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Success! Gatguon from South Sudan raised $1,151 to fund spina bifida repair surgery.

Gatguon
100%
  • $1,151 raised, $0 to go
$1,151
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Gatguon's treatment was fully funded on September 13, 2022.

Photo of Gatguon post-operation

September 19, 2022

Gatguon underwent spina bifida repair surgery.

Gatguon’s family was able to make the long trip to Kenya for her surgery, which is not available where they live in South Sudan. Her treatment went well and the swollen mass at her back was removed. She is now back home with her family and recovering well.

Gatguon’s guardian told us, “We are very happy that our prayers have been answered.”

Gatguon’s family was able to make the long trip to Kenya for her surgery, which is not available where they live in South Sudan. Her treatme...

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April 19, 2022

Gatguon is an 8-week-old baby girl from a remote area of South Sudan. The civil war in South Sudan has made it difficult for many to access healthcare and treatment, including Gatguon’s family. Gatguon was born with swelling in the back of her head. Upon referral to Old Fangak Clinic, the doctor diagnosed Gatguon with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gatguon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays.

Gatguon urgently needs spina bifida repair surgery to correct the condition and reduce risk of infection. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available for her in South Sudan. Dr Jill Seaman and her team at Old Fangak Clinic facilitated Gatguon’s travel to Kenya – a long and difficult journey for a sick baby. Now, doctors at our medical partner’s care center in Kenya will perform the surgery she needs.

Gatguon’s parents have two kids. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom and her father is a vegetable farmer. They are hopeful that baby Gatguon will be treated and that they will continue taking care of her and loving her unconditionally. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Gatguon’s family raise $1,151 to cover the cost of spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th and will hopefully spare Gatguon of further complications and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory.

Gatguon’s mother shared, “We hope that our child will be treated.”

Gatguon is an 8-week-old baby girl from a remote area of South Sudan. The civil war in South Sudan has made it difficult for many to access ...

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Gatguon's Timeline

  • April 19, 2022
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Gatguon was submitted by Robert Kariuki, Process Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • April 20, 2022
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Gatguon 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.

  • April 21, 2022
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Gatguon's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 13, 2022
    FULLY FUNDED

    Gatguon's treatment was fully funded.

  • September 19, 2022
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Gatguon's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 24 donors

Funded by 24 donors

Treatment
Spina Bifida Closure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,151 for Gatguon's treatment
Hospital Fees
$889
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$82
Supplies
$0
Labs
$126
Other
$54
  • 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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.