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Success! William from Kenya raised $615 for life-saving brain surgery.

  • $615 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
William's treatment was fully funded on February 21, 2016.

Photo of William post-operation

March 23, 2016

William received life-saving brain surgery.

“It was thrilling for William and his mother to have him treated,” reports his doctor at African Mission Healthcare Foundation. “The surgery to drain excess fluid was a success and the pack left for home happy.”

“I really don’t know how to appreciate you for the much you have done for my son,” shares William’s mother. “You just came in at the right time. Thank you for everything!”

"It was thrilling for William and his mother to have him treated," reports his doctor at African Mission Healthcare Foundation. "The surgery...

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February 3, 2016

11-month-old William is the youngest in his family of three children. His family resides in a single-room house in Western Kenya. William’s parents make money washing clothes, farming, and helping with construction, but don’t have a constant source of income. The little money they earn goes towards education for William’s two elder siblings and food for the family.

When William was two-months-old, “his head circumference had greatly increased in comparison to his body,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. “With no funds to get them to the hospital, William’s parents let it be, and, day by day, their son’s head got larger.”

This past Christmas, a neighbor paid for William’s transportation to the hospital for specialized treatment. William was formally diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus occurs when abnormal amounts cerebrospinal fluid accumulate in the brain’s cavities, called subarachnoid space.

“If not treated, William is at risk for having delayed milestones,” AMHF says. “The accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid may cause brain damage. He is also at risk of becoming visually impaired.”

William’s surgery costs $615. “The surgery will help reduce the excessive pressure on William’s brain, prevent blindness and death,” AMHF explains.

“I am begging for the life of William,” his mother shares. “Let it be the best I can do for him.”

11-month-old William is the youngest in his family of three children. His family resides in a single-room house in Western Kenya. William’s ...

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William's Timeline

  • February 3, 2016

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

  • February 10, 2016

    William 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.

  • February 18, 2016

    William's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 21, 2016

    William's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 23, 2016

    William's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 10 donors

Funded by 10 donors

Hydrocephalus - Shunt
  • 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.