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Success! Sylvester from Tanzania raised $1,036 to fund burn treatment.

Sylvester
100%
  • $1,036 raised, $0 to go
$1,036
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Sylvester's treatment was fully funded on July 16, 2017.

Photo of Sylvester post-operation

April 11, 2017

Sylvester received burn treatment.

Sylvester’s treatment was a success. He is now in the final stages of recovery. He will attend an appointment at CCBRT next week for a final wound dressing and splint measurement to ensure that his fingers heal straight. Sylvester will now regain full use of his hand, helping him to grip things properly. This will be of huge benefit in learning to write and being able to feed and dress himself. This surgery has granted Sylvester his independence through improved mobility, and it will help him to achieve his full potential at school.

Sylvester’s mother says, “Before the surgery, Sylvester’s finger was attached to the palm of his hand. The difference in his hand is so visible since the surgery. I am very happy. He will now be able to study to be a minister. That is my dream for him.”

Sylvester’s treatment was a success. He is now in the final stages of recovery. He will attend an appointment at CCBRT next week for a final...

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February 24, 2017

Two-year-old Sylvester lives with his parents in their single-room home in Tanzania. Because of the limited space, the room serves multiple purposes for the family. One day, as his mother was preparing food, Sylvester moved closer to the pot and inserted his arm into the boiling water.

“I quickly grabbed him and rushed him to the nearby dispensary clinic and then the district hospital,” Sylvester’s mother shares. “When the wound recovered, he couldn’t extend his fingers.”

As the skin on Sylvester’s hand healed from the burn injury, the scar thickened and tightened, forming a contracture that limits movement of his hand and fingers. The family decided to visit our medical partner, Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT).

“One neighbor who once was treated at CCBRT advised us to come to CCBRT’s Disability Hospital,” Sylvester’s mother continues. “Sylvester was examined, but we couldn’t afford for him to be treated. I am a homemaker, and my husband is a laborer.”

Sylvester is scheduled to undergo surgery to release the contractures on his hand on March 6. His family needs help raising $1,036 to pay for his operation, one month of hospital care, food, medicine, medical supplies, and dressing changes.

With treatment at CCBRT, Sylvester has the opportunity to succeed at school, feed himself, and have a full and productive life.

“I will be glad to see Sylvester’s fingers corrected so he can hold a pen properly, among other things he loves to do with his hands,” says his mother. “I thank God for everything. He has heard my cry.’’

Two-year-old Sylvester lives with his parents in their single-room home in Tanzania. Because of the limited space, the room serves multiple ...

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Sylvester's Timeline

  • February 24, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Sylvester was submitted by Alexandra Cairns, External Affairs Manager at Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania.

  • March 6, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Sylvester received treatment at CCBRT Disability Hospital in Tanzania. 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.

  • March 8, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Sylvester's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • April 11, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Sylvester's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • July 16, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Sylvester's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 23 donors

Funded by 23 donors

Treatment
Burns Surgery
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,036 for Sylvester's treatment
Hospital Fees
$707
Medical Staff
$120
Medication
$5
Supplies
$110
Other
$94
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Burn scar contractures occur when acute burns are left untreated. Scar tissue forms and tightens the skin, restricting function and mobility and causing pain. In severe cases, patients can lose total mobility in affected limbs.

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

Children are often the victims of accidents when fire breaks out or when they play near an open flame. Children with restricted mobility due to burn scars and contractures lose their independence. Children with impairments and disabilities caused by a lack of mobility have restricted access to education and are less able to socialize with peers in their community. Burn survivors are often stigmatized and shunned due to the cosmetic impact of their injuries.

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

Burn-related injuries are common in countries like Tanzania, where most people cook with small charcoal or kerosene stoves or over open fires. Burn scar contractures occur when burns are left untreated due to a shortage of skilled physicians and the prohibitive cost of treatment. When an accident occurs, the unexpected medical bills are not only an obstacle to treatment, but can also limit a family’s ability to cover other expenses, such as school fees for other children, food for the family, or other healthcare needs. The average cost of a single contracture release/skin graft surgery is over $1,000. Up to 67% of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day. With most patients requiring multiple surgeries, and burns primarily affecting the poor, families are simply unable to afford treatment for their children

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Patients can present directly to CCBRT for treatment, but they are often referred from other facilities that are not equipped to provide the level of care required. Patients are evaluated before being scheduled for surgery. After surgery, which takes on average 75 minutes, there are a series of post-operative followup checks. CCBRT’s highly-trained surgeons and medical teams are equipped to perform burn scar contracture release surgeries, skin grafts, and skin flap surgeries. The average length of hospital stay for a patient is 15 days. To facilitate maximum comfort for patients who are often very young, parents/caregivers are permitted to stay in the ward with them. 30-50% of patients are referred for physiotherapy in CCBRT's Physical Rehabilitation Department following surgical care.

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

CCBRT’s burn program dramatically changes the lives of the children who receive mobility-restoring surgery. The impact of this surgery also reverberates throughout the entire family. By improving mobility through contracture release, children are granted their independence and the opportunity to access education and integrate with their peers. The economic burden upon the family is greatly reduced. Relieved of the responsibilities of caring for a child with a debilitating impairment, and unburdened by the cost of medical care, parents are able to seek employment and are better able to afford food, healthcare, and education for the wider family.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

The main risk, as with any major surgery, is post-operative infection. CCBRT is committed to quality and safety in its hospital and makes every effort to mitigate the risks of post-operative infections.

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

Tanzania faces a severe shortage of skilled healthcare workers nationwide. The need for surgical care in Tanzania is staggering. With a population of over 49 million people, Tanzania has only five physicians for every 100,000 citizens. The country has 73 practicing surgeons who are listed in the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa’s database of members. There is also limited capacity to train additional surgeons—only 51 general surgeons have graduated from Tanzania’s medical schools in the past ten years, and about a dozen of them practice some reconstructive surgical techniques. CCBRT is one of a few facilities equipped to provide quality reconstructive surgical care in Tanzania. Patients are often referred to CCBRT for treatment from other facilities unable to perform the necessary surgery. Patients traveling from rural areas will often have to take multiple buses to reach the facility in Dar es Salaam. The journey to the hospital can be very expensive for families living in poverty.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

If a patient does not receive surgery, he or she will live with a permanent disability. There is no alternative therapy that will have the same impact as specialized reconstructive surgery. Burn injuries disproportionately affect people living in poverty, as they are most likely to cook over open flames and live in overcrowded conditions, and they are unable to access urgent care in the event of an acute burn injury.

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Gatguon

Gatguon is an 8-week-old baby girl from a remote area of South Sudan. The civil war in South Sudan has made it difficult for many to access healthcare and treatment, including Gatguon's family. Gatguon was born with swelling in the back of her head. Upon referral to Old Fangak Clinic, the doctor diagnosed Gatguon with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gatguon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Gatguon urgently needs spina bifida repair surgery to correct the condition and reduce risk of infection. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available for her in South Sudan. Dr Jill Seaman and her team at Old Fangak Clinic facilitated Gatguon’s travel to Kenya – a long and difficult journey for a sick baby. Now, doctors at our medical partner's care center in Kenya will perform the surgery she needs. Gatguon’s parents have two kids. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom and her father is a vegetable farmer. They are hopeful that baby Gatguon will be treated and that they will continue taking care of her and loving her unconditionally. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Gatguon's family raise $1,151 to cover the cost of spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th and will hopefully spare Gatguon of further complications and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Gatguon’s mother shared, “We hope that our child will be treated.”

57% funded

57%funded
$664raised
$487to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Gatguon

Gatguon is an 8-week-old baby girl from a remote area of South Sudan. The civil war in South Sudan has made it difficult for many to access healthcare and treatment, including Gatguon's family. Gatguon was born with swelling in the back of her head. Upon referral to Old Fangak Clinic, the doctor diagnosed Gatguon with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gatguon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Gatguon urgently needs spina bifida repair surgery to correct the condition and reduce risk of infection. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available for her in South Sudan. Dr Jill Seaman and her team at Old Fangak Clinic facilitated Gatguon’s travel to Kenya – a long and difficult journey for a sick baby. Now, doctors at our medical partner's care center in Kenya will perform the surgery she needs. Gatguon’s parents have two kids. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom and her father is a vegetable farmer. They are hopeful that baby Gatguon will be treated and that they will continue taking care of her and loving her unconditionally. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Gatguon's family raise $1,151 to cover the cost of spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th and will hopefully spare Gatguon of further complications and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Gatguon’s mother shared, “We hope that our child will be treated.”

57% funded

57%funded
$664raised
$487to go