Varn is a 60-year-old farmer with one son, five daughters, and many grandchildren. Varn lives with her husband who is also a rice farmer. She enjoys staying home to look after her grandchildren, watching Khmer movies on TV, and listening to the monks pray on the radio.
Five years ago, Varn developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her tearing, irritation, burning, and discomfort with her appearance. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside.
When Varn learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours with her daughter seeking treatment. Varn needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for March 15th.
Varn said, “I hope after surgery my eye feels better so I can return to planting rice. I’m also looking forward to being able to help take care of my grandchildren.”