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Success! Rusen from Kenya raised $615 for life-changing brain surgery.

Rusen
100%
  • $615 raised, $0 to go
$615
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Rusen's treatment was fully funded on September 16, 2016.

Photo of Rusen post-operation

October 17, 2016

Rusen received successful brain surgery.

Rusen’s surgery help drain the excess fluid in his head was successful. This has greatly minimized the pressure little Rusen was experiencing. Rusen is less irritable and no longer vomits thanks to the treatment he got. Although Rusen’s surgery was initially postponed because he had an infection in his scalp, he recovered well and is now expected to make a complete recovery.

“By getting the funding we did from Watsi, the financial stress on the family has been minimized and now we are fully focused on Rusen’s well-being and recovery,” his mother shared. “Thank you for your prayers and for your contribution.”

Rusen’s surgery help drain the excess fluid in his head was successful. This has greatly minimized the pressure little Rusen was experiencin...

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July 26, 2016

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.

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 increasi...

Read more

Rusen's Timeline

  • July 26, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Rusen was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Kenya.

  • September 05, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Rusen's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 08, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Rusen received treatment at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH). 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.

  • September 16, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Rusen's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 17, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Rusen's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 17 donors

Funded by 17 donors

Treatment
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.