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Success! Dolla from Malawi raised $1,015 to fund life-changing thyroid surgery.

Dolla
100%
  • $1,015 raised, $0 to go
$1,015
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Dolla's treatment was fully funded on December 28, 2021.
November 18, 2021

Dolla is a 47-year-old woman who has been married for 25 years. She has four children between the ages of 19 and 24 years. Her first and second-born are in college and the last-born children are twins, currently in form 4 of school. Her husband works as a carpenter, while Dolla sells Thobwa drinks, freezers, and second-hand clothes. She shared that business is now slow due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so it is a hard time to earn money.

Dolla started having difficulty swallowing 2 years ago. She went to a healthcare facility near her home where she was referred to a bigger facility for diagnosis. The healthcare givers there told her to avoid taking certain foods which might have been a result of her having a hard time swallowing food. After a year, she noticed swelling around her neck. She returned to the hospital and had an ultrasound which revealed an enlarged right side of her thyroid. It was diagnosed as goiter. 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, irritation, and may also cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing.

Dolla has been unable to eat well and constantly reports feeling like there is a foreign body in her throat. She is afraid of the goiter continuing to grow as she believes it may cause serious problems. She sought care at Partners In Hope Medical Center because she believes the surgery will prevent future complications and significantly improve her quality of life.

Upon review at Partners in Hope, the surgeon confirmed a multi-nodular goiter and recommended a total thyroidectomy to remove it and heal her condition. It is expected that after the surgery the chronic sensation of choking and the feeling of having something ‘stuck’ in her throat will go away. This will allow her to eat and breathe without feeling uncomfortable. Dolla is not in a financial position to cater for surgery and is appealing for financial assistance.

Dolla says, “I hope the surgery will prevent future complications and give me a chance to continue meeting my responsibilities as a parent like raising school fees for my children.”

Dolla is a 47-year-old woman who has been married for 25 years. She has four children between the ages of 19 and 24 years. Her first and sec...

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Dolla's Timeline

  • November 18, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • November 22, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Dolla's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • November 23, 2021
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Dolla was scheduled to receive 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 28, 2021
    FULLY FUNDED

    Dolla's treatment was fully funded.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Dolla's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 15 donors

Funded by 15 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,015 for Dolla'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.

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100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Abigael

Abigael is a joyful and smiley three-year-old and the last born in her family of four children. As her mother left for Saudi Arabia in search of a better job, Abigael’s father cares for her and her siblings. He shared that his work as a laborer means he cannot financially support four children, so Abigael’s grandparents care for her and one of her older siblings. Abigael’s grandfather was employed as a butcher but recently lost his job. Abigael has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result, Abigael has been experiencing frequent headaches and stomach aches since she was one year old. Her grandparents took her to different hospitals, but nothing helped relieve her pain. A friend referred them to another hospital, and her family raised funds for her assessment. After some scans, doctors diagnosed her condition as hydrocephalus. Without treatment, Abigael will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Abigael finally heal. On January 13th, surgeons will drain the excess fluid from Abigael’s brain to reduce the intracranial pressure. This procedure will ​significantly improve her quality of life and help her develop into a strong, healthy young girl. AMH is requesting $720 to cover the cost of her surgery. Abigael’s grandmother shared, “We did not know that her condition was this serious, and we do not have funds to cater for her surgery.”

0% funded

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$0raised
$720to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.