Filipino girl, 3, suffering with large tumour in stomach as parents seek help


A three-year-old Filipino girl is suffering from a large tumour in her stomach that is heavier than her own weight as her parents seek help.

Footage shows the sick toddler lying on the bed struggling to move with her bulging abdomen in Maguindanao province, the Philippines, on April 26.

The girl Elaine Joyce Sohana, diagnosed with a benign tumour, was extremely malnourished as she only weighed 30lbs while the mass in her stomach constitutes more than half of her weight.

Before the lump had grown massively, the girl’s parents thought that her rounded abdomen was only due to malnourishment.

However, they noticed her stomach had expanded enormously with veins popping out visibly so they took her to the hospital in December where the growing lump was found.

Her mother Elena Usman Debang, 35, said the girl was admitted to a public hospital earlier this year but doctors could not perform surgery on her as she had extremely low immune system.

Elena said: ‘My daughter was taken to the hospital with the help of neighbours but the doctors told us to go home. They could not perform the surgery because she was too weak.

‘Now we are trying to help her strengthen her body for the surgery but we don’t have enough money to buy her nutritious food, vitamins, and milk.’

The girl’s father Joven Santerva Billera, 50, works as a contractual labourer in the city but his income of around five USD a day barely covers the expenses for Elaine and her four other siblings – so they have no money left over for medical costs.

Worried mother Elena said they could only seek for help from kind donors or wait until the girl turned five-years-old before she could have the surgery, which could be too late for her.

She said: ‘I really want my daughter to be strong but we could not do anything. The pandemic affected my husband’s job. We are asking for help from good Samaritans or we will be forced to wait until she is five.’