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Success! Martha from Kenya raised $653 to fund a thyroidectomy.

Martha
100%
  • $653 raised, $0 to go
$653
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Martha's treatment was fully funded on October 18, 2020.

Photo of Martha post-operation

April 27, 2020

Martha underwent a thyroidectomy.

Martha had a successful goiter resection at Watsi’s Partner Kijabe Hospital. She is able to breathe with ease and free from persistent pain. With total recovery, Martha will lead a normal lifestyle again. She is grateful for the kind support offered to her. Martha will have follow-up clinic appointments to assess her recovery progress.

Martha shared, “Thank you for supporting and sponsoring my surgery. God bless you.”

Martha had a successful goiter resection at Watsi's Partner Kijabe Hospital. She is able to breathe with ease and free from persistent pain....

Read more
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...

Read more

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
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Martha's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • October 18, 2020
    FULLY FUNDED

    Martha's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 11 donors

Funded by 11 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.

Joseph

Joseph is a 19-year-old joyful boy who hails from the Mount Elgon area in Kenya. He shared that he is known around the village as the guy with the large mass due to his protruding hernia on his abdomen. In February 2019, Joseph was involved in a road traffic accident when he was headed home from his daily labor. He sustained injuries in his stomach where he was rushed to a hospital and an exploratory laparotomy was done. A few days later, Joseph was discharged from hospital and as his wounds were healing he started developing a mass on his stomach. Joseph feared to go to the hospital again because he didn’t want to be in pain. As the mass grew bigger, Joseph started worrying about his life. He went to his church pastor where the church raised money to send him to the capital city to get it removed but they were told he needed a specialist who demanded a lot of money which they could not afford. Joseph had given up on the possibility of getting treated. It was not until a friend asked his pastor to bring him to our hospital, where he was diagnosed with an incisional hernia that he was happy to be told that his condition can be treated. Joseph's father died of illness while he was young. He dropped out of school in Grade 4 because his mother re-married and she didn't have money to send him to school, so he began to work in farms to help get money for his daily needs like food. Joseph works in the farms and gardens and enjoys planting and farming. He wants to be able to have a big farm and grow lots of vegetables, corn, and millet. Joseph has gone to other doctors to help with his mass but everyone said it wasn’t operable. He is most disturbed by the way people who stare at him. Joseph is a very practical man and looks forward to going back to his farm and working hard to have a good crop and harvest and have a good life. Joseph is worried that he might not get a wife due to his condition. He is also facing stigma by people talking about his condition and has been denied work. If he is not treated, his condition will continue to worsen and his future plans feel bleak to him if he does not get treatment. Joseph told us, “I just want to be able to find a girl to marry and have a family.”

39% funded

39%funded
$185raised
$286to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.