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Success! Esther from Kenya raised $1,097 to fund spinal surgery.

Esther
100%
  • $1,097 raised, $0 to go
$1,097
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Esther's treatment was fully funded on June 28, 2017.

Photo of Esther post-operation

March 2, 2017

Esther underwent successful spinal surgery.

Surgeons repaired the open spinal defect. This treatment has reduced her risk of developing infections or tethered cord syndrome. Her parents have never been happier!

“I had to request an explanation about Watsi twice because it was hard to believe. I have never had anyone do anything like that before in my life. My husband and I are so thankful to your program for doing such a generous thing,” says Esther’s mother.

Surgeons repaired the open spinal defect. This treatment has reduced her risk of developing infections or tethered cord syndrome. Her parent...

Read more
November 2, 2016

Esther is an adorable 13-month-old girl with spina bifida, a swelling on her lower back.

After Esther was born, a scan revealed that her brain contained excess fluid. One week later, doctors performed surgery to drain the fluid, but they did not treat her lower back. Having used her savings to fund the first operation, Esther’s mother could not afford a spina bifida repair. However, without treatment, Esther risked further complications and infection.

Fortunately, on November 4, 2016, Esther received a spina bifida closure surgery.

Esther lives with her mother and grandmother in a three-room house in the eastern region of Kenya. Her mother, a single mother, earns her living doing laundry. She cannot afford this $1,097 procedure.

“This is an answered prayer,” says Esther’s mother. “I am touched by the love and kindness I have had from every person I meet. I will appreciate your help as we focus on Esther’s surgical care.”

Esther is an adorable 13-month-old girl with spina bifida, a swelling on her lower back. After Esther was born, a scan revealed that her...

Read more

Esther's Timeline

  • November 2, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • November 04, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Esther 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.

  • November 11, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Esther's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 02, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Esther's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • June 28, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Esther's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 23 donors

Funded by 23 donors

Treatment
Spina Bifida Closure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,097 for Esther's treatment
Hospital Fees
$889
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$82
Supplies
$0
Labs
$126
  • 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.