SOMC’s Pettit, Bennington remove 33-pound tumor during medical mission

Dr. George Pettit and Dr. Nathan Bennington returned from their medical mission trip to the Philippines with more than just photographs and memories. They returned with the gratitude of their patients overseas; patients who otherwise may not have received help at all.

Dr. Pettit and Dr. Bennington, both physicians at Southern Ohio Medical Center, were members of a team that brought much needed medical care to a part of the world where it is sorely lacking.

“We ended up using exam tables for operating tables because they didn’t have enough, and we put two in each operating room so we could do four cases at a time,” Dr. Pettit said. “While we were there, we completed 237 cases.”

On a previous mission trip, Dr. Pettit’s work included removing a ten-pound tumor. This time, he and Dr. Bennington removed one even larger.

“We removed a 33 pound tumor from a woman who weighed 110 pounds,” Dr. Pettit said. “She had this tumor for a long time.”

“Removing that tumor was pretty amazing,” Dr. Bennington said. “We had previously taken out an 11 pound tumor and we were pretty impressed with that, so a 33 pound tumor was incredible. We had more than 50 years combined experience in the operating room, and none of us had ever seen one that big.”

In addition to his work alongside Dr. Pettit, Dr. Bennington also volunteered with the non-profit organization Across Borders. There he saw firsthand the non-medical hardships Filipinos face on a daily basis. He was impressed by the fact that, although their lives can be very difficult, the people he met were very friendly and welcoming.

“Before I went, I talked to a lot of people who warned me that the Philippines is not a safe place,” Dr. Bennington said. “However, the people were very friendly and extremely grateful to have us there.”

Dr. Bennington was especially touched by the young people he encountered at a local children’s shelter.

“The kids were so precious and innocent, and so happy with the little that they had,” Dr. Bennington said. “Their shelter is self-sustained and they all worked together to grow the crops and raise the livestock.”

Having experienced the work Across Borders does firsthand, Dr. Bennington said it’s the type of organization he would like to support in the future.

“I’m happy to support Across Borders because I know the money donated goes to the right people,” Dr. Bennington said. “It’s an organization I’d be happy to contribute to or raise money for in the future.”