"She then goes on to say she has been hypothyroid since she was in grammar school....
Sounds to me as though she had plenty of time to seek professional help, and if was done, then it would evidence a failure of "modern medicine", doctors, etc. to be able to effect a remedy. Conclusion #1: Doctors failed. Either that or she didn't try very hard to seek out the correct professional.
"The doctors are not sure..." Well now, if the doctors aren't sure, then the right thing to do would not be a surgery right off the bat now would it ? The right thing to do, would be to become "sure", of something, and not just being unsure and go around damaging organs.
Conclusion #2: Doctors failed.
Barbarism defined: "We're not sure what's wrong with you, but we're gonna destroy yer thyroid and put ya on meds the rest of yer life".