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Success! Benzaqueen from Kenya raised $1,151 to fund spina bifida closure surgery.

  • $1,151 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Benzaqueen's treatment was fully funded on February 18, 2022.

Photo of Benzaqueen post-operation

April 8, 2022

Benzaqueen underwent spina bifida treatment and is back home and healing well.

Benzaqueen’s surgery was successful and she stayed at the hospital for a few days following treatment for doctors to monitor her closely before heading home with her mom. Her mother will continue to bring her for follow up care to support her full recovery.

Benzaqueen’s mother shared: “A few weeks ago I had lost hope of my child ever getting treated but now she has undergone two surgeries. We are grateful for the help.”

Benzaqueen’s surgery was successful and she stayed at the hospital for a few days following treatment for doctors to monitor her closely bef...

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February 1, 2022

Benzaqueen is a 4-month-old baby and the youngest child in her family of two children. Her mother works casual jobs, such as plowing and helping people with chores, while her father is a laborer and works primarily at construction sites. The family shared that they do not have national health insurance and need assistance raising funds for Benzaqueen’s surgery.

Benzaqueen was born with spina bifida, a neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Her family was referred to a few local hospitals before learning about the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Upon examination at AMH’s care center, doctors determined that surgery is needed, as Benzaqueen is at risk of developing lower-limb paralysis, tethered cord syndrome, infection, and possible developmental delays without treatment.

Fortunately, on February 2nd, Benzaqueen will undergo spina bifida closure surgery at the hospital. This procedure will address any developmental risks and help her grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,151 to fund her procedure.

Benzaqueen’s mother shared, “We had already given up the quest for our daughter’s treatment until we were told to come to the hospital. We now believe that she will be treated.”

Benzaqueen is a 4-month-old baby and the youngest child in her family of two children. Her mother works casual jobs, such as plowing and hel...

Read more

Benzaqueen's Timeline

  • February 1, 2022

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

  • February 3, 2022

    Benzaqueen's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 18, 2022

    Benzaqueen's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 24, 2022

    Benzaqueen 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.

  • April 8, 2022

    Benzaqueen's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 19 donors

Funded by 19 donors

Spina Bifida Closure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,151 for Benzaqueen's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • 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.


Kasotot is a cheerful 68-year-old woman from the arid region of Baringo County in Kenya. She is a widow and mother of seven children who are all grown. She lives with her youngest son and grandson. The main economic activity in the area is livestock herding of cattle, sheep, and goats. It is a challenging life, affected by insecurity, cattle rustling, and a lack of schools and other services. Most people barter with their neighboring communities for food and/or sell their animals in order to get money for food. Kasotot has no knowledge of medical insurance, and lives in a place full of hardships with no opportunity to do any saving. Kasotot suffers from epilepsy and last month she had a seizure that made her fall into the fire and burn her foot. She went to the closest hospital for treatment. Her wound condition worsened with time and when she went back to the hospital it was already infected. The facility was small, and was unable to provide the needed treatment, so she was referred to Kapsowar Hospital. Upon examination, she was admitted for urgent debridement, or deep cleaning of the wound. Kasotot is currently confined to a wheelchair, thus not able to work. Her wound is now clean after a successful wound debridement, but she requires a free tissue flap in order to reconstruct her burned foot and quicken her healing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kasotot receive treatment. On November 7th, surgeons will perform surgery so Kasotot will be able to walk, work and provide for herself so as to not overly burden her son and grandson. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Kasotot says, “I have really burdened my son and grandson now that I cannot walk on my own. It really hurts when all they can do is look after me while I cannot help them as I did before. Kindly help me so that we can be together in order to bring food to our table and strive together to get our basic needs.”

78% funded

$310to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.