Ruth has just been diagnosed with aggressive invasive breast carcinoma and is desperately seeking funds to see a private surgeon. She needs a mastectomy as soon as possible to save her life.
The public health in Zimbabwe is in a shambles, even basic medicines are not available, extreme shortage of doctors and nurses has led to filthy hospitals and clinics which can't cope with even simple cases. Patients are literally dying in the hallways.
Private doctors and hospitals are available but require cash upfront so Ruth is in a race against time.
Funds will be transferred via ecocash Western Union directly to Ruth in Zimbabwe.
Here is her story:
My name is Ruth Paice (neé Baldwin). I was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), raised for on our beautiful family farms in the midlands of Zimbabwe.
My husband was injured during the Rhodesian bush and is permanently disabled, unable to work which has been proven to be extremely difficult under the present political turmoil in Zimbabwe. Unemployment sits at 95% and the country has experienced an economic collapse unheard of in the modern world, with the devaluation of our currency sitting at 2,3 million percent by conservative sources although it has more realistically been estimated to be in the billions.
In 2008 during Zimbabwe's infamous chaotic landgrab, which was brutal and violent, instrumented by the ZANU-PF government, my heart was broken when our farms were looted and seized with no compensation. My family fled Zimbabwe, desperate to get away from repeated death threats and violence. I was left alone to care for my ailing mother, so my husband and I could not leave the country to begin life elsewhere.
During the last year I noticed changes in my left breast, lumps had developed and I was experiencing discomfort with pain. I had to cancel an earlier scheduled biopsy on this breast due to lack of funds. My husband was unemployed as I said and we were still recovering from the expense of my late mother's hospital and subsequent funeral expenses. The problem seemed small to me in comparison to the other issues we faced and I chose to overlook it.
But a scan last month revealed multiple suspicious mass lesions in the breast tissue. A subsequent biopsy of two tumours came back positive for malignancy. The biopsy report reads 'BREAST: INVASIVE CARCINOMA WITH LOBULAR GROWTH GRADE 2'
This last week, I had an abdominal scan ($180), chest x-ray ($50) and a skeletal survey done ($220). These tests were crucial to determine whether the cancer had spread to surrounding tissue, organs and/or bone. But I'm pleased to report those scans have all came back clear. I'm very happy about that news as you may imagine.
With the present diagnosis of invasive carcinoma it has been suggested a mastectomy and possible chemo, which I cannot afford, are the only hope I stand against this dreadful disease.
COLLAPSE OF HEALTHCARE IN ZIMBABWE
In Zimbabwe we once enjoyed rising life expectancies and benefited from improvements in healthcare and wealth creation but most of the progress made over the past century has now been lost. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe has regressed to a level not witnessed since the 1800s. The public health system has been all but destroyed, there are no drugs or medical supplies other than those donated by the private sector, the hospitals are desperately understaffed and filthy with an estimated 1 doctor per 10,000 patients. There are very few specialists left in the country and the private healthcare is out of reach for most of the population including myself. Private doctors demand cash upfront.
I'm sure you can understand my reluctance to seek government healthcare, and even that is not free. There does not seem to be any option other than to seek private healthcare due to the complete collapse of the public health system.
MY TREATMENT OPTIONS
The estimated cost of a mastectomy in a private hospital is about $7000, so in an attempt to save my life I'm desperately seeking funds from kindhearted and caring people. Unfortunately time is not on my side.
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