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Success! Julia from Malawi raised $643 to fund a hysterectomy.

  • $643 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Julia's treatment was fully funded on March 23, 2017.

Photo of Julia post-operation

March 1, 2017

Julia underwent a hysterectomy.

Julia feels good since having her surgery. Her family is very happy with the outcome. Julia is looking forward to getting back to her farm and her normal life.

She says, “Thank you, Watsi!”

Julia feels good since having her surgery. Her family is very happy with the outcome. Julia is looking forward to getting back to her farm a...

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January 16, 2017

Julia is a 55-year-old widow from Malawi. She lives with one of her five children and has ten grandchildren. She runs a small groundnut and maize farm with her family. When she is not farming, she likes cooking, playing with her grandchildren, and chatting with her friends.

One year ago, Julia began to experience pelvic pain and bleeding. As a result, she was unable to work on her farm and felt very weak. She went to our medical partner’s care center, Nkhoma Hospital, where she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Julia needs a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgery that will remove her uterus. Once her surgery is complete, she is expected to be cancer-free and make a full recovery. The surgery is scheduled for January 17, and our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $643 to fund the treatment.

“I need God to be my hope during surgery, and I give thanks to the Watsi team,” says Julia.

Julia is a 55-year-old widow from Malawi. She lives with one of her five children and has ten grandchildren. She runs a small groundnut and ...

Read more

Julia's Timeline

  • January 16, 2017

    Julia was submitted by Alison Corbit, Project Coordinator at World Altering Medicine, our medical partner in Malawi.

  • January 17, 2017

    Julia received treatment at Nkhoma Hospital.

  • January 18, 2017

    Julia's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 01, 2017

    Julia's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • March 23, 2017

    Julia's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 12 donors

Funded by 12 donors

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $643 for Julia'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 requiring hysterectomies at our medical partner's care center generally have one of three conditions: uterine fibroids, cervical cancer, or chronic bleeding. Women with uterine fibroids may experience chronic pelvic pain. Women with cervical cancer are often symptom-free and are only diagnosed upon screening. Finally, women with chronic bleeding experience atypical and excessive vaginal bleeding.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

These three conditions may impact the patient's life in different ways. Women with pelvic pain and bleeding may be unable to work or be active. Women who experience bleeding may feel weak, due to the loss of blood and inaccessibility of blood products in Malawi. Women with cervical cancer are at risk of cancer metastasis.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Cervical cancer is the top killer of women in Malawi, which has the highest rate of this type of cancer in the world. There are several factors that lead to these high rates, including early sexual initiation, high HIV prevalence, and lack of screening and treatment. Although health facilities nationwide are supposed to provide screenings, many do not. Therefore, women are never screened, and the cancer can progress to an untreatable stage. In addition, women with cervical cancer often experience no symptoms and may not go in for a screening. Women with vaginal bleeding may experience stigmatization. In Malawi, menstruation can be a challenge. It is difficult to keep fabric clean, as there is often little access to sanitary products.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

A hysterectomy is a surgical operation to remove all or part of the uterus. Surgeons perform radical hysterectomies on women with cervical cancer. This is an aggressive surgical approach to combat cancer. Women with fibroids or bleeding may receive alternative treatments before a hysterectomy.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

For patients with cervical cancer, a hysterectomy is a lifesaving operation. Without treatment, the cancer will continue to spread and ultimately become untreatable. Chemotherapy has not been proven effective in treating cervical cancer, so a hysterectomy is the best option for women. Women with fibroids or bleeding will be able to return to their daily lives without chronic pain and bleeding.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. In this case, there is a risk of damage to the ureters and the tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder, as they are near the reproductive system.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

There is one public hospital in Malawi's Central Region that provides hysterectomies. Unfortunately, the wait time can be very, very long. Women may not be treated in time or may stop showing up for scheduled surgeries as they continue to be delayed. Other private facilities provide hysterectomies, but at rates that are unaffordable to our patients.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

For patients with cervical cancer, there are no good alternatives. For patients with fibroids, it is possible to remove the fibroid alone. This procedure is often done on young women who are still of childbearing age. Some women with fibroids or bleeding receive hormonal treatment before attempting a hysterectomy. In many cases, less aggressive treatments are tried before the patient receives a hysterectomy.

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