Kyle is a seven-month-old baby living in Kenya with his parents. Immediately after birth, Kyle underwent surgery to remove a swelling mass on his lower back. He was underweight, and spent the first month living in the nursery while he recovered. Kyle’s mother was forced to quit her job to care for Kyle while he was being treated. Kyle’s father works as a graphic designer, but is not fully established yet.
At three months of age, Kyle became irritable and his head over-grew his body. Kyle was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a congenital condition where there is excessive accumulation cerebral fluid in the head that causes increasing pressure and swelling. He had a shunt inserted in his head to drain the excess fluid, but three weeks later he developed an infection. He spent the following three months hospitalized to fight the infection. The shunt had been removed, and now he is fully recovered from the infection, however he now needs another shunt to ease the cranial pressure he continues to experience. If not treated, accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid may cause brain damage. Kyle has lost some weight due to frequent vomiting and he seems irritable due to the high intra-cranial pressure exerted on the brain.
His parents have exhausted their savings on his treatment thus far for his original surgery, hydrocephalus, and infection, and are still repaying debts from their friends. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, tells us that for $615, Kyle can receive the procedure he needs to reduce risk of brain damage. The total cost also covers the medications, supplies, imaging, and five days of inpatient care.
“I really hope that my son will get a shunt that will work this time around,” Kyle’s mother shares. “We have done all we could, and now all is left is to pray and hope that this is the last time he will be admitted because it hurts so much to see him cry in anguish.”