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Success! Hellen from Kenya raised $641 to fund thyroid surgery.

Hellen
100%
  • $641 raised, $0 to go
$641
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Hellen's treatment was fully funded on July 15, 2019.

Photo of Hellen post-operation

June 16, 2019

Hellen underwent thyroid surgery.

She feels confident with her surgery and she looks forward to working on her farm when she regains her energy.

She feels confident with her surgery and she looks forward to working on her farm when she regains her energy....

May 14, 2019

Hellen is a farmer from Kenya. She has seven children.

Ten years ago, Hellen began to experience troubling symptoms, including coughs, difficulty breathing, and increased sweating. She was diagnosed with a toxic goiter. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Hellen receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on May 15 at our medical partner’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $641, and she and her family need help raising money.

Hellen says, “I am asking for your support so that I can get medication as well as surgery. This condition is making me weaker each day. My children still need my assistance.”

Hellen is a farmer from Kenya. She has seven children. Ten years ago, Hellen began to experience troubling symptoms, including coug...

Read more

Hellen's Timeline

  • May 14, 2019
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Hellen was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare Foundation, our medical partner in Kenya.

  • May 16, 2019
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Hellen's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 17, 2019
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Hellen received treatment at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. 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.

  • June 16, 2019
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Hellen's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • July 15, 2019
    FULLY FUNDED

    Hellen's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 9 donors

Funded by 9 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $641 for Hellen's treatment
Hospital Fees
$227
Medical Staff
$247
Medication
$50
Supplies
$86
Labs
$31
  • 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. It 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 three to eight hours depending on the patient. Patients will stay in the hospital for a maximum of six to eight 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 case of thyroid cancer, the surgery is the patient’s best chance of preventing the spread of cancer and saving the patient’s life. In cases of hyperthyroidism, the treatment helps stabilize the hormones that regulate metabolism and effectively treat some of the patient's symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, anxiety etc.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Thyroid surgery is often 90% curative should diagnosis be done 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?

The hospital is a mission hospital in a remote area and patients may come from far away to access treatment.

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. 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.

Kyin

Kyin is a 69-year-old retired teacher who lives with her 31-year-old son and 39-year-old daughter-in-law in Yangon, Burma. As a retired teacher since 2010, Kyin receives 140,000 kyat (approx. 140 USD) per month as part of her pension. She now volunteers as a teacher at a monastic school. Both her son and daughter-in-law work for a company. Kyin has another son who was paralysed in a workplace accident. He used to live with Kyin, but when her health deteriorated and she could no longer care for him, he was moved to a social care centre in Yangon. One day, in March 2016, Kyin was teaching at the monastic school, when suddenly she fainted. A medical emergency team then attended to her. When she felt better, a doctor told her that she might have a heart condition and advised her to see a heart specialist. One month after the incident, she went to a cardiologist at North Okkalapa General Hospital. There, she received an X-ray and an echocardiogram (echo). After checking her results, the doctor told her that she has a heart problem and that she can die if she does not receive appropriate treatment. The doctor prescribed her medication for her heart and told her that she will need to receive surgery if her health deteriorates. Six months ago, when Kyin received another echo and the doctor told her that she needs to receive surgery right away. However, her family could not afford to pay for her surgery. Therefore, the doctor said that he would help find them an organization that could help with paying for her surgery and medication. Currently, Kyin is unable to sleep well at night on her back and she needs to sleep propped up. She often feels tired and has shortness of breath.

70% funded

70%funded
$1,061raised
$439to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.