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Success! Ruth from Kenya raised $640 for surgery to treat an enlarged thyroid.

Ruth
100%
  • $640 raised, $0 to go
$640
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Ruth's treatment was fully funded on October 31, 2016.

Photo of Ruth post-operation

November 17, 2016

Ruth successfully received surgery to treat an enlarged thyroid.

Ruth had a successful surgery! She is now at home resting with her family, and is on track for a full recovery. With time, she will also no longer experience breathing and swallowing problems. In a few months time she will return for further review to assess her recovery process.

“Thank you for the assistance,” shares Ruth. “I hope to be well and provide for my children with less health issues.”

Ruth had a successful surgery! She is now at home resting with her family, and is on track for a full recovery. With time, she will also no ...

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October 10, 2016

Ruth is 59 years old, and a single mother of ten children from Kenya. Her youngest child is in elementary school, while the others have completed high school. Ruth sells second hand clothes for a living but has not been consistent due to her thyroid problem.

Since September 2011, Ruth has been suffering from goiter, a swelling of the neck resulting from enlargement of the thyroid gland. She has been on medication until January 2016 when she started experiencing eating and breathing problems. She is not able to eat with ease, especially with solid foods. Ruth needs a subtotal thyroidectomy to remove most of her enlarged thyroid, leaving just enough to maintain thyroid function.

$640 will cover the costs of the surgery and care Ruth needs. Let’s help raise the funds!

Ruth says, “I want to get well and provide for myself and my children who are not doing well.”

Ruth is 59 years old, and a single mother of ten children from Kenya. Her youngest child is in elementary school, while the others have comp...

Read more

Ruth's Timeline

  • October 10, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • October 12, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Ruth 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.

  • October 12, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Ruth's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 31, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Ruth's treatment was fully funded.

  • November 17, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Ruth'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
  • 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.