The Story of Stella

The Story of Stella

Summary

Little Stella is something very special. The child was born with a spina bifida, a spinal cord malformation with no end of the cracked spine.

The surgery is complicated and lengthy as the spinal cords are already damaged by an infection.

Challenges

Luckily Stella starts drinking shortly after the operation at her mother’s and shows agility. For the next 10-14 days it must be closely monitored for signs of infection and the growth of the head measured. Should this swell up due to the congestion of the brain water, Stella will need a second surgery to set up a shunt.

Haydom-Friends wants to build a centre for children with birth defects in Haydom, Tansania. A “House of Hope" where children find immediate medical care and life-long follow up and treatment after initial surgery.

It is often not self-evident that affected parents can return to their villages. Often you are rejected for reasons of faith. The planned “House of Hope" will also become a place of refuge and regular aftercare for Stella and her parents. The young mother can be received and supported by experienced parents.

Video Overview

With a loud scream announces little Stella, I’m here now. The young mother weighs the infant proudly in her arms. Little Stella is something very special. The child was born with a spina bifida, a spinal cord malformation with no end of the cracked spine. A thick bandage covers the bump on her back. Every day up to 300-year-olds come into the world who are like Stella. The reason is a lack of folic acid during pregnancy. Stella needs a quick surgery to close her back and avoid a life-threatening infection. An ultrasound shows the baby is already showing signs of a brain-water surge, a frequent complication and consequence of Spina Bifida.

Children like Stella need to be looked after for a lifetime. Often they have to catheterize daily to prevent the urine that often rises from damaging the kidneys. The surgery is complicated and lengthy as the spinal cords are already damaged by an infection. Luckily Stella starts drinking shortly after the operation at her mother’s and shows agility. For the next 10-14 days it must be closely monitored for signs of infection and the growth of the head measured. Should this swell up due to the congestion of the brain water, Stella will need a second surgery to set up a shunt.

It is often not self-evident that affected parents can return to their villages. Often you are rejected for reasons of faith. The planned “House of Hope" will also become a place of refuge and regular aftercare for Stella and her parents. The young mother can be received and supported by experienced parents.

We would like to support children like Stella by driving the Project “House of Hope" together with our local partners in Haydom.

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Christoffer
Teacher
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Daniel Roes
Writer
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Michelle Angela
Artist

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