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Vanis is a 60 year old farmer from Uganda who needs $333 to fund a thyroidectomy.

Vanis
36%
  • $121 raised, $212 to go
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$212
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December 1, 2022

Vanis is a 60 year old small-scale farmer. She and her husband - who passed away in 2021 - had eleven children, of whom nine are still alive. Vanis had to leave school because of a lack of the fees necessary to remain in school, and of her children, only her youngest has been able to be educated.

Over 20 years ago, Vanis began to experience troubling symptoms, including a small neck swelling that later started progressing in size. She initially thought it was a temporary condition, and resorted to using herbs, which did not help to relieve her symptoms. After delivering her first five children, she underwent a thyroidectomy, and she felt better. However, her symptoms recurred after she gave birth to six more children, and this time, the swelling was larger than it had ever been. She finds that she is unable to carry loads on her head, and she will occasionally experience difficulty breathing.

Vanis has been diagnosed with a non-toxic, multinodular goiter, and she needs surgery to resolve her condition. Her family cannot afford to pay for her treatment, but our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, has stepped up to help Vanis access the care that she needs. They are requesting $333 to fund Vanis’ procedure, which is scheduled to take place on December 3rd, at Rushoroza Hospital, and which will ensure that Vanis’ symptoms do not get worse over time.

Vanis says: “I pray that I may be considered for treatment so that I may live a normal life once again. I will continue with farming as soon as possible.”

Vanis is a 60 year old small-scale farmer. She and her husband - who passed away in 2021 - had eleven children, of whom nine are still aliv...

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Vanis's Timeline

  • December 1, 2022
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Vanis was submitted by Ruth Kanyeria, SAFE Program Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • December 7, 2022
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Vanis was scheduled to receive treatment at Rushoroza Hospital in Uganda. 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 9, 2022
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Vanis's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Vanis is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Vanis's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 4 donors

Funded by 4 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $333 for Vanis's treatment
Hospital Fees
$233
Medical Staff
$12
Medication
$9
Supplies
$51
Labs
$12
Other
$16
  • 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 and anxiety.

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?

Surgery is the only treatment offered for thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism. This is because radiotherapy and medication alternatives are not easily accessible in the county. Also, the cost of treating with radiotherapy and medication is higher than that of surgery.

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Su

Su is 10-year-old girl who lives in Thailand. Both of her parents work for a community based organization helping others in their area. In her free time, Su likes to draw pictures and play with her friends. Su was born with clubfeet and a dislocated hip. She received corrective surgery in Chiang Mai with the help of our medical partner BCMF after she was born. During her last visit to the hospital when she was young, the doctor told her mother that they only had to return to the hospital when she outgrew her clubfeet correction shoes. However, her parents could never bring her back. In additional to financial constraints, their legal documents expired, and later when they had legal documents, they could not go to Chiang Mai due to covid-19 travel restrictions. In June 2022, Su started to experience pain in her right foot whenever she walked more than 10 minutes. She also experienced pain in her right hip for the first time when she walked. The doctor at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed her with a dislocated hip and referred her to the larger hospital Chiang Mai for further treatment. In October an MRI was performed for Su and it was determined that she may need two surgeries: one for hrt hip and another for her clubfeet condition. The first surgery is for a hip replacement and the doctor scheduled her for surgery on November 25th so she can be out of pain as quickly as possible. Her family needs $1500 for her hip replacement surgery. Su's father said, "I am hopeful for my daughter to receive surgery soon. After surgery, I hope that she will be able to walk like other children and she will not be shy when she grows up. Now, when she goes to school, some of her friends tease her that she cannot walk properly like other children."

74% funded

74%funded
$1,122raised
$378to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.