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Benita is a housewife from the Philippines who needs $1,500 to fund thyroid surgery.

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February 5, 2017

Benita is a 55-year-old mother of four who stays home and cares for her grandchildren while her children are at work. She prepares meals for the whole family and does chores. She lives in the Philippines.

After the birth of her fourth child, Benita experienced difficulty swallowing and a heavy feeling in her chest. She avoided seeking care because she knew the cost would be a burden on her family.

Over time, her condition has gotten worse, and she now has a lump on her neck that is tender and painful. She has had this condition for six years.

After a series of lab tests, Benita was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter, a thyroid condition in which the gland is swollen and produces excess hormones. She needs surgery to remove her thyroid gland and prevent her symptoms from getting worse.

The cost of Benita’s surgery, scheduled for February 8, is $1,500. Her husband works as a farm laborer and cannot afford this procedure, so they are seeking help from Watsi.

“I really don’t deserve this kind of blessing, but I am very grateful that I was given a privilege to be treated,” Benita says. “Though we are not that rich, the simple joy and happiness given by my family, especially my grandchildren, are more than enough for a lifetime. This gift was just a bonus in my life, and I am thankful that you are giving me a chance to enjoy life more.”

Benita is a 55-year-old mother of four who stays home and cares for her grandchildren while her children are at work. She prepares meals for...

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Benita's Timeline

  • February 5, 2017

    Benita was submitted by Krishiel Ferenal, National Health Officer at International Care Ministries, our medical partner in Philippines.

  • February 07, 2017

    Benita's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 08, 2017

    Benita received treatment at Silliman University Medical Center.

  • March 14, 2017

    Awaiting Benita's treatment update from International Care Ministries.


    Benita is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 32 donors

Funded by 32 donors

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,958 for Benita's treatment
Subsidies fund $458 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Patients have enlarged thyroid glands and/or elevated thyroid hormone levels. Some have difficulty swallowing and/or breathing. They may be diagnosed with a number of conditions, including hyperthyroidism, Grave's disease, a multinodular goiter, thyroid carcinoma, thyroiditis, and others.

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

At first, the patient will notice a lump or swelling at the front of his or her neck. As the lump grows, it can cause discomfort and psychological distress. Very large goiters may compress adjacent structures in the neck, such as the esophagus (causing difficulty swallowing) and the airways (causing difficulty breathing).

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

This treatment is necessary and has no historical, cultural, or regional significance.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Typically, a major portion of the thyroid gland is removed. The surgery is done under general anesthesia and can take several hours. Once the medications have taken effect, the anesthetist will insert a tube into the patient's throat to manage his or her airway and breathing. An incision is made at the base of the neck, and all or part of the thyroid gland is removed. The incision is then sutured closed, the wound is dressed, and the patient is taken to the recovery area until stable.

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

After the removal of the gland, the patient's symptoms will disappear. The patient will have a thin scar at the base of the neck. If the whole thyroid gland was removed, the patient will need to stay on replacement hormones for the rest of his or her life.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Occasionally, the nerve that innervates the vocal cords can be damaged, causing a permanently hoarse or weak voice. If the tiny parathyroid glands are accidentally removed, the patient may need calcium supplements and monitoring for the rest of his or her life.

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

This surgery is available in most public hospitals throughout the Philippines. Some patients travel to our medical partner from remote communities. They are members of our medical partner's sponsored communities.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Small goiters or thyroid lumps that are not malignant can be left untreated, unless they cause psychological distress to the patient.