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Success! Merida from Uganda raised $333 to fund thyroidectomy surgery so she can breathe comfortably again.

Merida
100%
  • $333 raised, $0 to go
$333
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Merida's treatment was fully funded on January 13, 2022.
November 8, 2021

Merida is a 63-year-old small-scale farmer. She has five children ranging in age from 20 years old to 40 years old. Her husband passed away about six years ago. She shared that her children could not attend school beyond class five and that their responsibilities limit them from providing financial support.

About ten years ago, Merida experienced swelling in her neck that increased in size over time. Merida is unable to bend down comfortably and experiences airway blockage when she carries heavy loads and has heaviness in her shoulders. She can also no longer breathe well while sleeping. She has used herbs for healing and recently visited the hospital at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). The doctors diagnosed her condition as a goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. They recommended a thyroidectomy, which will address her symptoms and prevent the risk that the condition may become cancerous and cause difficulty breathing and eating over time.

On November 9th, Merida will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $333 to fund Merida’s surgery.

Merida shared, “I pray that I may be considered for treatment so that I may get relief from the swollen neck that I have carried for a very long time. I hope to look normal again and live a better, happy, and enjoyable life for the rest of my life. I will resume farming as soon as possible.”

Merida is a 63-year-old small-scale farmer. She has five children ranging in age from 20 years old to 40 years old. Her husband passed away ...

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Merida's Timeline

  • November 8, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • November 9, 2021
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Merida 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.

  • November 10, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Merida's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 13, 2022
    FULLY FUNDED

    Merida's treatment was fully funded.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Merida's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 6 donors

Funded by 6 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $333 for Merida'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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Lydia

Lydia is a small-scale farmer and a mother of six. Her husband is a businessman who buys and sells dry produce such as beans around their village. They own a four-room semi-permanent house for shelter. Their firstborn is now 30 years old and their youngest is nine years old and in the second grade. She proudly shared that her other children are also in school at different class levels. One year ago, Lydia began to experience troubling symptoms, including neck pains and in October, she had airway obstruction to the extent that she could hardly breathe. She visited a health unit and managed to get relief through medication. Currently, her airway obstruction has persisted and she must have her head supported her to sleep. She has completely stopped farming due to her condition. She came to Rushoroza Hospital where tests were done after a review by the doctor she was diagnosed with a non-toxic nodular goiter. The doctor has recommended surgery but she is unable to raise the required fees. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Lydia receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on January 7th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $333, and she and her family need help raising money. Lydia says, “I hope to live a normal and free life again through the surgery. My family and I cannot afford the surgery and I pray that I may be considered for treatment.”

36% funded

36%funded
$120raised
$213to go
Benson

Benson is a twin two-year-old. His mom shared that Benson is a playful boy but a little shy and quiet compared to his twin brother who is more social and more talkative. Benson’s mother makes a living doing other people’s laundry while his father is a public transport driver commonly known as a “daladala” driver in Tanzania. Their income is not enough to provide for the family's needs and still cover Benson’s needed treatment cost. They are asking for help to support his medical care. Benson was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. He and his brother were born healthy babies and their growth has been on track until they learned to walk. Benson’s mother started to notice that his legs were not straight as he started to crawl. He took a long time to learn to stand and walk compared to his twin. When he got on his feet and walked, his mother noticed that his legs were bowed outwards. Benson's mother had never taken him to any hospital for help or treatment, she thought he would eventually grow out of it but that has not been the case. His condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, his legs keep bowing outwards, making walking more difficult. One of Benson’s father’s friends advised his parents to seek treatment for him. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Benson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Benson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Benson’s mother says, “I would love to see Benson walking normally like his brother but the treatment cost is too high for us.”

61% funded

61%funded
$543raised
$337to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Lydia

Lydia is a small-scale farmer and a mother of six. Her husband is a businessman who buys and sells dry produce such as beans around their village. They own a four-room semi-permanent house for shelter. Their firstborn is now 30 years old and their youngest is nine years old and in the second grade. She proudly shared that her other children are also in school at different class levels. One year ago, Lydia began to experience troubling symptoms, including neck pains and in October, she had airway obstruction to the extent that she could hardly breathe. She visited a health unit and managed to get relief through medication. Currently, her airway obstruction has persisted and she must have her head supported her to sleep. She has completely stopped farming due to her condition. She came to Rushoroza Hospital where tests were done after a review by the doctor she was diagnosed with a non-toxic nodular goiter. The doctor has recommended surgery but she is unable to raise the required fees. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Lydia receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on January 7th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $333, and she and her family need help raising money. Lydia says, “I hope to live a normal and free life again through the surgery. My family and I cannot afford the surgery and I pray that I may be considered for treatment.”

36% funded

36%funded
$120raised
$213to go