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Success! Nancy from Tanzania raised $775 for life-changing brain surgery.

  • $775 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Nancy's treatment was fully funded on May 2, 2016.

Photo of Nancy post-operation

May 30, 2016

Nancy received successful brain surgery.

“Nancy is doing well,” her medical team reports. “She had hydrocephalus and a shunt was inserted successfully, and it is working well. The wounds are healing well and Nancy’s head is no longer increasing in size and. She may be able to see as she continues to grow.”

“My baby is progressing well. Her head is much lighter than before surgery, she doesn’t cry as much and she is feeding well,” her mother said. “I am very thankful for all the support and I continue to pray that my daughter will one day be able to walk.”

"Nancy is doing well," her medical team reports. "She had hydrocephalus and a shunt was inserted successfully, and it is working well. The w...

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April 28, 2016

Nancy is the youngest in a family of two children from Tanzania. She was born on April 16, 2016 with a congenital disorder known as hydrocephalus - a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in her brain. Nancy cries a lot, and her mother often feels helpless.

Nancy’s parents have taken their daughter to different hospitals without getting proper treatment, as they are unable to afford the cost. Nancy needs surgery to help regulate the amount of cerebral spinal fluid in her head. If not treated, Nancy is at risk of going blind and the size of her head will continue to increase. She will not be able to support her head, and thus will never be able to walk, and will be dependent on other people.

Nancy’s mother is a homemaker and her father works at a local mine. His income is not stable and he is struggling to support his family. As much as he would like his daughter to be treated, he cannot afford the $775 cost of surgery his daughter needs to get healthy.

“I just want my baby to be well,” said Nancy’s father.

Let’s help make it possible!

Nancy is the youngest in a family of two children from Tanzania. She was born on April 16, 2016 with a congenital disorder known as hydrocep...

Read more

Nancy's Timeline

  • April 28, 2016

    Nancy was submitted by Esupat Kimerei, Rehab Surgery Project Assistant Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • April 29, 2016

    Nancy received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) in Tanzania. 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.

  • April 29, 2016

    Nancy's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 2, 2016

    Nancy's treatment was fully funded.

  • May 30, 2016

    Nancy's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 23 donors

Funded by 23 donors

Hydrocephalus alone
  • 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.


Prossy is a hospital cleaner and a mother of three children, all of whom are currently studying. After completing high school, she joined a nursing school to pursue a certificate in midwifery. Unfortunately, her father, who was paying her school fees, passed away while she was in her second year. Due to financial constraints, she had to drop out of nursing school. However, her passion for caring for the sick never faded, and she decided to become a cleaner, a job she has held for over 25 years at a local health center. Prossy's husband is a farmer, and they live in a two-roomed house. Their income is not sufficient to cover the cost of her surgery, and she is, therefore, appealing for support. For the last five years, Prossy began to experience troubling symptoms, including shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, palpitation, and pain while swallowing. Concerned about her health, Prossy sought medical attention and went to a local health center. She needed specialized care and was referred to Nyakibale hospital where surgery was recommended. She was diagnosed with a bilateral goiter and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Prossy receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 7th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Prossy says: “I hope to get healed and have normal health like any other person once I am given your support to undergo surgery.”

7% funded

$232to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.