Venessa's Procedure on
Venessa and her grandmother, Concepta, have come to CURE all the way from our neighboring country, Kenya. After delivering baby Venessa by c-section, her mother had some complications, and sadly died just three days after giving birth. Since then, … Read more
Venessa and her grandmother, Concepta, have come to CURE all the way from our neighboring country, Kenya. After delivering baby Venessa by c-section, her mother had some complications, and sadly died just three days after giving birth. Since then, Concepta has been taking care of Venessa, even as she grieves the loss of her daughter - one of her ten children. When Venessa was just six months old, she developed an illness with high fevers, and her head started to increase in size, a sign of a dangerous condition called hydrocephalus where the baby's brain is unable to drain excess fluid. This causes a potentially lethal build up of pressure inside the baby's skull, causing the head to grow in size.
Thankfully, Concepta heard about CURE Uganda, and one of her sons drove her to the border of Kenya and Uganda. After crossing the border, she traveled another hours drive to Mbale, where CURE Uganda is located. We are so thankful that she and little Venessa were able to make it all the way to CURE Uganda! We know that God has a special love for children who have lost a parent, as he reminds us over and over again in His word: "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing...". Psalm 68:5-6. We are looking forward to seeing Venessa receive the surgery and healing she needs here at CURE Uganda, and are praying for comfort for her father, grandmother, and whole family, too.
Venessa is having a pretty sleepy day today, but grandmother Concepta was able to attend afternoon worship with the other families. Today it was held in our cafeteria space, which is surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers! With everything that is happening around COVID-19, Pastor Winnie encouraged everyone to focus on prayer - such a good reminder! A mother of a child who had hydrocephalus and was treated at CURE shared her testimony with the other moms and families today - another good encouragement! Concepta is still feeling a bit under the weather but the nurses gave her some medication and are keeping an eye on her and Venessa.
Venessa had surgery today!! Neurosurgeon Dr. Okechi and the OR team placed a shunt, which is a tiny plastic tube that will help her cerebrospinal fluid move from her brain down to the area around her stomach. We are so thankful for the amazing nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists and surgeons at CURE Uganda. Grandmother Concepta is right with Venessa as she recovers in the ICU and is taking care of her, along with the nursing team. They should be transferred back to the main ward tomorrow!
Venessa wasn't really feeling up for a photo today! She and grandmother Concepta are both feeling a bit under the weather, so the nursing staff is keeping a close eye on both of them. Thank you for praying for them today!
Concepta and Venessa are having a quiet day together, as they wait for Venessa's surgery. The medical team is continuing to keep a close eye on Venessa and is making sure she's ok while she waits for her operation. This afternoon, she and her grandmother attended afternoon worship and prayers together on the ward. CURE Uganda strives to meet the physical and spiritual needs of all our patients and families, and daily afternoon worship is a big part of that!
Venessa and her grandmother Concepta are back at CURE Uganda! After one of her recent reviews, the medical team noticed something concerning about her CT scan, so they called Concepta and asked them to come back. After a long journey yesterday, this morning Nurse Richard (pictured) helped welcome them, and the medical team gave Venessa another CT scan. Dr. Agatha let us know that she should hopefully have surgery in a few days to place a shunt, which will help drain excess cerebrospinal fluid from her brain. Concepta let us know that Venessa has been more alert and interactive lately, and even smiling, which is lovely to hear!
Venessa and her grandmother Concepta came back to CURE Uganda today for a review appointment with Dr. Agatha. Venessa has been crying a lot and has been having seizures. Dr. Agatha did a wonderful job of explaining some of the details of Venessa's specific condition, hydranencephaly. With this condition, much of the skull is filled with cerebrospinal fluid. Dr. Agatha showed Concepta a CT scan of a typical brain and also Venessa's CT scan so that Concepta could understand the difference. Dr. Agatha also prescribed some anti-seizure medication for Venessa, and Issac, our physical therapist, helped teach Concepta some exercises that will help strengthen Venessa's neck. We're thankful for the compassionate care of Dr. Agatha, Issac, and the whole medical team!
Venessa and her grandmother headed home to Kenya over the weekend. The doctors said that she had an 'uneventful recovery', and in this case, 'uneventful' is really good news! She will be able to get her stitches out next week and then will come back to CURE Uganda next month for her checkup. We're hoping they have a safe journey home, and are looking forward to seeing them when they return!
Venessa had her surgery today! Visiting neurosurgeon Dr. Isaiah, with assistance from Dr. Emmanuel, performed her ETV/CPC procedure. As she recovered in the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit), Nurse Janet kept a close watch on the monitor as she tucked Venessa in! The PACU nurses do an amazing job of helping the smallest patients wake up from anesthesia safely - they are a key part of the awesome OR team. Venessa is resting now in the ICU - thank you for praying for her, and for sending get-well messages!
Venessa and Concepta have had a lot of schedule changes today! Originally the doctors had hoped Venessa could have her surgery today, but they've had to move it to tomorrow. Neurosurgeon Dr. Emmanuel, with translation help from one of the CURE Uganda nurses, carefully explained to grandma Concepta the details of the surgery, to make sure she understands the procedure that Venessa will receive. Thank you for praying for them while they wait for Venessa's surgery!
Venessa and grandmother Concepta are having a quiet day settling into CURE Uganda! The doctors talked with Concepta today and let her know that they're hoping Venessa can have her surgery on Monday. They are staying in the patient hostel for now, and we're hoping they can make some good friends there while they wait!
Little Venessa and her grandmother are getting settled at CURE Uganda. Yesterday, Dr. Micheal performed a CSF tap to remove a small amount of her cerbrospinal fluid, which was then sent up to our CURE Uganda lab for testing. The doctors will also review Venessa's CT scan and make a plan for the surgery she'll need for her hydrocephalus. Thank you for praying for her as she and her grandmother adjust to being at the hospital with us!
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