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Success! Caleb from Kenya raised $1,151 to fund spina bifida surgery.

  • $1,151 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Caleb's treatment was fully funded on July 4, 2022.

Photo of Caleb post-operation

July 15, 2022

Caleb underwent life-changing spina bifida surgery.

Caleb’s surgery was successful! He stayed in the hospital a few days of monitoring before being discharged back home with his family. The wound is healing well and his doctors hope that he won’t experience any complications in the future. His mother will be bringing him to follow up visits so the doctors can continue to support his full recovery.

Caleb’s mother says, “I’m more than grateful that Caleb has been treated.”

Caleb’s surgery was successful! He stayed in the hospital a few days of monitoring before being discharged back home with his family. The wo...

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June 15, 2022

Caleb is a sweet one-month-old baby boy. Immediately after his birth, the doctors noticed a small growth on his back, which they attempted to prick. This only made the growth increase in size, and to begin leaking fluid. Recognizing that they could not treat Caleb, the local doctors referred the family to our medical partner BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. A neighbor provided the family with the funds to travel to BethanyKids.

Caleb was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect, in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without surgery, Caleb is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delay. As the family has very little income and no national health care insurance, they cannot cover the costs of Caleb’s surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help.

Caleb is scheduled to undergo spina bifida closure surgery on June 16th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Their family needs $1,151 to fund this life saving procedure, which, it is hoped, will spare Caleb from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory.

Caleb’s mother says: “I was very worried about my son’s condition but now I am happy that I know that he can be treated.”

Caleb is a sweet one-month-old baby boy. Immediately after his birth, the doctors noticed a small growth on his back, which they attempted t...

Read more

Caleb's Timeline

  • June 15, 2022

    Caleb was submitted by Ruth Kanyeria, SAFE Program Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • June 16, 2022

    Caleb 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.

  • June 21, 2022

    Caleb's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 4, 2022

    Caleb's treatment was fully funded.

  • July 15, 2022

    Caleb's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 19 donors

Funded by 19 donors

Spina Bifida Closure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,151 for Caleb's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • 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.


Su is 10-year-old girl who lives in Thailand. Both of her parents work for a community based organization helping others in their area. In her free time, Su likes to draw pictures and play with her friends. Su was born with clubfeet and a dislocated hip. She received corrective surgery in Chiang Mai with the help of our medical partner BCMF after she was born. During her last visit to the hospital when she was young, the doctor told her mother that they only had to return to the hospital when she outgrew her clubfeet correction shoes. However, her parents could never bring her back. In additional to financial constraints, their legal documents expired, and later when they had legal documents, they could not go to Chiang Mai due to covid-19 travel restrictions. In June 2022, Su started to experience pain in her right foot whenever she walked more than 10 minutes. She also experienced pain in her right hip for the first time when she walked. The doctor at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed her with a dislocated hip and referred her to the larger hospital Chiang Mai for further treatment. In October an MRI was performed for Su and it was determined that she may need two surgeries: one for hrt hip and another for her clubfeet condition. The first surgery is for a hip replacement and the doctor scheduled her for surgery on November 25th so she can be out of pain as quickly as possible. Her family needs $1500 for her hip replacement surgery. Su's father said, "I am hopeful for my daughter to receive surgery soon. After surgery, I hope that she will be able to walk like other children and she will not be shy when she grows up. Now, when she goes to school, some of her friends tease her that she cannot walk properly like other children."

74% funded

$378to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.