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Meet another patient

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Success! Joel from Kenya raised $1,097 to fund spina bifida surgery.

Joel
100%
  • $1,097 raised, $0 to go
$1,097
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Joel's treatment was fully funded on December 28, 2017.

Photo of Joel post-operation

August 2, 2017

Joel underwent spina bifida surgery.

Joel’s surgery to repair his open back was successful. The treatment has eliminated his risk of getting infections and developing tethered cord syndrome.

“May this program live to help many others in a situation like mine. God bless you mightily,” says Joel’s mother.

Joel’s surgery to repair his open back was successful. The treatment has eliminated his risk of getting infections and developing tethered c...

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June 28, 2017

Joel is a one-month old baby boy from Kenya. He is the youngest of three children and lives with his parents. His mother is a farmer, and his father is a construction worker.

When Joel was born, doctors noticed a swelling on his lower back that was leaking fluid. They diagnosed him with spina bifida, a condition in which there is an incomplete formation of the spine and a leaking of cerebrospinal fluid through the gap. If left untreated, this condition can lead to the development of a tethered spinal cord, infections of the exposed tissue, scoliosis, and a rounding of the back.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,097, on top of the $52 subsidized by Joel’s family, in order to cover the cost of Joel’s spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 29 and, once completed, will hopefully allow Joel to grow and develop in a healthy manner.

“This was so unexpected and quite devastating,” says Joel’s mother. “But I am encouraged to know that there is a solution to his condition.”

Joel is a one-month old baby boy from Kenya. He is the youngest of three children and lives with his parents. His mother is a farmer, and hi...

Read more

Joel's Timeline

  • June 28, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Joel was submitted by Maya Murao, Fellow at African Mission Healthcare.

  • June 30, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Joel 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.

  • July 17, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Joel's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 2, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Joel's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • December 28, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Joel's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 24 donors

Funded by 24 donors

Treatment
Spina Bifida Closure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,097 for Joel's treatment
Hospital Fees
$889
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$82
Supplies
$0
Labs
$126
  • 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.

Nimo

Nimo is a 3 year old girl, living with her grandmother in Ethiopia. When she was just a few months old, Nimo's parents gave her to her grandmother, as with four other children already at home and Nimo's medical condition, they were unable to take care of Nimo. Nimo's grandmother, who has a small business, was already supporting four other people, so she shared that it is hard for them to survive from day to day. Nimo was born with a congenital malformation, that led to a blockage in her intestines. At first, when Nimo began to show signs of this condition, her family didn't have the funds to take her to the hospital. By the time someone provided funds so that Nimo could get to the hospital, she was weak and underweight from malnourishment. An emergency colostomy was performed, and over time, Nimo gained strength, and is now able to run and play with her friends. However, she still has multiple issues that require medical attention and additional surgery to help her fully heal. Nimo is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 5th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nimo's procedure and care. After her recovery, Nimo will no longer experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Nimo's grandmother says: “When she heals, I will go to my home and celebrate with my family. ”

74% funded

74%funded
$1,116raised
$383to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Nimo

Nimo is a 3 year old girl, living with her grandmother in Ethiopia. When she was just a few months old, Nimo's parents gave her to her grandmother, as with four other children already at home and Nimo's medical condition, they were unable to take care of Nimo. Nimo's grandmother, who has a small business, was already supporting four other people, so she shared that it is hard for them to survive from day to day. Nimo was born with a congenital malformation, that led to a blockage in her intestines. At first, when Nimo began to show signs of this condition, her family didn't have the funds to take her to the hospital. By the time someone provided funds so that Nimo could get to the hospital, she was weak and underweight from malnourishment. An emergency colostomy was performed, and over time, Nimo gained strength, and is now able to run and play with her friends. However, she still has multiple issues that require medical attention and additional surgery to help her fully heal. Nimo is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 5th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nimo's procedure and care. After her recovery, Nimo will no longer experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Nimo's grandmother says: “When she heals, I will go to my home and celebrate with my family. ”

74% funded

74%funded
$1,116raised
$383to go