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Kupha is a single mother from Kenya who needs $1,500 to fund her maxillary excision surgery.

Kupha
73%
  • $1,103 raised, $397 to go
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October 13, 2020

Kupha is a 45-year-old woman from Kenya and has six children.

In 2014, Kupha started experiencing some pain in her upper jaw. After some time, her jaw started to swell and the pain worsened. Both cold and hot food triggered pain that would last day and night. She went to a nearby facility in Kwale County to seek care, and was given some pain medication that worked for a while. She later returned for a surgery to remove the swollen tissue. Though she recovered well, the following year, Kupha started experiencing pain and swelling again. Upon returning to the same facility for a checkup, the doctor told her that no further treatment could be done.

A few years later, Kupha heard about Kijabe Hospital and came for an examination in January 2020. The doctors diagnosed her with a benign maxillary mass and scheduled her for an excision surgery. During the surgery, they will put in a plate and screws to hold together her maxillar.

However, Kupha and her family are not able to raise funds needed for the surgery. After the death of her husband a few years ago, Kupha has been struggling to provide for her six children. Her firstborn son is the main breadwinner of the family and also attends college, partially sponsored by the county government of Kwale. He does some casual jobs when he is not in class to feed the family, and also facilitates his mother’s hospital visits. Kupha was able to raise some money for her treatment, but she does not have enough financial support and appeals for help.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kupha’s surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th and will be a ten hour long surgery. Hopefully, this treatment will alleviate her of further severe pain and swelling.

Kupha shared, “With the pain that I have endured over the years, it has made it difficult for me to look for work and provide for my family. I will be happy when I receive the required treatment for my condition.”

Kupha is a 45-year-old woman from Kenya and has six children. In 2014, Kupha started experiencing some pain in her upper jaw. After some ...

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Kupha's Timeline

  • October 13, 2020
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Kupha was submitted by Robert Kariuki, Process Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Kenya.

  • October 14, 2020
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Kupha's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 15, 2020
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Kupha was scheduled to receive 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.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Kupha is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Kupha's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Treatment
Mass Excision; Open Reduction Internal Fixation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $2,016 for Kupha's treatment
Subsidies fund $516 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
$1,545
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$65
Supplies
$225
Labs
$72
Other
$109
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

The common symptoms of an ORIF include: extreme pain; inability and/or difficulty in using legs. Mass symptoms vary depending on the type of tumor. Not all tumors - cancerous or benign - show symptoms. A common benign tumor, such as a lipoma (fatty tumor), may cause local pressure and pain, or may be disfiguring and socially stigmatizing. This is mass excision followed by an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. It is indicative for conditions such as ameloblastoma- a rare, benign tumor of odontogenic epithelium commonly appearing in the lower jaw. An ORIF corrects a severe, poorly aligned fracture where the ends of affected bones are far apart. Such a fracture may occur anywhere in the body (leg, hip, arm, jaw, etc.), usually as a result of trauma. Broadly, masses come in two types: benign (not cancer) and malignant (cancer). The types of tumors are many and could range from osteosarcoma of the jaw (a bone tumor) to thyroid enlargement to breast lump to fibroma (benign fat tumor), among others.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Without an ORIF, a non-union leads to chronic disability, pain, and inability to work. If the tumor is cancerous, it is usually aggressive and invasive. If not treated (like certain skin cancers, for example) there could be great tissue destruction, pain, deformity, and ultimately death.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Because there are so many different kinds of masses, it is difficult to pinpoint certain cultural and/or regional causes.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

The patient will generally stay in the hospital for 2-3 weeks after surgery, and return for a checkup in 6 weeks.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

Curative. An ORIF fixes the broken bone restoring it to complete function and thus, enables the patient to be able to work. In the case of cancer, the procedure can be life-saving. In the case of benign tumors, patients can be free of pain or social stigma.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

In an ORIF, there is medium surgical risk. Overall, the risk of surgery is less than the risks of the alternative (traction), or doing nothing. In addition to the scenarios above, fractures may occur in older people with osteoporosis or because of cancer or infections like TB. In mass excision, if the tumor is cancerous, the surgeon will only try to remove it if the procedure would be curative. If the cancer has already spread, then surgery cannot help. Most of these surgeries are not very risky.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

There are few quality orthopedic centres in developing countries. Any American would go to their local hospital and get an ORIF. There are few qualified facilities and surgeons to perform this procedure in Africa.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Traction is an alternative for some—but not all—cases. And traction requires a patient to be in the hospital, immobile, for months—leading not only to lost wages but risk of bedsores, blood clots, and hospital-acquired infections. It depends on the type of tumor. If the tumor is cancerous, chemotherapy may help, but that treatment is even less available than surgery. If the tumor is benign, it depends on the condition - but just watching the mass over time would be one option.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.