I stumbled on the Hydrocephalus Foundation of the Philippines Facebook page as I was browsing the site of Ms. Janette Toral (Digital Filipino) after submitting my entry for the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs. I have been looking for ways on how I can help children afflicted with the same condition as my son’s, now at least I can help them in my own little way. By spreading the awareness through my blogs, I hope and pray that somehow people would be moved and donate whatever they can to support the needs of the children.
If you are a frequent visitor of my other blog, Make Money Online and everything beyond, there’s a post there entitled “My Ultimate Wish” , it’s about my son and his medical conditions including Hydrocephalus.
But this post is not about my kid, but of the foundation, created to help the children suffering from Hydrocephalus. It’s headed by Dr. Manny Cacdac and Mr. Jo Mitra along with dedicated volunteers. The mission is “To raise awareness about the plight of children with hydrocephalus and provide assistance for their diagnosis and treatment.” If you want to know more about the organization and how you can help, you can visit them here.
You might be wondering what is this medical condition. To give you some ideas on what Hydrocephalus is, here’s the definition from Wikipedia:
Hydrocephalus, (pronounced /ˌhaɪdrɵˈsɛfələs/), also known as “water on the brain”, is a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain. This may cause increased intracranial pressure inside the skull and progressive enlargement of the head, convulsion, and mental disability. Hydrocephalus can also cause death. The name derives from the Greek words ὑδρο- (hudro-) “water”, and κέφαλος (kephalos) “head”.
Symptoms of increased intracranial pressure may include headaches, vomiting, nausea, papilledema, sleepiness, or coma. Elevated intracranial pressure may result in uncal and/or cerebellar tonsill herniation, with resulting life threatening brain stem compression.
The symptoms depend on the cause of the blockage, the person’s age, and how much brain tissue has been damaged by the swelling.
In infants with hydrocephalus, CSF fluid builds up in the central nervous system, causing the fontanelle (soft spot) to bulge and the head to be larger than expected. Early symptoms may also include:
- Eyes that appear to gaze downward
- Separated sutures
Symptoms that may occur in older children can include:
- Brief, shrill, high-pitched cry
- Changes in personality, memory, or the ability to reason or think
- Changes in facial appearance and eye spacing
- Crossed eyes or uncontrolled eye movements
- Difficulty feeding
- Excessive sleepiness
- Irritability, poor temper control
- Loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence)
- Loss of coordination and trouble walking
- Muscle spasticity (spasm)
- Slow growth (child 0-5 years)
- Slow or restricted movement
Here are some photos taken from the Hydrocephalus Foundation. I just want to include this to make you aware when it’s left untreated and may even cause death.
If you want to know what you can do and how you can help these children, please visit the official page of the foundation by clicking here. We need all the help that we can get to save these kids.