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Josephine is a 70-year-old farmer from Kenya who needs $1,260 to fund gynecological surgery to help treat her cancer.

Josephine
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  • $695 raised, $564 to go
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August 22, 2022

Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition.

Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine’s surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF’s care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding.

Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”

Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-sca...

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Josephine's Timeline

  • August 22, 2022
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Josephine was submitted by SAFE Program Admin, SAFE Program Admin at African Mission Healthcare.

  • August 24, 2022
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Josephine's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 26, 2022
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Josephine was scheduled to receive treatment at AIC Kijabe 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.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Josephine is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Josephine's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Treatment
Total Abdominal Hysterectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,260 for Josephine's treatment
Hospital Fees
$856
Medical Staff
$39
Medication
$44
Supplies
$209
Labs
$52
Other
$60
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Symptoms vary depending on the condition that requires the total abdominal hysterectomy. If the cause is cervical, uterine, or ovarian cancer, there may not be symptoms, especially if the cancer is early-stage. In more advanced cases of cervical and uterine cancers, abnormal bleeding, unusual discharge, and pelvic or abdominal pain can occur. Symptoms of ovarian cancer may include trouble eating, trouble feeling full, bloating, and urinary abnormality. If the cause is fibroids, symptoms may include heavy bleeding, pain in the pelvis or lower back, and swelling or enlargement of the abdomen.

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

Fibroids can grow large, cause abdominal pain and swelling, and lead to recurring bleeding and anemia. Cancer can cause pain and lead to death.

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

Most cervical cancer is caused by a sexually transmitted infection called human papillomavirus (HPV), which can often occur alongside a HIV infection. As a result, cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among African women in areas of high HIV prevalence. Cervical cancer is also more prevalent in Africa than in the United States due to the lack of early-detection screening programs. The other conditions treated by a total abdominal hysterectomy are not necessarily more common in Africa.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The patient first reports for laboratory testing. The following day, the patient undergoes surgery. After the operation, the patient stays in the hospital ward for three to four days, during which she is continually monitored. The surgery is considered successful if the wound heals without infection, bleeding, or fever, and if the patient no longer experiences urinary dysfunction.

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

In the case of uterine fibroids or early-stage cancer, a total abdominal hysterectomy is curative.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

If performed early enough, this surgery is low-risk and curative, with few side effects.

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

This surgery is available, but many patients cannot afford it. Many women are screened for cervical cancer with a low-cost alternative to a pap smear. This is common in HIV treatment programs. If necessary, the woman is referred for surgery, which she often cannot afford.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

If cervical cancer is caught early enough, some minor procedures can solve the problem. Women with fibroids who still wish to have children may opt to undergo a surgery only to remove the fibroids, which is called a myomectomy.

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.