Twelve-year-old Koket is a spirited boy from Ethiopia who loves to play football and watch movies. He wants to be a doctor in the future. His parents are civil servants who raise and teach six children, including Koket.
Koket was born with hypospadias, a birth defect of the urethra in which the opening is not at the usual location at the head of the penis. In Koket’s case, the urethral opening is in two different places, making him unable to urinate while standing.
In the last 12 years, Koket’s parents have taken him to several hospitals in Ethiopia, and they have spent a lot of money on transportation and on treatment, including six different surgeries for his condition. Koket is currently on a two-year waiting list for the hypospadias repair surgery that he needs. Without additional treatment, Koket may suffer urinary tract infections, and continued urine leaks may cause skin rashes.
Koket’s condition has affected him and his parents socially and psychologically. “I gave all I had for my son’s treatment in the past twelve years,” shares Koket’s father. “And in 2014, we were included on a waiting list and waited for a call for about two years, and that made both his mother and me weary. We always worry about his condition.”
For $1,155, Koket will undergo hypospadias repair, a procedure in which the surgeon takes tissue grafts from the foreskin or from the inside of the mouth to extend the length of the urethra so that it opens at the tip of the penis. Funding also covers the costs of a 10-day hospital stay, including blood tests and medicine.
After surgery, Koket will be able to pass urine normally, and the risk of urinary tract infections will be reduced.