Salomy is a sixty-two-year-old farmer, a mother of 6 (3 boys and 3 girls), and a wife to a loving husband who had a stroke in 2010. Salomy is a very responsible woman and able to take care of the family including her grandchildren through small-scale farming and business. She sells Irish potatoes the she grows on her family farm in Malawi. She owns a big farm and used to make lots of produce; unfortunately the productivity has now gone down as she is unable to work or supervise the farm work due to her current health condition.
Eight years ago Salomy developed a swelling in the neck and she assumed it would go away with time. When she noticed that the swelling was still growing, she started visiting the nearest health center. At that point then she was able to continue working in her field and do her business as usual. For the past 2 years however, the condition has destabilized her normal life since she cannot breathe properly and she cannot walk a long distance to buy the products she needs to sell. This has been a very challenging part as a breadwinner to sustain the home and provide the required support to her sick husband.
Salomy visited a number of hospitals but had no chance to meet a surgeon to discuss how her problem will be solved. A month ago she was talking to a friend who partially knows about Partners in Hope and she asked a relative from Lilongwe to enquire for her. She learned that she could be able to meet the surgeon and traveled all the way from Mzimba to Lilongwe where she is now temporarily lodging at her distant relative’s home just to have her surgery.
She met the surgeon who made a diagnosis of goiter and recommended surgical removal of the goiter in a procedure called thyroidectomy. Goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland on the front and sides of the neck. Thyroidectomy, on the other hand, is the surgical removal of the enlarged thyroid gland as treatment for the goiter. Salomy is unable to meet the whole cost of surgery due to her multiple responsibilities and she has no medical insurance.
She believes the surgical operation will give her peace of mind, the symptoms will go away and she will continue providing her best support to her family and especially her husband who is unable to do most of the things by himself. The surgery will restore Salomy’s multiple abilities as the main pillar of the family.
Salomy says, “My main fear is the responsibilities that I carry as a farmer, a breadwinner, a mother, a wife, and a grandmother. If I go unassisted all these important roles will suffer. When successful, the surgery will not only benefit me but mostly the whole family that I care for.”