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Success! Veronicah from Kenya raised $805 to treat spina bifida.

  • $805 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Veronicah's treatment was fully funded on January 1, 2016.

Photo of Veronicah post-operation

February 16, 2016

Veronicah received surgery to treat the mass on her back.

“Veronicah had a spina bifida repair that was successful,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. “She is now at a lower risk of getting infections and developing tethered cord.”

“I extend my enormous gratitude to all those who offered us help. I’m amazed that someone contributed towards her treatment. This would have taken us forever but you made it possible. It’s tears of joy that flow right now. God Bless You,” says Veronicah’s mother.

"Veronicah had a spina bifida repair that was successful," says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. "She is now at a...

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December 22, 2015

“11-year-old Veronicah was born at home with a cystic mass on her back. To her mother it never occurred to be anything of concern. When Veronica, the third born in a family of four children, attained the age of four years, she walked with a little limp that caught the attention of many around her,” says our medical partner in Kenya, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF).

“Friends advised her parents to seek for specialized treatment which they did, and later on advised to get a scan for her back. It took years but Veronica’s parents’ still could not raise the entire amount needed for the scan,” AMHF continues. “Lucky enough, they were allowed a scan with the little they had raised from a hospital near their home. The scan was revealed that they would require more finances for Veronicah to have a surgery.”

The mass is a condition called spina bifida, and Veronicah is at a risk of getting infections on her exposed nerves. She is also at a risk of lower limbs paralysis.

For $805, Veronicah will receive a spina bifida closure procedure. “Veronicah’s treatment will keep her from the risk of infections, and further loss of muscle function on her legs,” AMHF says.

“Lack of knowledge and finances is a terrible thing. I am afraid that my daughter will become disabled- that thought alone scares me but I am hopeful that she will be well,” says Veronicah’s mother.

“Some schoolmates mimic my walking, but I know I will walk well one day,” Veronicah adds.

"11-year-old Veronicah was born at home with a cystic mass on her back. To her mother it never occurred to be anything of concern. When Vero...

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Veronicah's Timeline

  • December 22, 2015

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

  • December 31, 2015

    Veronicah's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 01, 2016

    Veronicah's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 05, 2016

    Veronicah received treatment at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH). 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.

  • February 16, 2016

    Veronicah's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 10 donors

Funded by 10 donors

Spina Bifida Closure
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

The patient has a mass or lesion on the back that leaks cerebral spinal fluid, which puts him or her at risk of infection.

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

Spina bifida can cause incontinence, bladder and kidney damage, and paralysis and numbness in the lower limbs, bladder, and sphincter. It can also lead to hydrocephalus as a result of disturbance to the fluid in the brain. Hydrocephalus can lead to cognitive dysfunction, blindness, and death.

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

Spina bifida is more common in developing countries due to improper and inadequate nutrition. Foods containing folic acid are scarce, and food is not fortified. In Kenya, however, the Ministry of Health has recently started a program to give expectant mothers folic acid for free at government facilities.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

After surgery, the patient's hospital stay ranges from two days to three weeks. The length of stay depends on the healing rate of the wound and will be extended if the patient also undergoes a shunt insertion to treat hydrocephalus. However, shunt insertions are usually performed about one month after this surgery. The patient is continually monitored. If the wound heals and the patient is in a neurologically stable condition, the surgery is considered successful.

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

Surgery performed within the first days of a child’s life prevents infection and saves the spine and brain from further damage. Early surgery also minimizes the risk of paralysis. Later treatment may save the child's life and prevent further damage.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This surgery is moderately risky, and complications depend on the severity of the case.

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 spina bifida is often unavailable.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Surgery is the primary option for most types of spina bifida.

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.