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Success! Alex from Kenya raised $1,097 to fund spina bifida surgery.

Alex
100%
  • $1,097 raised, $0 to go
$1,097
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Alex's treatment was fully funded on March 2, 2018.

Photo of Alex post-operation

February 5, 2018

Alex underwent spina bifida surgery.

Alex’s surgery was successful. The site of the swelling is healing. Surgery has minimized his risk of acquiring infections or developing spinal malformations.

“Receive our earnest appreciation for the lending a hand where otherwise Alex would not have gotten the treatment he so needed. May your generosity be rewarded,” says Alex’s mother.

Alex’s surgery was successful. The site of the swelling is healing. Surgery has minimized his risk of acquiring infections or developing spi...

Read more
January 16, 2018

Alex is an infant from Kenya. He was born three days ago after a prolonged labor. Alex’s mother is a stay-at-home mom, while his father is employed at a construction site.

Alex was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Alex is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,097 to cover the cost of Alex’s spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 17. This procedure will hopefully spare Alex from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory.

“I hope all goes well with my son,” shares Alex’s mother.

Alex is an infant from Kenya. He was born three days ago after a prolonged labor. Alex’s mother is a stay-at-home mom, while his father is e...

Read more

Alex's Timeline

  • January 16, 2018
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • January 17, 2018
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Alex 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.

  • January 17, 2018
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Alex's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 5, 2018
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Alex's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • March 2, 2018
    FULLY FUNDED

    Alex's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 28 donors

Funded by 28 donors

Treatment
Spina Bifida Closure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,097 for Alex's treatment
Hospital Fees
$889
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$82
Supplies
$0
Labs
$126
  • 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.

Evelyne

Evelyne is an 18-year-old student. She's is in senior high school, but currently at home due to the closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. She's the last born of seven children. Her parents are small-scale farmers and own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. She has been able to get support for school fees from her sister who is a nun under Our Lady of Fatima Sisters because her parents currently cannot afford her school fees and neither can they afford her medication. About four years ago, Nayebare suffered from chickenpox and managed to get herbal treatment. She later developed a prominent scar on her right side of the neck that has slowly kept on increasing in size. Currently, it’s very painful and she can hardly sleep. She has continuously used herbs without improvement. She feels down at school with her friends and this partly affects her performance at school. If not treated, the keloids could become more extensive. They could also transform into cancerous lesions, causing more pain and discomfort. Her family is unable to afford the cost of treatment and is seeking financial support. Evelyne traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 3rd, surgeons will help heal her condition. Now, Evelyne's family needs help to raise $145 to fund this procedure. Evelyne says, “I feel uncomfortable in this condition especially while at school. I hope to look normal again through surgery so that I can live a pain-free life and comfortably continue with education.”

0% funded

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$0raised
$145to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.