“My focus is my love for my family and a hope for a cure,” says the mother of Margaret, a three-month-old girl who lives with her parents and sisters in Kenya.
Margaret came to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), with hydrocephalus. “Margaret has an enlarged head size [due to] an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in her brain,” explains AMHF. This is causing increased intra-cranial pressure inside her skull.
“If not treated, Margaret’s head will progressively enlarge and eventually cause damage to her brain,” AMHF continues. Margaret is also likely to lose her sight and is at risk of premature death.
Treatment for Margaret is surgery to place a shunt in her brain. The shunt connects to a tube that runs under the skin and empties into an abdominal cavity, where the excess cerebrospinal fluid can be resorbed by the body.
Margaret’s mother is a domestic worker with long hours, and her father farms the family’s quarter of acre of land to grow food for the family. Despite their hard work, they earn just enough money to pay for school supplies and fees for Margaret’s sisters, and the harvest from their farmland barely feeds the whole family. Given their financial situation, they are not able to raise money to pay for Margaret’s surgery.
With $980 in funding, Margaret can undergo surgery to place the shunt and receive five days of hospital care after surgery. AMHF tells us, “Margaret’s surgery will help reduce the excessive pressure in the brain and prevent visual impairment.”
“We are determined to overcome this illness and not let it ruin her life,” says Margaret’s mother. Let’s help make that happen!