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Martha is a farmer from Kenya who needs $653 to fund a thyroidectomy.

Martha
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  • $601 raised, $52 to go
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$52
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February 29, 2020

Martha is a peasant farmer from central Kenya. She relies on small-scale farming to make ends meet for her five children and herself. Her husband also tends to the farm with her. The family’s income is divided to meet the family’s demands especially school fees for two of her children.

Since 10 years ago, Martha began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain and discomfort. She was diagnosed with a multi-nodular goiter. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Martha receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 10th at our medical partner’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $653, and she and her family need help raising money.

Martha says, “My prayer is to be treated to reduce the persistent pain on my right side of the neck.”

Martha is a peasant farmer from central Kenya. She relies on small-scale farming to make ends meet for her five children and herself. Her hu...

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Martha's Timeline

  • February 29, 2020
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • March 03, 2020
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Martha's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 11, 2020
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Martha received treatment at AIC Kijabe 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.

  • April 27, 2020
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Martha's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Martha is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 9 donors

Funded by 9 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $653 for Martha's treatment
Hospital Fees
$500
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$6
Supplies
$117
Labs
$30
  • 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. 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 help 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 accessibility of the treatment is fairly easy in this region. Due to the high numbers of patients flocking to the government facilities, most patients opt to seek care in missionary and private hospitals which are slightly more costly. In Kijabe, we have an average of 80 to 100 thyroidectomies in a year (three to four cases a week).

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.

Ree

Ree is a 44-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, and his daughter in Mae Ra Ma Laung Refugee Camp in Thailand. Ree and his family used to live in a village in Hpa-pun Township in Karen State, Burma. However, due to conflict between armed groups in his area, they fled to the refugee camp in 2006. Every month Ree’s family receives 1,244 baht (approx. 42 USD) from The Border Consortium (TBC), an organization that provides support to refugees in camps. He also works as a caregiver for the elderly in the camp, for the organization Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees. He earns 1,100 baht (approx. 37 USD) each month for this. All of his children go to school in the camp while his wife works as a cook at one of the schools. On March 14, 2020, Ree slipped and fell on his right forearm while he was carrying a heavy load. When he got up, he was not able to move his right hand and he thought he had broken his forearm. Ree did not seek help at the camp’s medical centre and instead wrapped traditional herbal medicine onto his right forearm. As time passed, Ree could still not use his right arm and the pain in his arm did not go away. Eventually, on May 10th, he went to the camp’s hospital, run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). At the hospital, he was diagnosed with a fractured right forearm that had not healed properly. He was referred to the local Mae Sariang Hospital and received an x-ray on May 12th. The result indicated that he had fractured one of the two bones in his forearm. The doctor at the hospital then referred Ree to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further management and treatment. The following day, MI staff brought Ree to CMH. Once he met with the doctor, the doctor told him that he will need to receive surgery for his arm to heal properly. Currently, Ree is still in pain and his right arm is sore and not in use. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ree will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 21st and will cost $1,500. His arm will no longer be in pain and he hopes he will be able to go back to his old job helping the elderly in the refugee camp. While smiling he said, “I have been struggling to do tasks for the past month without using my right hand which is hard as I am right handed. I cannot wait to use my right arm again!”

82% funded

82%funded
$1,240raised
$260to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.