Rusen, a 19-month-old baby boy from Kenya, is the last-born in a family of five children. At the age of three months his head began increasing in size, and at six months his mother noticed that, unlike other children, Rusen could not do things such as sit down or hold his head up.
Rusen was diagnosed with hydrocephalus - a condition involving the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain cavities - which was delaying his development. Rusen’s head has been progressively increasing in size and he seems very irritable. A shunt insertion is required to treat Rusen’s condition, so his parents were advised to seek specialized treatment. Unfortunately, due to a lack of finances, his parents opted not to seek out further treatment.
Rusen’s parents are subsistence farmers and supplement their farming income with any casual work that they can get. The family lives in a single-room house and Rusen’s siblings are all in school and doing well. However, the family does not have any extra funds to spend on the medical attention that Rusen needs.
Fortunately, the Bethany Kids mobile clinic outreach team spotted the family and urged them to come for treatment, which they did. But Rusen’s parents were only able to raise money for the bus ticket to get them to Bethany Kids, and therefore cannot raise the money required for the actual surgical care.
With $615, Rusen’s shunt insertion will be possible. During the operation, the shunt will be inserted into Rusen’s head in order to divert excess fluid into other areas of his body. In doing so, Rusen’s head will return to a normal size and he will no longer be at risk for the serious health complications, such as brain damage, associated with hydrocephalus.
“We had given up all hope until we met with a team from Bethany Kids. We are more than happy to know that there are hopes for Rusen’s treatment,” shares Rusen’s mother.