Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Kioko from Kenya raised $805 to treat spina bifida.

Kioko
100%
  • $805 raised, $0 to go
$805
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Kioko's treatment was fully funded on April 14, 2016.

Photo of Kioko post-operation

May 12, 2016

Kioko received life-changing spinal surgery.

At only 20 days old, Kioko faced serious health risks from the open mass on his back. Now, he is recovering well after successful surgery.

“Kioko’s spina bifida repair surgery was successful,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), shares. “The surgery has helped prevent any development of tethered cord which causes Scoliosis and or Kyphosis. It will also prevent the risk of infection or paralysis on his legs.”

Kioko’s father extends his appreciation for his son’s medical care. “I am very happy that Watsi exists. Kioko has been given a new chance at life and I am very grateful for that.”

At only 20 days old, Kioko faced serious health risks from the open mass on his back. Now, he is recovering well after successful surgery. ...

Read more
March 30, 2016

“Kioko is 20 days old today,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us about the baby boy from Kenya. He has recently been diagnosed with meningomyelocele, a type of spina bifida.

Spina bifida is a rare neural tube defect with three main forms, meningomyelocele being the most common. The condition has caused Kioko’s spinal cord to be exposed, with only a thin sack covering it.

Due to his condition, “Kioko has a leaking mass that is swelling on the lower backbone area,” AMHF reports. This puts him at risk of infection and developing tethered cord, which can lead to scoliosis (curvature of the spine), kyphosis (rounded spine), and loss of muscle function in his lower limbs.

After visiting a local hospital, Kioko’s parents were told they would need to go elsewhere for specialized treatment. “They have finally landed where they can get help, but unfortunately Kioko’s father’s income is not enough to fund their son’s surgery,” AMHF explains.

The treatment will cost $805, and will consist of spina bifida closure surgery, a five-day hospital stay, and three days of physical therapy. “The surgery will help reduce the risk of Kioko developing infection, tethered cord, and paralysis of his legs,” AMHF tells us.

“I would love to see my son get treated,” Kioko’s father shares. “My biggest fear is that my son could become disabled, but I hope that is not the case.”

"Kioko is 20 days old today," our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us about the baby boy from Kenya. He ...

Read more

Kioko's Timeline

  • March 30, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • March 31, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Kioko 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.

  • April 11, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Kioko's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • April 14, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Kioko's treatment was fully funded.

  • May 12, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Kioko's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 11 donors

Funded by 11 donors

Treatment
Spina Bifida Closure
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

The patient has a mass or lesion on the back that leaks cerebral spinal fluid, which puts him or her at risk of infection.

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

Spina bifida can cause incontinence, bladder and kidney damage, and paralysis and numbness in the lower limbs, bladder, and sphincter. It can also lead to hydrocephalus as a result of disturbance to the fluid in the brain. Hydrocephalus can lead to cognitive dysfunction, blindness, and death.

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

Spina bifida is more common in developing countries due to improper and inadequate nutrition. Foods containing folic acid are scarce, and food is not fortified. In Kenya, however, the Ministry of Health has recently started a program to give expectant mothers folic acid for free at government facilities.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

After surgery, the patient's hospital stay ranges from two days to three weeks. The length of stay depends on the healing rate of the wound and will be extended if the patient also undergoes a shunt insertion to treat hydrocephalus. However, shunt insertions are usually performed about one month after this surgery. The patient is continually monitored. If the wound heals and the patient is in a neurologically stable condition, the surgery is considered successful.

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

Surgery performed within the first days of a child’s life prevents infection and saves the spine and brain from further damage. Early surgery also minimizes the risk of paralysis. Later treatment may save the child's life and prevent further damage.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This surgery is moderately risky, and complications depend on the severity of the case.

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 spina bifida is often unavailable.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Surgery is the primary option for most types of spina bifida.

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.