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Success! Mesiaki from Tanzania raised $1,200 to treat spina bifida.

Mesiaki
100%
  • $1,200 raised, $0 to go
$1,200
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Mesiaki's treatment was fully funded on January 13, 2016.

Photo of Mesiaki post-operation

February 16, 2016

Mesiaki received successful spina bifida closure surgery.

Mesiaki was previously at risk of developing greater health problems if the protrusion on his back burst. Fortunately, “surgery was done successfully and the wound on Mesiaki’s back is healing well,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us.

“He has some sense on his feet, which is a good sign. Continuous physical therapy will help Mesiaki gain the ability to use his limbs as he continues to grow,” AMHF continues.

“I cannot express the joy that I feel now that my son doesn’t have the huge swelling on his back. I can hold him comfortably and he can already turn his neck from one side to another while laying on his stomach! I truly appreciate the big financial support. My son has a chance of normal growth. Thank you,” says Mesiaki’s mother.

Mesiaki was previously at risk of developing greater health problems if the protrusion on his back burst. Fortunately, "surgery was done suc...

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January 8, 2016

Mesiaki was born at home on December 28th, 2015. “He is the first born to his young parents who are still living at Mesiaki’s grandparents’ house (father’s side) while slowly trying to build their own house,” says our medical partner in Tanzania, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF).

Mesiaki was born with a condition called spina bifida — a protrusion on his lower back which is growing with time. Although Mesiaki is active and breastfeeding well there is a risk that the protrusion may burst leaking cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), creating bigger health problems. Mesiaki is also at risk of developing hydrocephalus if not treated.

“Mesiaki’s mother is very worried about the condition of her son,” AMHF says. “She was unable to bring him to the hospital sooner because they needed a few days to gather enough cash to travel from their village to a hospital where their baby can receive proper treatment. Mesiaki’s parents are small scale farmers; they rely on selling the little that remains after taking out what they need for food.”

$1,200 will cover the cost of surgery to treat Mesiaki’s condition, and prevent future complications. After treatment, “The protrusion on Mesiaki’s back will be removed, allowing him to sleep on his back, continue with normal growth, and he will also be out of the risk of developing hydrocephalus.”

“God has given us this beautiful baby and we pray that He will see him through his health problem,” Mesiaki’s mother says. “We would love to see him growing up like other children and later on live an independent life.”

Mesiaki was born at home on December 28th, 2015. “He is the first born to his young parents who are still living at Mesiaki’s grandparents’ ...

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Mesiaki's Timeline

  • January 8, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Mesiaki was submitted by Esupat Kimerei, Rehab Surgery Project Assistant Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • January 8, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Mesiaki's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 11, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Mesiaki 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.

  • January 13, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Mesiaki's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 16, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Mesiaki's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 23 donors

Funded by 23 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.