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Success! Joseph from Kenya raised $805 to treat spina bifida.

Joseph
100%
  • $805 raised, $0 to go
$805
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Joseph's treatment was fully funded on January 16, 2016.

Photo of Joseph post-operation

February 10, 2016

Joseph received successful surgery for spina bifida.

“He is recovering well and the treatment has reduced the risk of getting infections,” his doctor shares. “It has also helped prevent development of tethered cord.”

“I was lost when the amount needed was mentioned, and you coming to my son’s aid was breathtaking. I will never forget your generosity towards us,” says Joseph’s mother.

"He is recovering well and the treatment has reduced the risk of getting infections," his doctor shares. "It has also helped prevent develop...

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January 5, 2016

“Three days ago, Joseph was born to his young parents,” shares our medical partner in Kenya, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). When welcoming their “new bundle of joy,” Joseph’s mother noticed a small swelling on his back that the doctors were cautiously observing.

“It came as a shock to both parents when the doctors informed them that the swelling was a skin defect that required surgical intervention as soon as possible,” AMHF adds. The swelling was diagnosed as spina bifida, a neural tube defect where there is an incomplete closing of the backbone, with leaking fluid causing a bulge in the skin.

AMH explains that if left untreated, “Joseph is at a risk of infection, and development of a tethered cord, which can lead to scoliosis and loss of muscle function on his lower limbs.” Joseph’s father, who works as a driver, is the family’s only source of income. Despite the support from their families, the young couple was only able to afford transportation to the hospital.

$805 funds treatment that Joseph needs to thrive and live a healthy life. It covers the cost of a spina bifida closure procedure, anesthesia, a five-day hospital stay, lab work, and medicines. “The surgery will help reduce the risk of infections, developing a tethered cord, and paralysis on his legs,” AMHF shares.

Joseph’s parents inform AMHF that they are hopeful that treatment will help their new baby grow up healthy and achieve all he would ever want in this life.

“I want our son to grow up knowing that we tried everything possible to have him treated,” Joseph’s mother says, “Any help accorded towards his treatment will be highly appreciated.”

"Three days ago, Joseph was born to his young parents," shares our medical partner in Kenya, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). W...

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Joseph's Timeline

  • January 5, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • January 7, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Joseph 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.

  • January 12, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Joseph's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 16, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Joseph's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 10, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Joseph's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 18 donors

Funded by 18 donors

Treatment
Spina Bifida Closure
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • 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.

Phyo Ko

Phyo Ko is a 33-year-old man. He lives with his wife, son and daughter in Mae Tao Village in Thailand. Originally from across the border in Burma, he moved to Thailand in search of better job opportunities in 2009. Phyo Ko’s wife is a homemaker and their children are too young to attend school. Phyo Ko works as a construction day labourer and he earns 350 baht (approx. 11.67 USD) per day. However, recently he has not been able to work frequently because of pain in his left thigh. In the beginning of 2021, Phyo Ko and his friend were working at a construction site in Mae Sot. While working, the scaffolding fell onto his left hand and his left thigh. After the accident, his hand and his thigh started to hurt. Once he applied oil made from traditional medicine to his hand and thigh, the pain stopped. One month after the accident, his lower left thigh became swollen and a mass appeared above his knee on the front of his thigh. A doctor at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) performed a physical examination and told him that there was nothing wrong with his thigh and did not give him any medication. Once he went home, Phyo Ko continued to apply the oil made from traditional medicine on his thigh. However, the mass did not disappear. When his mass started to increase in size a few months later, his wife told him to go back to the hospital. When Phyo Ko went back to the hospital, there were no doctors available to see him in the outpatient department because of an increase of COVID-19 cases in the Mae Sot. He went home and continued to apply oil even though he felt it was not helping him. Over the last few weeks the pain in his thigh worsened and now he can no longer work. Doctors want Phyo Ko to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Phyo Ko's CT scan and care, scheduled for April 29th. Phyo Ko said, “I would like to recover quickly because I cannot work since I suffer from this disease. Now, my family has no income and I am worried that I will not be able to support my family anymore.” In his free time, Phyo Ko likes to play with his children. “When I recover, I will work hard to pay back my debt to the neighbours we borrowed the money from. I want to live with my family for a long time and I want to support my family,” he said.

0% funded

0%funded
$0raised
$414to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Phyo Ko

Phyo Ko is a 33-year-old man. He lives with his wife, son and daughter in Mae Tao Village in Thailand. Originally from across the border in Burma, he moved to Thailand in search of better job opportunities in 2009. Phyo Ko’s wife is a homemaker and their children are too young to attend school. Phyo Ko works as a construction day labourer and he earns 350 baht (approx. 11.67 USD) per day. However, recently he has not been able to work frequently because of pain in his left thigh. In the beginning of 2021, Phyo Ko and his friend were working at a construction site in Mae Sot. While working, the scaffolding fell onto his left hand and his left thigh. After the accident, his hand and his thigh started to hurt. Once he applied oil made from traditional medicine to his hand and thigh, the pain stopped. One month after the accident, his lower left thigh became swollen and a mass appeared above his knee on the front of his thigh. A doctor at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) performed a physical examination and told him that there was nothing wrong with his thigh and did not give him any medication. Once he went home, Phyo Ko continued to apply the oil made from traditional medicine on his thigh. However, the mass did not disappear. When his mass started to increase in size a few months later, his wife told him to go back to the hospital. When Phyo Ko went back to the hospital, there were no doctors available to see him in the outpatient department because of an increase of COVID-19 cases in the Mae Sot. He went home and continued to apply oil even though he felt it was not helping him. Over the last few weeks the pain in his thigh worsened and now he can no longer work. Doctors want Phyo Ko to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Phyo Ko's CT scan and care, scheduled for April 29th. Phyo Ko said, “I would like to recover quickly because I cannot work since I suffer from this disease. Now, my family has no income and I am worried that I will not be able to support my family anymore.” In his free time, Phyo Ko likes to play with his children. “When I recover, I will work hard to pay back my debt to the neighbours we borrowed the money from. I want to live with my family for a long time and I want to support my family,” he said.

0% funded

0%funded
$0raised
$414to go