Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Kemirembe is a farmer from Uganda who needs $264 to fund thyroid surgery.

Kemirembe
9%
  • $25 raised, $239 to go
$25
raised
$239
to go
Dedicate my donation


We'll send your dedicatee an email
about your gift, along with updates
about Kemirembe's recovery.

June 8, 2020

Kemirembe is a 63-year-old farmer from Uganda. She is a widow and shared that she lost her husband in 2011 leaving her with four children. All of her children are now married and are farmers. She earns a living from her banana and coffee plantation but at times has some small gardens of food crops like beans, millet, and groundnuts for them to eat at home and sells off the surplus to buy family necessities like soup, salt, and a matchbox.

Nearly 20 years ago, Kemirembe began to experience troubling symptoms, including disfigurement sometimes causes her airway obstruction, difficulty in breathing, persistent headaches and consistent heart palpitations. She was diagnosed with a goitre, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kemirembe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 9th at our medical partner’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $264, and she and her family need help raising money.

Kemirembe says: “I think my health will be restored because it has been outstanding over the years in that I had even lost hope but since God does things his way, am now looking forward to being treated with Watsi’s support in hope of regaining my health and continuing with cultivation once I have succeeded.”

Kemirembe is a 63-year-old farmer from Uganda. She is a widow and shared that she lost her husband in 2011 leaving her with four children. A...

Read more

Kemirembe's Timeline

  • June 8, 2020
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Kemirembe was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Uganda.

  • June 10, 2020
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Kemirembe received treatment at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale. 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.

  • June 10, 2020
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Kemirembe's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 10, 2020
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Kemirembe's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Kemirembe is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 1 donor

Funded by 1 donor

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $264 for Kemirembe's treatment
Hospital Fees
$187
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$22
Supplies
$49
Labs
$6
  • 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?

In Kenya, 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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Chit

Chit is a 39-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law’s three children. Her husband has recently left the village to work in Bangkok so he could increase his income, especially since her condition has worsened. Since she became ill, she feels bored because she is unable to work. Around five months ago, Chit started to feel unwell with a stiff neck, headaches, and pain in her right eye. Soon after, she noticed that the black part of her right eye started to move inward toward the middle of her face, becoming crossed eyed. As soon as she noticed a change in her right eye, she went to a hospital to see a doctor about her condition. At the hospital, she underwent a CT scan of her head which showed normal findings. Therefore, the doctor just gave her an injection and oral medications. A week later, she decided to go see a local medic in her village because she felt like the medications were not helping. The medic looked at her medical test results, assessed her and said she might have a neurological condition. The medic gave her oral medication and another injection. She took the medication she received from the medic, and her symptoms subsided gradually. Chit's symptoms disappeared completely about 20 days ago, but this only lasted around 10 days because she noticed that the black part of her right eye had started to become white and the rest of her eye, normally white, started to turn red. She bought eye drops at a local medication stall, but they did not help. A few days later, she learned about Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a charitable clinic, from one of her nephews. On January 11th, Chit visited MTC regarding her condition, and a medic explained that unfortunately her eye was not functional anymore and that it needed to be removed due to a severe infection. The medic also explained that if her right eye was not removed, the infection could spread to her left eye and cause the same problem. MTC then brought Chit to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) and the doctor there confirmed that her eye needs to be removed as soon as possible. Chit said, "It's upsetting to know that I need to have one of my eyes removed. But then, I feel that since the eye is bad, there is no sense in keeping it. In the future, if possible, I want to get a prosthetic eye."

89% funded

89%funded
$1,336raised
$164to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.