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Nancy from Kenya raised $640 to treat a painful goiter.

Nancy
100%
  • $640 raised, $0 to go
$640
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Nancy's treatment was fully funded on May 25, 2016.

Photo of Nancy post-operation

May 25, 2016

Nancy received successful thyroid surgery.

Nancy underwent a thyroidectomy, and is recovering well after successful surgery. Now, Nancy will have less problems swallowing and she will also be able to do some work, as well as stop relying on food donations.

“God bless you and continue inspiring you to help more needy patients,” Nancy said. “You are saving lives.”

Nancy underwent a thyroidectomy, and is recovering well after successful surgery. Now, Nancy will have less problems swallowing and she will...

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March 14, 2016

Nancy, a native of Kenya, lost her first husband to a road accident in 2008. After remarrying, she developed a goiter, or abnormal swelling of the thyroid gland.

As her health declined, Nancy was ejected from her new husband’s home—leaving the 34-year-old with three children to care for, and no ability to bring in an income because of her goiter.

Although she used to earn money as a casual laborer, “Nancy has not been able to attend to any work since her condition started,” explains our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF).

Nancy’s goiter, which is located on her neck, makes it difficult for her to swallow anything. “She also gets numb on her neck and has blood pressure problems,” adds AMHF. “She cannot perform even menial duties, as she also faints from time to time.” As a result, Nancy is forced to rely on donations from charitable organizations to feed and house herself and her children.

In the future, “if not treated, Nancy may develop goiter-related complications such as palpitations.”

Fortunately, Nancy’s condition is curable. For $640, we can sponsor the surgery that Nancy desperately needs, but cannot afford: a subtotal thyroidectomy. In this procedure, doctors will remove the majority of her two thyroid lobes, leaving just enough tissue to keep the gland functioning. $640 will also cover expenses for Nancy to recuperate in the hospital for three days after her operation.

Nancy looks forward to being free of her goiter so that she can return to work. “I just want to raise my children and not to rely on support for everything, including food,” she shares.

Nancy, a native of Kenya, lost her first husband to a road accident in 2008. After remarrying, she developed a goiter, or abnormal swelling ...

Read more

Nancy's Timeline

  • March 14, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • March 17, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Nancy 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.

  • March 28, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Nancy's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 25, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Nancy's treatment was fully funded.

  • May 25, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    We received an update on Nancy. Read the update.

Funded by 1 donor

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Funded by 1 donor

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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.