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.”