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Success! Rossana from Malawi raised $1,015 to fund a thyroidectomy to breathe and eat easily again.

Rossana
100%
  • $1,015 raised, $0 to go
$1,015
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Rossana's treatment was fully funded on December 3, 2021.

Photo of Rossana post-operation

February 10, 2022

Rossana underwent a thyroidectomy and can breathe and eat easily again.

Rossana underwent a surgical procedure called thyroidectomy in which a part of her thyroid gland was removed. She was happy to be heading home feeling more confident and excited to be able to sleep and breathe more easily now.

Rossana was grateful for the kind support and had this to say: “I will now be able to enjoy eating rice and chicken, my favorite meal!! Thank you for the support with this surgery.”

Rossana underwent a surgical procedure called thyroidectomy in which a part of her thyroid gland was removed. She was happy to be heading ho...

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November 9, 2021

Rossana is a 68-year-old married woman who is currently in her second marriage. Her first husband died in 1996 and she remarried in 1997. She had five children from her first marriage and has two additional children with her current husband. Two of her children from her first husband have died and one of her remaining children is currently pregnant. She stays in a three-bedroom house with 7 people. Her husband is a truck driver and she rents out a plot of land for farming to help support the family, otherwise, she calls herself a housewife and is happily married. Financially, things have become increasingly difficult since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the family is struggling to make ends meet.

Rossana started noticing a small swelling on her neck about 3 years ago and originally traveled to South Africa for medication. There, she had an ultrasound and was given medication but it did not help. She came back to Malawi and was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), the largest public hospital in Lilongwe. From KCH she was referred to another mission hospital for laboratory tests since the local lab had run out of supplies. After the lab tests, she was told that the swelling was a goiter and that she would need surgery.

A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough and irritation, and may also cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing. She initially delayed having the surgery because her cousin told her she might die and she was afraid. However, Rossana has had ongoing issues with choking that made it difficult to eat. She normally would enjoy eating rice and chicken but no longer enjoys her food because of the extent of the choking. She also is not enjoying her Islamic religious traditions like singing because of the choking sensation in her throat.

Rossana is afraid that if she is not operated on, she may choke and die. She has sought care at Partners in Hope (PIH) for the removal of her thyroid so that the quality of her life will improve. She also feels insecure about the appearance of the goiter on her neck. After consulting with the PIH surgeon, a date was set for the removal of the thyroid to help improve Rossana’s quality of life. She is now seeking $1,015 so that she can have the surgery.

Rossana says, “I want to be able to sing and enjoy my food again.”

Rossana is a 68-year-old married woman who is currently in her second marriage. Her first husband died in 1996 and she remarried in 1997. Sh...

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Rossana's Timeline

  • November 9, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Rossana was submitted by Edward Mugane, Impact Assessment Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • November 11, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Rossana's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • November 30, 2021
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Rossana received 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.

  • December 3, 2021
    FULLY FUNDED

    Rossana's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 10, 2022
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Rossana's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 1 donor

Profile 48x48 589fbadd efcd 4457 b1c0 38cd87c88a22

Funded by 1 donor

Profile 48x48 589fbadd efcd 4457 b1c0 38cd87c88a22
Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,015 for Rossana'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.