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Kaptuya is a 47-year-old widow and mother from Kenya who needs $936 to fund thyroid surgery so she can find relief and provide for her family.

Kaptuya
46%
  • $433 raised, $503 to go
$433
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$503
to go
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November 21, 2022

Kaptuya is a widow and a happy mother of three sons and a daughter from the semi-arid area of Baringo County in Kenya. Her husband passed away some years back after a short illness. Kaptuya and her children live in a semi-permanent three room house on her late husband’s piece of land in an area well known for insecurity and cattle rustling.

During the rainy season, they plant maize and millet that sometimes yields enough for both her school-aged children, and for her to sell. Currently, the area is faced with drought and famine, so they depend on relief food from the government and from well-wishers due to the lack of rain experienced this year.

Six months ago, Kaptuya applied for a job as a housekeeper at a nearby health center. She was happy knowing that she would earn some money, and that the facility would pay for her medical coverage, but unfortunately that did not happen. The salary was also inconsistent and, thus, unreliable.

In 2013, when Kaptuya was expecting her last born, she developed a growth at her neck which gradually increased in size. Kaptuya began to experience troubling symptoms, including neck swelling, which is most visible on the right side. She currently experiences shortness of breath, especially at night, and she sleeps with difficulty. She also has a fast heart rate, and easily gets tired, which affects her daily duties. She was diagnosed with non-toxic goiter, or an irregular growth of the thyroid. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kaptuya receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 22nd. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money.

Kaptuya says, “I am the only hope for my dear children. I live because of them, and my well-being keeps them going. I would like to get well so that I may continue working in order to support them to pursue their dreams. Please assist me.”

Kaptuya is a widow and a happy mother of three sons and a daughter from the semi-arid area of Baringo County in Kenya. Her husband passed aw...

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Kaptuya's Timeline

  • November 21, 2022
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Kaptuya was submitted by Beatrice Njoroge, Curative Medical Support Program Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • November 22, 2022
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Kaptuya was scheduled to receive treatment at AIC Kapsowar 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.

  • November 27, 2022
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Kaptuya's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Kaptuya is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Kaptuya's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 16 donors

Funded by 16 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $936 for Kaptuya's treatment
Hospital Fees
$348
Medical Staff
$3
Medication
$79
Supplies
$298
Labs
$82
Other
$126
  • 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 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 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 helps 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 hospital is a mission hospital in a remote area and patients may come from far away to access treatment.

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.

Ashin Mala

Ashin Mala is a 30-year-old monk who lives in a monastery in Karen State, Burma. He became a monk a year ago. As a monk, Ashin usually doesn’t have the right to save money and keep cash. But sometimes, worshippers donate some money, and he keeps it to use just in case. The monastery usually provides him two meals a day donated by the Buddhist followers. In October, one day, he visited a house of a member of ethnic armed group in the village. A kid was playing with a pistol and accidentally shot the gun in the wall. Unfortunately, the bullet ricocheted and hit his left eye. The villagers sent Ashin Mala to Myawaddy General Hospital immediately. At the hospital, an X-ray was done and showed that a piece of the bullet had entered below his right eyeball. The doctors stitched the gunshot wound and gave some medications. There was no ophthalmologist at hospital. Ashin visited the hospital regularly and got wound dressing as well as medication to relieve pain. But the pain didn’t go away. He has lost sight in his left eye. Pain and itchiness, and sometimes a burning sensation, is present in the right eye and surrounding area. Hot tears are coming out from both eyes during blinking occasionally whenever he reads book for a long time. Due to the lack of ophthalmologist, he was provided only with medications and eyedrops. Now doctors want Ashin Mala 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 his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Ashin Mala's CT scan and care, scheduled for December 9th. Ashin Mala said, "I don’t want to blame anyone. It is my destiny. I am not sure my condition can be treated or not. But I am so happy to be treated here because I think I can have better health care here than in Burma. I don’t expect complete recovery, but it will be great if I can see with both eyes. In the future, I want to learn more about Dhamma and hope to attend Buddha University in the future."

31% funded

31%funded
$130raised
$284to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.