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

Martha
53%
  • $350 raised, $303 to go
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$303
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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 7 donors

Funded by 7 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.

Brian

Brian is a 4-year-old playful preschooler from Kenya. Brian’s mother is a single parent from a very humble background. When Brian was born with scrotal swelling, his parents separated because they believed it was a curse. When he was a baby, Brian was taken to the hospital with complaints of a congenital right scrotal swelling. A repair was done at a different hospital when he was 20 months old but did not cure his condition. His condition has gradually persisted prompting his teacher and grandmother to take him to Watsi Medical Partner's Care Center Kapsowar Hospital. Brian has discomfort while walking. He also has pain on micturition which has always affected his general well-being. He has been raised largely by his older grandmother who hadn't taken him for treatment and never spoke about Brian’s condition. It was not until his class teacher noticed a swelling when he informed well-wishers in the village and he was brought to the hospital to be seen. Brian was diagnosed with a right inguinal hernia after undergoing several lab tests and an ultrasound. Brian is a lovely boy who needs all our help so that he can be happy just like other children. Fortunately, on March 16th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $384 to fund Brian's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Brian’s grandmother says, “I am happy that his condition can be treated surgically. Brian needs to be like other children and play with friends without stigmatization.”

16% funded

16%funded
$65raised
$319to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.