $313 raised, $414 to go
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September 20, 2019

Gladness is a baby from Tanzania. Gladness mother used to stay at her parents’ home until her older sister welcomed her to her place to help her around with house chores. It’s from her sister’s place she met Gladness’s father. They had been in a relationship for three months and soon Gladness’s mother realized she was pregnant. She informed him about her pregnancy and that’s when she found out that he was married with a wife and children.

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

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $728 to cover the cost of surgery for Gladness that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 23 and will drain the excess fluid from Gladness’s brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Gladness will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl.

Gladness’s mother says, “My daughter was doing ok but unfortunately her shunt failed and she needs another surgery, please help my daughter.”

Gladness is a baby from Tanzania. Gladness mother used to stay at her parents’ home until her older sister welcomed her to her place to help...

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Gladness's Timeline

  • September 20, 2019

    Gladness was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare Foundation, our medical partner in Tanzania.

  • September 23, 2019

    Gladness received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). 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.

  • November 10, 2019

    Gladness's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • November 10, 2019

    Awaiting Gladness's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare Foundation.


    Gladness is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 7 donors

Funded by 7 donors

Hydrocephalus alone
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $728 for Gladness'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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.