Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Grace from Kenya raised $640 for thyroid surgery.

Grace
100%
  • $640 raised, $0 to go
$640
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Grace's treatment was fully funded on October 18, 2016.

Photo of Grace post-operation

November 1, 2016

Grace successfully received thyroid surgery.

Grace is doing great and her surgery was a success! She was very happy to receive the treatment. Just after surgery she is still struggling to swallow, but is on track to be able to after full recovery. She has shared that her pain has decreased significantly. She is scheduled to have a number of review clinics to assess her recovery progress.

“Thank you for the assistance. God bless you,” shares Grace. “I look forward to full recovery to enjoy my old age.”

Grace is doing great and her surgery was a success! She was very happy to receive the treatment. Just after surgery she is still struggling ...

Read more
August 23, 2016

Grace is an elderly lady from Kenya who lives alone as her husband is deceased. She is a mother to four children. Grace keeps a few goats and tends to her small farm to meet her daily needs.

In February 2016, Grace noticed a swelling on her neck that became painful. She was brought to our facility and given medication. However, after several clinical visits, Grace was told her symptoms are due to a thyroid goiter, or an enlarged thyroid gland. She was told that she needed a subtotal thyroidectomy, but unfortunately the cost of treatment is too high for her to afford.

If not treated, Grace may suffer hyperthyroidism and further complications, such as pain and inability to work.

“I want to be treated because the pain is affecting me,” Grace shared. “I want to enjoy my old age.”

Grace is an elderly lady from Kenya who lives alone as her husband is deceased. She is a mother to four children. Grace keeps a few goats an...

Read more

Grace's Timeline

  • August 23, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • September 8, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Grace received treatment at AIC Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. 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.

  • September 15, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Grace's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 18, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Grace's treatment was fully funded.

  • November 1, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Grace's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 5 donors

Funded by 5 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • 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. 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 help 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 accessibility of the treatment is fairly easy in this region. Due to the high numbers of patients flocking to the government facilities, most patients opt to seek care in missionary and private hospitals which are slightly more costly. In Kijabe, we have an average of 80 to 100 thyroidectomies in a year (three to four cases a week).

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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.