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Success! Tracey from Kenya raised $1,151 to fund life-changing spinal surgery so she can grow up in good health.

  • $1,151 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Tracey's treatment was fully funded on December 20, 2022.

Photo of Tracey post-operation

December 27, 2022

Tracey had life-changing spinal surgery so she can grow up in good health.

Tracey’s surgery was completed successfully with no complications arising during or after surgery. The swelling was removed, reducing the complications that come with the condition. She is recovering well and her doctors hope that she will not develop any complications as she grows. Her family has been linked up with the hospital’s mobile clinic team for more support closer to home as she heals.

Tracey’s mother says, “Before she was treated, I used to feel very bad as I didn’t even know she would get this treatment. Now I’m very grateful for all the help and support.”

Tracey’s surgery was completed successfully with no complications arising during or after surgery. The swelling was removed, reducing the co...

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August 4, 2022

Tracey is a sweet and adorable newborn baby from Kenya who was born just over a week ago at a local government hospital. She is the youngest in a family of three children. To support their family, her parents both do casual labor for their neighbors.

Tracey was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Tracey is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and developmental delays. Her parents share that they do not have insurance and are unable to pay for their daughter’s needed treatment due to financial constraints.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Tracey’s spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Tracey from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory.

Tracey’s mother says, “When I got more informed about her condition, I felt bad. I just want her to be treated and be well.”

Tracey is a sweet and adorable newborn baby from Kenya who was born just over a week ago at a local government hospital. She is the youngest...

Read more

Tracey's Timeline

  • August 4, 2022

    Tracey was submitted by Ruth Kanyeria, SAFE Program Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • August 4, 2022

    Tracey's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 17, 2022

    Tracey 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.

  • December 20, 2022

    Tracey's treatment was fully funded.

  • December 27, 2022

    Tracey's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 14 donors

Funded by 14 donors

Spina Bifida Closure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,151 for Tracey'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.


Foster is a 70-year-old father of nine, from Makwenda Village in Malawi. He lives with his wife and grandchildren. To support his family, he solely depends on farming where he grows maize, groundnuts, and soya beans. Foster is a village headman and he is a member of the Church of African Presbytery. Foster was well until 2020 when he noticed a swelling on the right side of his groin. The swelling was very painful and made passing stool and urine very difficult. The swelling would disappear and reappear after a while, especially when it is cold, and when he coughs or strains himself. Foster decided to seek medical help at a health center in his area where he was referred to Nkhoma Hospital, but at the time surgeries were limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was told to come back another time. As the condition persisted, Foster went to seek medical help at Dedza District Hospital where he has been visiting up to now and had been given pain medication. Last week, Foster visited Nkhoma Hospital once again, and he presented that the swelling has now been appearing on both sides. After assessment in the surgical clinic, Foster was diagnosed with Bilateral Inguinal Hernia. The doctor advised that he needs to undergo Hernia Repair surgical procedure and this was scheduled for October 5th. This hernia condition has impacted Foster’s life negatively. Since the condition surfaced, he experiences pain that hinders him from doing his daily activities and he fails to work on his farm. Additionally, he cannot walk a long distance or ride his bike as the swelling appears when he strains himself. Treatment will be a welcome development in Foster’s life. He will be able to work on his farm and continue taking care of his family as he is the sole breadwinner. In addition to that, treatment will prevent Foster from developing complications that a hernia can cause, such as enlargement, incarceration, small bowel obstruction, and strangulation of the hernia, which can be fatal. Foster shared that he does not have enough money to pay for his surgery and other expenses so the medical team referred him to Watsi and our medical partner African Mission healthcare. He has been able to contribute $15 to his care and our medical partner is requesting $500 to cover the cost of Foster's surgery. Foster says, “I was afraid that this condition will start affecting my duties as a village headman, I am thankful that there is hope for me through my donors.”

56% funded

$220to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.