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Joy is a mother and farmer from Uganda who needs $252 for thyroid removal surgery to finally relieve her swelling.

Joy
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  • $70 raised, $182 to go
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October 5, 2021

Joy is a farmer and a mother of 6 children from Western Uganda. She works on her small piece of land to make ends meet together with her husband. Their income is limited to their family’s day-to-day needs. Joy’s children are not able to work, which makes their income irregular and minimal.

35 years ago, Joy began to experience troubling symptoms, including anterior neck swelling. Lately, she started having breathing problems and general body weakness. She had a thyroid test and scan done, and she was diagnosed with bilateral goitre. She needs surgery but the cost is too high for her to meet. Joy appeals for help, since she needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Joy receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on October 6th at our medical partner’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money.

Joy says “I hope to get healed once am given your support and I will resume farming once I have fully recovered.”

Joy is a farmer and a mother of 6 children from Western Uganda. She works on her small piece of land to make ends meet together with her hus...

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Joy's Timeline

  • October 5, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Joy was submitted by Edward Mugane, Impact Assessment Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • October 6, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Joy's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 12, 2021
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Joy was scheduled to receive treatment at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale in Uganda. 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.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Joy is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Joy's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 2 donors

Funded by 2 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $252 for Joy's treatment
Hospital Fees
$163
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$22
Supplies
$49
Labs
$6
Other
$12
  • 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?

In Kenya, surgery is the only treatment offered for thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism. This is because radiotherapy and medication alternatives are not easily accessible in the county. 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.

Milka

Milka works as a house helper in Kenya. She is a mother of two children, now aged 29 and 20 years. Milka dropped out of school when she was younger after a short illness that required her to be admitted to a hospital. Afterward, she went to take care of an elderly man and she still has this job now. Milka has lived with him as she raised her children.They all live in a 2-bedroom house. She has a cow that helps her get milk to provide for them. For seven years, Milka has been experiencing troubling symptoms and abdominal pain. She went to a hospital in western part of Kenya in 2020 seeking medication where an ultrasound was done. The hospital referred her to another hospital for further care. However, she was unable to go to the hospital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Milka's condition has made it difficult for her to attend to her normal duties as a mother and a house help. She came to our partner's hospital seeking medical care after hearing about it on the radio. She was reviewed by the gynecologist who recommended surgery to heal her fibroid and ovarian cyst. She has been diagnosed with leiomyoma of uterus. Milka needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $918 to fund Milka's surgery. On November 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Milka will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Milka says,”I will be glad when I get back to normal. The pain has been very uncomfortable making life difficult. My hope is to get treated and be well again.”

58% funded

58%funded
$541raised
$377to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Milka

Milka works as a house helper in Kenya. She is a mother of two children, now aged 29 and 20 years. Milka dropped out of school when she was younger after a short illness that required her to be admitted to a hospital. Afterward, she went to take care of an elderly man and she still has this job now. Milka has lived with him as she raised her children.They all live in a 2-bedroom house. She has a cow that helps her get milk to provide for them. For seven years, Milka has been experiencing troubling symptoms and abdominal pain. She went to a hospital in western part of Kenya in 2020 seeking medication where an ultrasound was done. The hospital referred her to another hospital for further care. However, she was unable to go to the hospital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Milka's condition has made it difficult for her to attend to her normal duties as a mother and a house help. She came to our partner's hospital seeking medical care after hearing about it on the radio. She was reviewed by the gynecologist who recommended surgery to heal her fibroid and ovarian cyst. She has been diagnosed with leiomyoma of uterus. Milka needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $918 to fund Milka's surgery. On November 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Milka will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Milka says,”I will be glad when I get back to normal. The pain has been very uncomfortable making life difficult. My hope is to get treated and be well again.”

58% funded

58%funded
$541raised
$377to go