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Success! Mary from Tanzania raised $838 to fund leg surgery.

  • $838 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Mary's treatment was fully funded on November 5, 2019.

Photo of Mary post-operation

October 19, 2019

Mary underwent leg surgery.

Mary had a successful surgery that helped correct her right leg that was making her walk with a gait and went through pain when walking. Through this surgery, her leg has been straightened and she will be able to walk with ease like other children.

Mary’s father says, “You have all been there and ready to help treat my daughter who has been suffering due to the condition of her legs. I thank you all very much.”

Mary had a successful surgery that helped correct her right leg that was making her walk with a gait and went through pain when walking. Thr...

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August 26, 2019

Mary is a child from Tanzania. She is the third born child in a family of five children. She is a friendly girl and very playful. Mary’s parents depend on small scale farming which they solely depend. His father says what they are able to harvest at the end of farming season is usually not enough to take them through to the next harvest season forcing him to seek day job to be able to supplement their income.

Mary was diagnosed with genu valgus. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she is not able to walk comfortably.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 27. Treatment will hopefully restore Mary’s mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications.

Mary’s father says “You are the my only hope of my daughter getting her leg correct, I have no means of affording her treatment cost please help my daughter.”

Mary is a child from Tanzania. She is the third born child in a family of five children. She is a friendly girl and very playful. Mary’s par...

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Mary's Timeline

  • August 26, 2019

    Mary was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Tanzania.

  • August 27, 2019

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

  • August 30, 2019

    Mary's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 19, 2019

    Mary's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • November 05, 2019

    Mary's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 25 donors

Funded by 25 donors

Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $838 for Mary's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • 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.

U Chit

U Chit is a 55-year-old man from Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. He divorced his wife seven years ago and has two daughters and three sons. His youngest daughter lives with his ex-wife in Yangon and their other children live in Myawaddy Township. In March 2019, he entered into monkhood. Now, he receives alms from laypeople and from his children. In February 2019, U Chit began to experience back pain and a burning sensation when urinating. To treat his symptoms, he bought medication from a nearby pharmacy. However, after taking the medicine, he did not feel any better. He later went to a local clinic where he received more medication for his symptoms. They suggested that he go to Myawadday Hospital to receive an ultrasound scan. However, he did not go to the hospital because he did not think he would be able to pay for the cost of the scan. Instead, he continued taking the medicine that the doctor had prescribed. Unfortunately, his pain when urinating did not get better. Finally, U Chit decided to visit Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where he got his hernia treated four years ago, to seek treatment. U Chit arrived at MTC on April 24th, 2019, where an ultrasound scan revealed that he had a bladder stone. The next day, he was sent to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where he received an injection and oral medication. On May 16th, 2019, he received an Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) test for further investigation. After the IVP test, the doctor told him that he requires surgery and is scheduled for 20th November 2019. Currently, U Chit experiences back pain and he continues to feel a burning sensation when urinating. Aside from his concerns about his condition, he is worried about financial problems because he is a monk and does not have a regular income. U Chit likes reading Buddhist texts and newspapers in his free time. He said, “I want to cure my condition as soon as possible and I would like to focus on religious activities. After I am cured, I also would like to help find treatment for my daughter who has suffered from a stroke.”

79% funded

$315to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.