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Success! Dortensley from Haiti raised $957 to fund surgery so he can develop into a strong, healthy child.

  • $957 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Dortensley's treatment was fully funded on December 28, 2021.

Photo of Dortensley post-operation

January 5, 2022

Dortensley underwent surgery so he can develop into a strong, healthy child.

Dortensley’s surgery to treat his hydrocephalus was a success. This surgery will allow Dortensley’s brain to develop in a healthy way so he can have a happy and healthy life ahead.

His mother says, “I am so happy that my son has been able to have this surgery. I cannot find the words to describe how grateful I am.”

Dortensley's surgery to treat his hydrocephalus was a success. This surgery will allow Dortensley's brain to develop in a healthy way so he ...

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November 9, 2021

Dortensley is a 14-month-old baby from Haiti who is loved and cared for by his mother.

Dortensley has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases pressure within the skull. As a result of his condition, Dortensley’s head grew beyond his expected development and he experiences seizures. Without treatment, Dortensley will experience severe physical and developmental delays.

On November 9th, Dortensley will undergo surgery at the care center of our medical partner, Project Medishare. Surgeons will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Dortensley’s brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. Upon recovery, Dortensley should develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Project Medishare is currently the only site in the country to offer this critical care and is requesting $957 to help fund Dortensley’s procedure.

Dortensley’s mother shared that she could not afford surgery for her child, but is now feeling hopeful. She said: “There is a God after all. God bless everyone that is helping my child.”

Dortensley is a 14-month-old baby from Haiti who is loved and cared for by his mother. Dortensley has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus,...

Read more

Dortensley's Timeline

  • November 9, 2021

    Dortensley was submitted by Jennifer Rogers, Chief Nursing Officer at Project Medishare.

  • November 9, 2021

    Dortensley's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • November 11, 2021

    Dortensley received treatment at Hospital Bernard Mevs in Haiti. 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.

  • December 28, 2021

    Dortensley's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 5, 2022

    Dortensley's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 20 donors

Funded by 20 donors

Hydrocephalus VPS
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $957 for Dortensley'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?

Families usually notice this condition with their child as their head grows large. These children do not reach normal developmental milestones and become unable to hold their head up, sit on their own, or talk. Some children become very irritable and become unable to suck and swallow so getting enough nutrition becomes difficult.

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

Children living with hydrocephaly are living with some form of brain damage that progresses as they get older. This damage will prevent them from developing on a normal trajectory. They have trouble eating, being able to sit, stand and communicate. Often they develop seizures and often experience pain and irritability. If it remains untreated, this condition will lead to death.

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

There is a lot of fear and stigma toward these patients as their heads grow large. Families with children who have hydrocephalus have trouble finding caregivers and support because of this fear. Also it is a financial burden to care for these children because of medication for seizures and the extra care they require as they grow older.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The treatment process involves a surgery to stop the extra fluid in the brain from accumulating and putting pressure on the brain. This is done by putting a small tube in the brain that drains the fluid into the abdomen (VP shunt). The patient usually spends one or two nights in the hospital and then goes home with a tiny incision in their head and abdomen.

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

This treatment is the only thing that will save the patient’s life. This treatment will prevent further brain damage. If it is caught early it allows the child to grow and develop fully. If it is caught late, the patient can receive therapy to assist them to overcome the developmental difficulties caused by the damage already done to their brain.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

In some children the shunt that drains the fluid into the abdomen can become blocked or infected. In these cases the shunt is removed, the infection is treated, and the shunt is replaced.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

There is only one hospital in the country that performs surgeries for children with hydrocephaly. This hospital is in Port au Prince, Haiti. Children that live in the North or South of the country have to travel very far for clinic visits and surgery. This requires spending all day or several days on public transport to reach the hospital.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no current alternatives this treatment. If the brain damage is too far advanced then palliative care to treat the child’s pain and support the family is the only other option.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Mu lives with her four nieces and nephew in a refugee camp along the Thai/Burma border region. One of her nieces is a medic, the other a teacher, and the two youngest go to school with her nephew. Mu is unemployed and in her free time she enjoys gardening and reading the Bible. In 2019, Mu started to suffer from abdominal pain, back pain, and exhaustion. When she touched her lower abdomen, she could feel a mass. After the International Rescue Committee (IRC) helped her undergo medical investigations at multiple hospitals, she was diagnosed with bilateral endometriosis cysts and was told she has cysts outside of her uterus. Although she needed surgery, she was told she would have to wait because all surgeries had stopped due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Thailand. In September, she had an ultrasound which showed that she had one new cyst. The doctor said she would need surgery soon but Mu could not go back to Mae Sot Hospital for the next few months because more COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp caused a lockdown. When she was finally able to go to the hospital this month, doctors have scheduled her for surgery to remove her cysts. With Mu unable to pay for the procedure, IRC referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance to raise $1,500 that is needed for her treatment. "I felt like half of my worries disappeared when I heard that I could have surgery with the support of donors," said Mu. "I have waited so long to receive surgery and my condition is so painful. I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who is helping me."

79% funded

$311to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.