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Success! Paulina from Tanzania raised $1,200 to treat a spinal cord defect.

Paulina
100%
  • $1,200 raised, $0 to go
$1,200
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Paulina's treatment was fully funded on December 24, 2015.

Photo of Paulina post-operation

January 26, 2016

Paulina received life-saving myelomeningocele treatment.

“Paulina had myelomenigocele closure done successfully. She is doing well. The wound has not completely closed, but it is healing well,” reports our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. “Once the wound has completely healed, Paulina will be out of the risk of easily contracting infections and she will no longer be losing cerebral spinal fluid.”

Paulina’s mother shares, “I am very grateful for the big financial support. My daughter is doing so much better. When she lays on her tummy, she is able to lift her neck up and look around. I hope she will continue to get better.”

"Paulina had myelomenigocele closure done successfully. She is doing well. The wound has not completely closed, but it is healing well," rep...

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December 13, 2015

“Paulina is a cute, two-month-old baby girl,” shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). The fourth child in her family, Paulina lives with her parents and siblings on their small farm in Tanzania.

Paulina was born with a lesion on her back due to a condition called myelomeningocele–a form of spina bifida that occurs when a baby’s spinal cord improperly develops prior to birth. AMHF explains, “Paulina has a lesion on her lower back, which can easily burst and [leak] cerebrospinal fluid which, if untreated, can lead to other big health problems.”

Shortly following her at-home delivery, Paulina and her mother were taken to the hospital, where Paulina’s mother was advised to take her daughter to a bigger hospital for back closure.

Both of Paulina’s parents are small-scale farmers. As AMHF states, “They did not harvest well the last two seasons so their financial situation is currently not good. They need financial support so that their daughter can have surgery done.”

With $1,200 in Watsi funding, Paulina can undergo surgery to treat her spinal cord defect. The opening on her back will be closed, preventing her from losing cerebrospinal fluid and easily contracting infection.

“My hope is for my daughter to get well, continue with normal growth, and later on, go to school and live an independent life,” Paulina’s mother says.

“Paulina is a cute, two-month-old baby girl,” shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). The fourth child in ...

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Paulina's Timeline

  • December 13, 2015
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Paulina was submitted by Esupat Kimerei, Rehab Surgery Project Assistant Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Tanzania.

  • December 14, 2015
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Paulina received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). 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 23, 2015
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Paulina's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 24, 2015
    FULLY FUNDED

    Paulina's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 26, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Paulina's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 11 donors

Funded by 11 donors

Treatment
Myelomeningocoele w/ hydrocephalus
  • 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.