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Success! Mary from Tanzania raised $940 for corrective surgery to help her walk.

Mary
100%
  • $940 raised, $0 to go
$940
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Mary's treatment was fully funded on May 6, 2016.

Photo of Mary post-operation

May 30, 2016

Mary received successful corrective surgery.

“Mary had severe genu varus of the left leg,” her medical team reports. “Corrective surgery was done successfully and currently Mary is on long leg cast while the wound is healing. In a few weeks time, Mary will start physical exercises. Full recovery will allow Mary to have better gait and reduced risk of developing early osteoarthritis.”

“I appreciate all the support and I am happy because I am doing better,” Mary said after her operation. “I trust that I will be able to walk properly in the near future.”

"Mary had severe genu varus of the left leg," her medical team reports. "Corrective surgery was done successfully and currently Mary is on l...

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April 21, 2016

Mary is a confident, 12-year-old girl who likes to run and skip rope. She is the youngest in a family of eight children in Tanzania. She cannot remember when exactly her left leg became weak and gradually bent outwards.

Mary was born with bilateral genu varus, commonly known as knocked knees. As a result of her condition, Mary frequently has pain when running. If her condition is untreated she could develop early osteoarthritis. Her parents are not able to afford surgery, as they are small-scale farmers and only earn enough to support Mary and her siblings’ basic needs.

For $940, Mary’s legs will be surgically aligned to prevent them from hitting one another when she walks and runs. With this operation, Mary will be more mobile and free from pain so that she can concentrate in school. She will be able to more easily fulfill her dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher.

Mary is a confident, 12-year-old girl who likes to run and skip rope. She is the youngest in a family of eight children in Tanzania. She can...

Read more

Mary's Timeline

  • April 21, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Mary was submitted by Esupat Kimerei, Rehab Surgery Project Assistant Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Tanzania.

  • April 22, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Mary received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). 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.

  • May 02, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Mary's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 06, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Mary's treatment was fully funded.

  • May 30, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Mary's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 27 donors

Funded by 27 donors

Treatment
Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients with genu valgum (or "knock-knees") have knees that bend inward and cause an abnormal walking gait. Patients with genu varum (or bowleggedness) have knees that bend outward and cause knee or hip pain and reduced range of motion in the hips.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

The patient's mobility is hindered, which can prevent the patient from making a living through physical labor. The patient may also develop arthritis later in life.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

In the United States, supplemental fluoride is added to the water to improve dental health. However, in areas of northern Tanzania, there is too much naturally-occurring fluoride in the water, which causes bone curvature.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

After surgery, the patient will stay in the hospital for 4-5 days. During this time, the surgical wound will be monitored for swelling and infection. The patient will complete physiotherapy to help him or her walk or move the limbs. A series of X-rays will be performed over several months to monitor the healing process.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

The bones and joints will be aligned, and long-term disability will be prevented.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This procedure is not risky, but it is time-consuming. The rehabilitation process can take several months.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Care is not easily accessible. Most patients live in remote, rural areas and are identified through mobile outreach. The pediatric surgical program at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre was started to meet the large burden of pediatric disability in the region.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives. Although some cases can heal on their own, the patients submitted to Watsi require dedicated treatment.

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.