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Arnold from Malawi raised $1,015 to fund thyroid surgery.

Arnold
100%
  • $1,015 raised, $0 to go
$1,015
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Arnold's treatment was fully funded on February 22, 2022.

Photo of Arnold post-operation

March 11, 2022

Arnold underwent thyroid surgery and biopsy.

Arnold visited our medical partner’s care cetner Partners in Hope (PIH) for a thyroidectomy. During surgery the surgeon determined that the full goiter could not be removed due to its position on the trachea. The medical team modified his treatment plan and took a biopsy to determine if the mass was cancerous. The results showed that the mass is a non-cancerous, which is a relief for Arnold. The medical team spoke with Arnold about his treatment options, and he has opted for a conservative management plan.

Upon review of the biopsy, Arnold shared, “I don’t really know what to say. At least I did not die in the theater. I am still grateful to the donors and the program for the support. Imagine if I had sold all my property and paid the money here only to have the goiter still with me, or maybe I could have died if it was a different hospital.”

Arnold visited our medical partner's care cetner Partners in Hope (PIH) for a thyroidectomy. During surgery the surgeon determined that the ...

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December 1, 2021

Arnold is a 40-year-old married man with three children; aged 15, 10, and 3. He is a truck driver and his wife helps take care of their family and home. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, his work has decreased. Also, his driving license is currently expired which means that he cannot work as a truck driver until he’s able to renew the license.

Since last year, Arnold has had a chronic cough. He sought medical care and tested negative for Tuberculosis more than four times; he was frequently put on antibiotics. Late last year, he started noticing a protruding swelling on his neck along with his persistent cough. He again sought medical attention from a health center and was referred to the public hospital. At the hospital, they suspected that he had a goiter and was referred to Partners in Hope (PIH) for thyroid tests since the other facility had no reagents for these tests.

At PiH, Arnold was diagnosed with goiter. Doctors recommend that he has his thyroid removed in a procedure called thyroidectomy. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland; a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough, irritation and may also cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Arnold is afraid that his thyroid might grow bigger if he does not have it removed. It is expected that after surgery, the symptoms will heal and his neck will return to its normal size. Arnold appeals for financial assistance as he is not financially able to pay for the surgery.

Arnold says, “My worry is that the goiter might grow bigger. I hope to get treatment before the condition worsens.”

Arnold is a 40-year-old married man with three children; aged 15, 10, and 3. He is a truck driver and his wife helps take care of their fami...

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Arnold's Timeline

  • December 1, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Arnold was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare.

  • December 2, 2021
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Arnold received treatment at Partners in Hope Medical Center in Malawi. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • December 7, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Arnold's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 22, 2022
    FULLY FUNDED

    Arnold's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 11, 2022
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    We received an update on Arnold. Read the update.

Funded by 22 donors

Funded by 22 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,015 for Arnold's treatment
Hospital Fees
$289
Medical Staff
$383
Medication
$63
Supplies
$57
Labs
$128
Other
$95
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients in need of a thyroidectomy often present with a small thyroid growth (nodule or cyst), a thyroid gland that is so overactive it is dangerous (thyrotoxicosis), cancer of the thyroid, noncancerous (benign) tumors of the thyroid that are causing symptoms, or thyroid swelling (nontoxic goiter) that makes it hard to breathe or swallow. Patients in need of thyroid surgery often present with nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.

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

The thyroid gland is an organ located in the front of your neck that releases hormones that control your metabolism (the way your body uses energy), breathing, heart rate, nervous system, weight, body temperature, and many other functions in the body. When the thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) the body’s processes speed up and you may experience nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.

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

Thyroid disorders are relatively common in the African continent. Iodine deficiency, although still the commonly documented cause of thyroid disorders in Africa, is not as rampant as it used to be. There is a compelling need to set up thyroid disorder registries in order to determine not only the scope of the burden of these disorders, but also to document changing trends, if any, especially given the background of widespread iodization programs. Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, and its incidence has continuously increased in the last three decades all over the world. This trend is present on every continent except Africa, where detection is possibly insufficient.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Thyroid surgery takes approximately 3-8 hours depending on the patient. Patients will stay in the hospital for a maximum of 6-8 weeks or as needed for recovery. A patient will usually have one follow-up appointment in six weeks.

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

In cases involving thyroid cancer, the surgery is the patient’s best chance of preventing the spread of cancer and saving the patient’s life. For hyperthyroidism, the treatment helps stabilize the hormones that regulate metabolism and effectively treat some of the symptoms that the patient presents with such as rapid heartbeat, anxiety etc.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Thyroid surgery is often 90% curative if diagnosis happens early. For benign tumors and hyperthyroidism, the surgery is more than 90% curative. The surgery comes with few risks.

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

There are few quality care centers in the region. Hospitals lack adequate resources and expertise to treat this condition.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Radiotherapy and medication alternatives are not easily accessible in the country. Also, the cost of treating with radiotherapy and medication is higher than that of surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.