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Success! Grace from Kenya raised $615 to treat hydrocephalus.

Grace
100%
  • $615 raised, $0 to go
$615
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Grace's treatment was fully funded on February 26, 2016.

Photo of Grace post-operation

March 29, 2016

Grace received treatment for her hydrocephalus.

Grace’s surgery was a success! “It has minimized the pressure on her brain due to the accumulation of fluid,” reports her doctor at African Mission Healthcare Foundation. “This was a desire come true for her parents who were so distressed with the increasing head circumference. Grace will be able to live a long and better quality life.”

“I am so overcome by the love you show us. I do not know how to appreciate you for helping us once again,” says Grace’s mother.

Grace's surgery was a success! "It has minimized the pressure on her brain due to the accumulation of fluid," reports her doctor at African ...

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February 4, 2016

Grace is a four-month-old baby girl who lives with her parents and great-grandmother in a single-room house in Kenya.

In October 2015, at only two weeks old, Grace underwent surgery to treat spina bifida, a birth defect characterized by the incomplete closure of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. “She was treated successfully and recovered from the surgery,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us.

“Two months later, Grace’s parents noticed that her head was increasing in size much faster than the rest of her body,” AMHF continues. They returned to the hospital, where Grace was diagnosed with acquired hydrocephalus, an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain.

“Grace is at a risk of brain stem compression due to the increased pressure from the excessive fluid in her head,” AMHF explains. To drain the excess fluid, Grace needs a shunt placed in her brain to divert the fluid to her abdomen, where it can be resorbed by her body.

Grace’s mother is a small-scale farmer, and her father is a tractor driver who works on a casual basis. “My husband’s small income is mostly spent on taking care of our grandmother,” shares Grace’s mother. “We are therefore not able to raise funds towards Grace’s surgery.”

For $615, Grace will undergo surgery and spend five days in the hospital as she recovers. Funding also covers the costs of imaging, blood work, and medicine.

“Grace’s surgery will help regulate her intracranial pressure and prevent brain stem compression that can result in death,” predicts AMHF.

Let’s help fund surgery for baby Grace!

Grace is a four-month-old baby girl who lives with her parents and great-grandmother in a single-room house in Kenya. In October 2015, at...

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Grace's Timeline

  • February 4, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • February 12, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Grace received treatment at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH) in Kenya. 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 24, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Grace's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 26, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Grace's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 29, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Grace's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 9 donors

Funded by 9 donors

Treatment
Hydrocephalus - Shunt
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • 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.