Linda is a two-month-old baby girl. She was born in a public hospital in Mai Mahiu town where her mother was living with a friend. At birth, she was diagnosed with spina bifida. Her mother was referred to another facility more familiar with this diagnosis, and upon further examination referred Linda to our medical partner’s care center BethanyKids Hospital for treatment.
On arrival at the hospital, Linda was found to be in critical condition and had to be admitted and put on medication. She stayed in the hospital for more than two weeks. When she got better, she was discharged home and scheduled to undergo spina bifida repair surgery with support from Watsi. Last week, Linda reported back to the hospital for her surgery, but arrived with a fever. She was admitted to the High Dependency Unit. While in hospital, she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, or a build-up of fluids in the cavities of the brain, which required urgent surgical intervention. The spina bifida surgery was postponed to a later date while she recovers from the shunt insertion surgery to heal her hydrocephalus.
Linda is the youngest in a family of three children. Her father left the family one month before she was born. He used to do casual jobs and had not been supportive. During the last few months before Linda was born, her mother was very sick and lost her job as a security guard, thus losing the family’s only source of income. Having come from Uganda, they did not have many people to help them. Her Ugandan friend heard of her suffering and offered to accommodate her as she was pregnant. Since then, this friend has been facilitating their hospital transport and helping with financial support as much as possible. Linda’s mother cannot raise any money to pay for her daughter’s surgery and is appealing for support.
Hydrocephalus is a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Linda will experience severe physical and developmental delays.
Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Linda to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, and will drain the excess fluid from Linda’s brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Linda will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl.
Linda’s mother says, “I am still confused with all that is going on, and I hope that she will be okay.”