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Success! Gideon from Tanzania raised $880 to fund life-changing surgery on his legs.

  • $880 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Gideon's treatment was fully funded on February 10, 2022.

Photo of Gideon post-operation

March 4, 2022

Gideon underwent life-changing surgery on his legs.

We just received an update that Gideon’s surgery went great! Both of his legs were successfully corrected, and he is recovering well. He is currently on bed rest, however will start walking on his own soon. With this surgery, Gideon will no longer walk with a difficult gait, fall frequently, or have pain after playing with his friends and siblings. His ability to walk comfortably will also allow him to make the walk to school when he’s old enough. We can’t wait to see how far you’ll go, Gideon!

Gideon’s mother says, “I am happy that my son will no longer walk with a gait or complain of pain. Thank you!”

We just received an update that Gideon’s surgery went great! Both of his legs were successfully corrected, and he is recovering well. He is ...

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December 31, 2021

Gideon is four years old and the last-born in his family of six children. He is a playful, charming, friendly, and happy boy. Gideon comes from the southern highlands of Tanzania close to Katavi National Park. Gideon has not yet started school, but his father says when he gets to be six years old, he will enroll him. Most children in this region join school starting at the age of six due to the long distance they must walk to school. Parents must wait for their children to grow strong enough to walk to and from school before enrolling them. Gideon’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, beans, and vegetables and only sell a few of their harvests to get money to buy other basics for their family.

Gideon has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, where his legs bow inward so that they touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he experiences pain and discomfort.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Gideon. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Gideon’s mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, including school in the future, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications.

Gideon’s father says “My son walks with a gait and falls down a lot. He also complains of pain after a long day of play.”

Gideon is four years old and the last-born in his family of six children. He is a playful, charming, friendly, and happy boy. Gideon comes ...

Read more

Gideon's Timeline

  • December 31, 2021

    Gideon was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare.

  • January 4, 2022

    Gideon's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 7, 2022

    Gideon 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.

  • February 10, 2022

    Gideon's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 4, 2022

    Gideon's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 21 donors

Funded by 21 donors

Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $880 for Gideon'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?

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 Gemechu, an adorable and cheerful nine-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He lives with his parents and five siblings. His father is a farmer, and his mother is a homemaker. Gemechu loves imitating others and trying to do what he observes others doing. He also loves to play with toy cars and with his siblings. Gemechu was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. His parents share that at one point, Gemechu's condition left him unable to talk, as well as unable to move his head and body. Although he has received a colostomy insertion procedure, he still needs further treatment in order to fully heal his condition. Fortunately, Gemechu is scheduled to undergo surgery to help correct his condition on August 9th at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gemechu's procedure and care. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Gemechu's father shares, "Our hope grew a lot, even now. The colostomy changed his life. He is healthy, he eats well, and we hope for a lot more after this planned surgery, specifically for him to get better and to live a normal life. We hope his life will change after this surgery."

68% funded

$477to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.