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Mercy is a 28-year-old farmer from Malawi who needs $1,015 to fund a thyroidectomy.

Mercy
80%
  • $817 raised, $198 to go
$817
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$198
to go
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August 30, 2021

Mercy is a 28-year-old subsistence farmer from Malawi. She lives in a grass-thatched house with her husband and their three children. Her oldest child is nine years old and attends school, while her youngest is five years old. She and her husband also take care of her 93-year-old grandmother who depends on them. Mercy and her husband farm together and their farm produces enough food to feed the family, but not enough to sell a surplus. To supplement their income, she and her husband also work on other people’s farms.

In 2018, Mercy noticed a small lump on the left side of her neck. Over the years, the lump has grown and is hard and painful. After having several appointments rescheduled, Mercy finally got a scan and was referred to a lab for thyroid tests and to a surgeon. The lab tests and transportation costs have greatly impacted her family’s income, and it has taken her three years to have all of the required testing. She was finally diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and surgery was recommended to heal her condition.

Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Mercy to receive treatment. On September 2nd, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH’s care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,015 to fund her procedure and care.

Mercy shared, “this condition is not only affecting me, but mainly my helpless 93 years old grandmother and also my family. I can no longer draw water for my grandmother and my children are too young to help. My husband is now getting exhausted combining farm work and household chores. Please assist me with this surgery so I can start helping my family again.”

Mercy is a 28-year-old subsistence farmer from Malawi. She lives in a grass-thatched house with her husband and their three children. Her ol...

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Mercy's Timeline

  • August 30, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • September 1, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Mercy's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 2, 2021
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Mercy was scheduled to receive 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.

  • September 23, 2021
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Mercy's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Mercy is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 30 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,015 for Mercy'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.