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Success! John from Tanzania raised $765 to fund a procedure to treat his hydrocephalus.

  • $765 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
John's treatment was fully funded on December 1, 2020.

Photo of John post-operation

December 9, 2020

John underwent a procedure to treat his hydrocephalus.

John had a successful surgery that helped relieve him of the build-up pressure that was being caused by fluids accumulation in his head and in turn making his head increase in size. Through his surgery, fluids are no longer building up in John’s head and he is now getting back to a healthy state. John’s head is already showing a significant decrease in size which is a good sign that his shunt is working properly and fluids are no longer accumulating.

This treatment has also saved him from the pain and discomfort he was going through and most important saved John from having brain damage.

John’s mother shared, “I see great improvement in my son since he was able to have the surgery. I hope and pray that he fully recovers and grows into a strong man. Thank you very much. ”

John had a successful surgery that helped relieve him of the build-up pressure that was being caused by fluids accumulation in his head and ...

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October 31, 2020

John is a baby boy from Tanzania. He is the fourth-born in a family of four children. John’s parents are both subsistence farmers who grow maize and also farm honey.

John 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, John has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, John will experience severe physical and developmental delays.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for John that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd and will drain the excess fluid from John’s brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, John will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy.

John’s mother shared, “We are really struggling financially and there is no way we are going to raise the money needed for our son to have this necessary surgery. We appreciate any help you can provide.”

John is a baby boy from Tanzania. He is the fourth-born in a family of four children. John's parents are both subsistence farmers who grow m...

Read more

John's Timeline

  • October 31, 2020

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

  • November 2, 2020

    John received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) in Tanzania. 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 3, 2020

    John's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 1, 2020

    John's treatment was fully funded.

  • December 9, 2020

    John's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 20 donors

Funded by 20 donors

Hydrocephalus alone
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $765 for John'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.