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Success! Stephen from Kenya raised $1,097 to fund spinal surgery.

Stephen
100%
  • $1,097 raised, $0 to go
$1,097
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Stephen's treatment was fully funded on November 5, 2018.

Photo of Stephen post-operation

October 7, 2018

Stephen underwent spinal surgery.

The surgery Stephen had to repair the opening on his back was successful. The spina bifida has been closed, and the chances of developing infection greatly minimized.

“I am extremely grateful for the financial help that you have accorded towards my son’s surgical care. May God bless you,” says Stephen’s mother.

The surgery Stephen had to repair the opening on his back was successful. The spina bifida has been closed, and the chances of developing in...

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September 7, 2018

Stephen is a baby from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of three children. His parents are farmers.

Stephen 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, Stephen 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 Stephen’s spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 10. This procedure will hopefully spare Stephen from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory.

Stephen’s mother says, “I wish to see my son grow up as a healthy child.”

Stephen is a baby from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of three children. His parents are farmers. Stephen was born with spina bifi...

Read more

Stephen's Timeline

  • September 7, 2018
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Stephen was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare.

  • September 7, 2018
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Stephen's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 10, 2018
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Stephen 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.

  • October 7, 2018
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Stephen's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • November 5, 2018
    FULLY FUNDED

    Stephen's treatment was fully funded.

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

Askaw

Askaw is a 47-year-old woman who lives with her father, husband, two sons and her daughter-in-law. Her husband is currently unemployed while her oldest son and her daughter-in-law are farmers. Her youngest son is a day labourer, finding work whenever he can. Askaw is a homemaker and looks after her father who is retired. In her free time, she loves to read, sing, and go to church every Sunday. Toward the end of 2018, Askaw noticed that the vision in both her eyes was blurred. In early 2019, unable to afford seeking treatment at a hospital or a clinic, she purchased eyeglasses for herself at a shop. Although the eyeglasses helped her see better at first, a year later her vision worsened and she could no longer see even with the eyeglasses. She purchased a new pair of glasses, but her vision worsened again. Finally in December she was able to go to an ophthalmologist's clinic with the help and financial support of her brother. After the ophthalmologist examined her eyes, she was told to go to a hospital for further investigation because she likely needed surgery. Askaw's brother knew of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) which could help make her care possible even though it was out of reach financially for their family. Currently, Askaw can see very little in her left eye and she can only perceive light with her right eye. She cannot read anymore, and finds it difficult to pay for items when shopping since she cannot see the money. When she cooks, she will often mix-up the ingredients. She shared that sometimes, when she is alone, she will cry and feels sad about her symptoms. She said, “When I cook, I will mix-up the ingredients because I cannot see clearly. Now I am no longer able to cook and I have also stopped cleaning as it is so hard to clean with my poor vision."

32% funded

32%funded
$251raised
$518to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.