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Success! Athumani from Tanzania raised $1,200 to fund spinal cord repair surgery.

  • $1,200 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Athumani's treatment was fully funded on November 6, 2017.

Photo of Athumani post-operation

February 27, 2017

Athumani received life-saving spinal cord surgery.

Athumani’s surgery was a success! He is now recovering at the Plaster House, our medical partner’s care center. Athumani is doing well, and there are no reports of post-surgical infections.

Athumani’s mother adds, “May God bless you for helping us.”

Athumani's surgery was a success! He is now recovering at the Plaster House, our medical partner's care center. Athumani is doing well, and ...

Read more
October 15, 2016

Athumani is a newborn from Tanzania. He is the second-born of twins. Soon after his birth, Athumani’s mother noticed that her son had an abnormal back. After visiting a government hospital, she was referred to a Watsi medical partner hospital, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). There, she learned that Athumani has myelomeningocele and hydrocephalus.

Essentially, part of Athumani’s back did not develop properly, and his spinal cord was exposed. He was at risk of infections or spinal cord damage. He needed surgery to repair his back.

ALMC doctors began treating Athumani on October 17, 2016. His treatment plan includes a myelomeningocele and hydrocephalus repair to restore spine function and prevent further infection.

Unfortunately, Athumani’s parents have no means to pay for this treatment. They are farmers who plant maize and beans. They need help to cover his $1,200 treatment, which includes Athumani’s surgery, hospital stay, and medications.

Athumani is a newborn from Tanzania. He is the second-born of twins. Soon after his birth, Athumani's mother noticed that her son had an abn...

Read more

Athumani's Timeline

  • October 15, 2016

    Athumani was submitted by Robert Kariuki, Process Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • October 17, 2016

    Athumani 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.

  • October 21, 2016

    Athumani's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 27, 2017

    Athumani's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • November 6, 2017

    Athumani's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 26 donors

Funded by 26 donors

Myelomeningocoele w/ hydrocephalus
  • 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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.