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Success! Atuzarirwe from Uganda raised $252 to fund a thyroidectomy.

  • $252 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Atuzarirwe's treatment was fully funded on March 21, 2021.

Photo of Atuzarirwe post-operation

March 25, 2021

Atuzarirwe underwent a thyroidectomy.

Atuzarirwe successfully received a thyroidectomy treatment for her goitre! She’s already feeling relieve from her improvements after surgery. She is now home and feeling in good health, no longer having her previous symptoms like difficulty in breathing and quick fatigue. The surgery also reduces the chances of long-term complications such as hyperthyroidism.

Atuzarirwe says: “I thank you because I did not have hopes of being treated. I had always cried in pain but I am now able to swallow something easily. I will live to remember you and may the Lord bless you.”

Atuzarirwe successfully received a thyroidectomy treatment for her goitre! She's already feeling relieve from her improvements after surgery...

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February 22, 2021

Atuzarirwe is a 49-year-old farmer from Uganda. She is a mother of six children, five of whom are still in school.

For the past five years, Atuzarirwe has had a worrisome anterior neck swelling. The swelling affects her breathing and causes her voice to be hoarse, especially when she is singing, a hobby she loves practicing especially in the choir. Atuzarirwe was referred to our Medical Partner’s Care Center Nyakibale Hospital by a friend for treatment. Doctors there completed a scan and diagnosed a multinodular goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Atuzarirwe will need to have the goiter removed to prevent her symptoms from getting worse.

However, Atuzarirwe faces financial constraints and is unable to raise the funds needed for her care. Together with her husband, she practices small scale farming to make ends meet. They work hard to make enough to support their daily needs, children’s education fees, and basic healthcare costs. Atuzarirwe appeals for financial support for her surgery.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Atuzarirwe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 23rd 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.

Atuzarirwe shared, “I have really travelled from far and all I wish for is to regain my health once again and continue with farming.”

Atuzarirwe is a 49-year-old farmer from Uganda. She is a mother of six children, five of whom are still in school. For the past five yea...

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Atuzarirwe's Timeline

  • February 22, 2021

    Atuzarirwe was submitted by Edward Mugane, Impact Assessment Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Uganda.

  • February 24, 2021

    Atuzarirwe's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 3, 2021

    Atuzarirwe received treatment at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale. 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.

  • March 21, 2021

    Atuzarirwe's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 25, 2021

    Atuzarirwe's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 4 donors

Profile 48x48 20160911 1531522small

Funded by 4 donors

Profile 48x48 20160911 1531522small
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $252 for Atuzarirwe'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 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.

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100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Alamunyaki is an 11-year-old boy and the fourth born in a family of five children. Alamunyaki is a very social and hard-working boy. He has not had the chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. There is hope for Alamunyaki joining school because one of his uncles has offered to take him and support him in school next year. It is also Alamunyaki’s uncle who decided to seek treatment for his nephew who has burn contracture on his right hand from the elbow all the way down to the wrist and fingers, making it impossible for him to hold things with the hand. Alamunyaki’s parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables, which they mostly use for their own consumption and sell what they can of the harvest in order to get money to buy other commodities. They also have a few goats which Alamunyaki and his siblings help their parents in grazing. Alamunyaki was involved in a fire accident when he was two years old. He was at the fireplace with his siblings warming themselves while their mother was preparing dinner. Alamunyaki was dressed in his traditional maasai clothing which caught fire by accident. Alamunyaki sustained a severe burn and needed to be taken to the hospital but due to his parent’s financial constraints they couldn’t take him and treated him at home using herbal and traditional medicines. The skin around the burns has contracted making it impossible for him to use his right hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Alamunyaki receive treatment. On March 3rd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to he will be able to use his. Now, their family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Alamunyaki’s uncle says: “I would like my nephew to go to school next year but I understand it’s not going to be easy if he does not have his right hand correct. Kindly help him because his parents cannot afford the cost.”

64% funded

$226to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.