Little Jennifer comes from a small village in Uganda. Her mum first noticed a sizeable lump protruding from Jennifer’s stomach when she was just a couple of months old. She sought medical treatment from a traditional healer but the lump, which is an umbilical hernia, continued to grow.
Surgeon’s normally wait until children are a little older before operating on a hernia but Jennifer’s hernia is rather large and they believe it’s unlikely to close of its own accord. Umbilical hernia’s are common in the countries where we work and can be fatal if left untreated as they can become incarcerated (trapped outside of the hernia wall) or strangulated (a section becomes pinched or twisted and cut off from the blood supply) causing nausea, vomiting and pain.These complications require emergency surgery.
For many of the families we work with, including Jennifer’s, they would never be able to reach emergency surgery in time if complications were to set in as they live so far from their nearest hospital.
Performing the surgery now means that risk is removed and, if we can cover the bill, that Jennifer’s mum will be able to avoid getting into debt and poverty.