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Success! Gift from Tanzania raised $1,200 for brain and spinal surgery.

Gift
100%
  • $1,200 raised, $0 to go
$1,200
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Gift's treatment was fully funded on August 28, 2016.

Photo of Gift post-operation

October 19, 2016

Gift successfully received life-saving brain and spinal surgery.

Gift’s two operations - the MMC closure to treat Meningomyelocele as well as the VPS insertion to treat his early signs of hydrocephalus - were both done successfully. He is now at home resting with his family and already doing better. He’s been attending follow-up appointments so that his doctors can keep a close eye on his health, and so far say that he’s on track for a full recovery. A full recovery will prevent Gift from easily contracting infections through the open lesion, and also significantly improve his chances of not losing hi eyesight.

“I am just grateful that my son is alive and doing well. I continue to pray for his well-being and I deeply appreciate all the support,” says Gift’s mother. “I wouldn’t have managed on my own.”

Gift's two operations - the MMC closure to treat Meningomyelocele as well as the VPS insertion to treat his early signs of hydrocephalus - w...

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August 2, 2016

Gift was born in Tanzania on July 17, 2016. He is the fourth born in the family. When Gift was born, his mother was very sad to see an open lesion on his lower back - diagnosed as a Meningomyelocele (MMC). He now also shows some early signs of hydrocephalus, or an increase of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain.

Gift needs multiple operations – MMC closure as well as ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion to drain the fluid in his brain. The surgeries will prevent Gift from easily contracting infections and also reduce the increased intracranial pressure.

Gift’s parents are very worried about their son’s condition and are unable to cover the cost of operations. Gift’s mother used to sell some vegetables, fried fish and cassava, but after giving birth to Gift she had to quit her business. Gift’s father is a small scale farmer. He mostly grows vegetables. The little that they earn is what they use to pay for their children’s school fees and all other basic needs. With three children going to school, the cost of surgery which Gift badly needs is too high for them to afford.

“I wish my son will get better and later on have the ability to walk,” said Gift’s mother.

Gift was born in Tanzania on July 17, 2016. He is the fourth born in the family. When Gift was born, his mother was very sad to see an open ...

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Gift's Timeline

  • August 2, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Gift was submitted by Esupat Kimerei, Rehab Surgery Project Assistant Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare Foundation, our medical partner in Tanzania.

  • August 03, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Gift 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 11, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Gift's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 28, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Gift's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 19, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Gift's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 21 donors

Funded by 21 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.