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Dennis is a boy from Kenya who needs $1,097 to fund spinal surgery.

Dennis
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  • $275 raised, $822 to go
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April 11, 2018

Dennis is a baby from Kenya. He is the only child to his mother, who tends a small farm in order to support herself and her son.

Dennis was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Dennis is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,097 to cover the cost of Dennis’s spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 12. This procedure will hopefully spare Dennis from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory.

“When I got Dennis, I was grateful to God because we have people who wish they had even disable children and they cannot. I will give the best I can for him and shame the devil,” shares Dennis’s mother.

Dennis is a baby from Kenya. He is the only child to his mother, who tends a small farm in order to support herself and her son. Dennis ...

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Dennis's Timeline

  • April 11, 2018
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • April 11, 2018
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Dennis's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • April 12, 2018
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Dennis was scheduled to receive 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.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Dennis is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Dennis's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare Foundation.

Funded by 10 donors

Funded by 10 donors

Treatment
Spina Bifida Closure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,097 for Dennis'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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.