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Tushabomwe is a farmer and market seller from Uganda who needs $307 to fund thyroid surgery.

Tushabomwe
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  • $20 raised, $287 to go
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$287
to go
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May 17, 2020

Tushabomwe is a 44 year old woman who lost her husband in 2009 when unfortunately they were attacked by gunmen in their house. Tushabomwe was shot in her thigh and she was pregnant with her third child, who luckily survived. Tushabomwe suspected the attack was planned by relatives and this forced her to move very far away to start a new life. She has not gotten married again.

Tushabomwe works hard, selling dry produce such as beans in the nearby markets and was able to construct a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. She later started small-scale farming as a way to generate food for her children. Her oldest is 15 years old and in secondary school class one, her second born in primary school class seven and her youngest is 10 years old and in primary school class four. She is proud to independently take care of her children, although it is a challenge.

Tushabomwe developed a small swelling on her neck in 2019 and it kept on increasing in size as time went on. The swelling became prominent with severe pain. She went to a local health centre and was given tablets hoping that the swelling would reduce as well as the pain, but all this did not help. The swelling reduces and increases occasionally, currently, it is in its smallest size but after some time it increases in size and so does her pain. In its largest state, she has difficulty swallowing and speaking.

She decided to come to Watsi’s Medical Partner Care Center Rushoroza Hospital to seek medical advice and treatment. Doctors there told her that if not treated through a thyroidectomy, Tushabomwe may develop airway obstruction, thyrotoxicosis and further difficulty in swallowing.

Tushabomwe says, “This condition hinders the smooth running of my business because of the pain. After surgery, I will be comfortable and I will take on my business activities and be able to take care of my family.”

Tushabomwe is a 44 year old woman who lost her husband in 2009 when unfortunately they were attacked by gunmen in their house. Tushabomwe wa...

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Tushabomwe's Timeline

  • May 17, 2020
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • May 18, 2020
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Tushabomwe's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 19, 2020
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Tushabomwe was scheduled to receive treatment at Rushoroza Hospital. 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.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Tushabomwe is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Tushabomwe's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 2 donors

Funded by 2 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $307 for Tushabomwe's treatment
Hospital Fees
$227
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$24
Supplies
$36
Labs
$20
  • 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.

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Ngo

Ngo is a 36-year-old Karen woman from Burma. She has three children, and two of whom are students. While she stays home to take care of house work and her husband works as a day laborer. He earns 180 baht (approx. $6 USD) per day and he usually works for about 20 days per month. The income he can make is not enough to cover their family's basic expenses. They sometimes have to borrow money from Ngo's sister, especially when Ngo needs to go to a clinic. In October 2019, Ngo experienced a severe pain in her right side. She went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. She was on medication which made her feel better. On her follow-up appointment, the medic performed ultrasound imaging test to see if her kidney looks fine. The medic then found a stone in her right kidney and she was referred to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) to meet with a urologist. The doctor at MSH at first tried to treat Ngo with medication but when that did not work, the doctor explained that Ngo needs more investigative tests to help her. Doctors want Ngo to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Ngo's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 21st. Ngo said, “I want to look after my sons without needing to worry. I want all my sons to be well-educated persons.”

25% funded

25%funded
$104raised
$310to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.