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Success! Hellen from Tanzania raised $880 to fund leg surgery so she can run and play as she grows.

Hellen
100%
  • $880 raised, $0 to go
$880
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Hellen's treatment was fully funded on November 30, 2022.

Photo of Hellen post-operation

December 17, 2022

Hellen underwent leg surgery so she can run and play as she grows.

Hellen has had her legs corrected successfully and she is currently in a full cast on both of her legs. Through this surgery and important treatment, Hellen will no longer walk with a gait and or be in pain.

Hellen’s mother says, “Thank you and God bless you for helping my daughter.”

Hellen has had her legs corrected successfully and she is currently in a full cast on both of her legs. Through this surgery and important t...

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June 17, 2022

Hellen is a charming and playful 3-year-old girl, living with her mother. They live with Hellen’s grandparents who are also helping to raise her. The grandparents are small scale farmers, who rely on the crops that they grow, and on any income their surplus crops generate.

While Hellen was born a healthy child, her mother noticed that when she began to walk, her legs bent outwards. Ultimately, Hellen was diagnosed with bilateral varus, a condition which is typically caused by the accumulation of excess fluoride in the bones, which results from the drinking of contaminated water. Hellen now walks with a limp, and has pain in her knees when she walks.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Hellen. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 17th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment will hopefully restore Hellen’s mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of any future complications.

Hellen’s mother says: “I have watched my daughter’s legs move from bad to worse for two years, but I cannot afford to seek treatment for her. I am in dire need of your support.”

Hellen is a charming and playful 3-year-old girl, living with her mother. They live with Hellen's grandparents who are also helping to raise...

Read more

Hellen's Timeline

  • June 17, 2022
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Hellen was submitted by Edward Mugane, Impact Assessment Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • June 17, 2022
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Hellen received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) 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.

  • June 21, 2022
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Hellen's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • November 30, 2022
    FULLY FUNDED

    Hellen's treatment was fully funded.

  • December 17, 2022
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Hellen's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 20 donors

Funded by 20 donors

Treatment
Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $880 for Hellen's treatment
Hospital Fees
$831
Medical Staff
$15
Medication
$11
Supplies
$0
Labs
$23
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Patients with genu valgum (or "knock-knees") have knees that bend inward and cause an abnormal walking gait. Patients with genu varum (or bowleggedness) have knees that bend outward and cause knee or hip pain and reduced range of motion in the hips.

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

The patient's mobility is hindered, which can prevent the patient from making a living through physical labor. The patient may also develop arthritis later in life.

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

In the United States, supplemental fluoride is added to the water to improve dental health. However, in areas of northern Tanzania, there is too much naturally-occurring fluoride in the water, which causes bone curvature.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

After surgery, the patient will stay in the hospital for 4-5 days. During this time, the surgical wound will be monitored for swelling and infection. The patient will complete physiotherapy to help him or her walk or move the limbs. A series of X-rays will be performed over several months to monitor the healing process.

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

The bones and joints will be aligned, and long-term disability will be prevented.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This procedure is not risky, but it is time-consuming. The rehabilitation process can take several months.

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

Care is not easily accessible. Most patients live in remote, rural areas and are identified through mobile outreach. The pediatric surgical program at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre was started to meet the large burden of pediatric disability in the region.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives. Although some cases can heal on their own, the patients submitted to Watsi require dedicated treatment.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Lilian

Lilian is a 25-year-old woman who works as a helper for another family. A mother of two young children, she is raising them alone, since she and her husband are separated. She says that despite struggling to sustain them, she loves them a lot. Six years ago, Lilian began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swollen neck, snoring, difficulty breathing especially at night and feeling the weight of a growth in her neck. She has also been experiencing low self-esteem due to the neck swelling. She was diagnosed with large Right Multinodular Goiter, and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Lillian could not go to the hospital for lack of money until one of her neighbours who had been supported through the Watsi program brought her to Nazareth Hospital for possible support. She was advised to have an ultrasound scan and thyroid function tests. For three months, she did not return to Nazareth, until last week when she had finally managed to raise money for the tests. Now our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Lilian receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on October 24th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $657, and she and her family need help raising money. Lilian is very optimistic and says, “Now I have the results and I am very hopeful that the sponsors will answer to my plea, so that I can regain my normal life, self-esteem and take care of my small children.”

25% funded

25%funded
$165raised
$492to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Lilian

Lilian is a 25-year-old woman who works as a helper for another family. A mother of two young children, she is raising them alone, since she and her husband are separated. She says that despite struggling to sustain them, she loves them a lot. Six years ago, Lilian began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swollen neck, snoring, difficulty breathing especially at night and feeling the weight of a growth in her neck. She has also been experiencing low self-esteem due to the neck swelling. She was diagnosed with large Right Multinodular Goiter, and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Lillian could not go to the hospital for lack of money until one of her neighbours who had been supported through the Watsi program brought her to Nazareth Hospital for possible support. She was advised to have an ultrasound scan and thyroid function tests. For three months, she did not return to Nazareth, until last week when she had finally managed to raise money for the tests. Now our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Lilian receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on October 24th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $657, and she and her family need help raising money. Lilian is very optimistic and says, “Now I have the results and I am very hopeful that the sponsors will answer to my plea, so that I can regain my normal life, self-esteem and take care of my small children.”

25% funded

25%funded
$165raised
$492to go