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Success! Panha from Cambodia raised $1,500 to fund a spinal surgery.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Panha's treatment was fully funded on June 10, 2021.

Photo of Panha post-operation

July 1, 2021

Panha underwent life-changing spinal surgery.

Panha is a young man who remains brave through surgery and through his recovery process. He understands that his recovery from sclerosis will be long, but it will be worth it. This surgery ensured that his condition will not worsen as he grows. Panha has started physiotherapy and will return regularly to the doctors at CSC to ensure his continued progress. Panha is hopeful for improvements over the next few years, and is optimistic about being able to fulfill his dream of becoming a policeman one day.

His mother tells us about Panha’s improvements, “Panha will be able to return to school soon, and although his care is not completed, he can enjoy being with his friends and soon play sports. He can breathe better, and stand tall as he grows older.”

Panha is a young man who remains brave through surgery and through his recovery process. He understands that his recovery from sclerosis wil...

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May 25, 2021

Panha is a 14-year-old student who needs spinal surgery. His parents are both farmers, and he has one younger sister. He loves to read stories at school, and wants to be a policeman when he gets older.

Panha was born with scoliosis. This condition has made it difficult for him to walk or sit up for a long time, and he often feels discomfort before going to sleep. It is difficult for him to join his friends in sports such as volleyball or soccer. He also occasionally has difficulty breathing due to pain.

Panha and his parents have come to Children’s Surgical Centre, where doctors will be able to perform a spinal surgery to put in place implants that will correct the curve of his spine. He will undergo this procedure on May 25th. Once he has recovered, Panha will no longer experience pain or discomfort, and will be able to walk easily.

Panha shared, “I want to play sports with my friends and I will practice running and getting stronger after I am healthy from my surgery.”

Panha is a 14-year-old student who needs spinal surgery. His parents are both farmers, and he has one younger sister. He loves to read stori...

Read more

Panha's Timeline

  • May 25, 2021

    Panha was submitted by Sieng Heng at Children's Surgical Centre.

  • May 25, 2021

    Panha received treatment at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre in Cambodia. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • May 29, 2021

    Panha's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • June 10, 2021

    Panha's treatment was fully funded.

  • July 1, 2021

    Panha's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 33 donors

Spinal Surgery
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,589 for Panha's treatment
Subsidies fund $89 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 experiencing severe back pain may also experience fever and chills, unexplained weight loss, sudden bowel and/or bladder incontinence, and severe, continuous abdominal pain. Back pain may be caused by vertebrae, the small bones of the spine. The back conditions for which surgery is recommended include degenerative disk disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, fracture, infection, and tumor.

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

Patients with severe back pain experience difficulty walking, sleeping, sitting, riding a motorcycle, working, going to school, and carrying out everyday tasks. If the pain affects a patient's ability to work or go to school, the patient will be unable to earn money to support his or her family or continue his or her education. Patients may experience discomfort and difficulty breathing.

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

Cambodian culture emphasizes the importance of working hard and earning money to support the family. When a patient is unable to work, he or she may feel helpless or may experience financial difficulty.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

There are several types of spinal surgeries performed to treat back pain: Spinal fusion: This is the most common surgery for back pain and is used to keep the spine stable after injury, infection, or a tumor. The surgeon joins the spinal bones (vertebrae) together. In a spinal fusion for scoliosis, the surgeon attaches rods, hooks, wires, or screws to the curved part of the backbone to straighten and stabilize the spine. Laminectomy: In this procedure, the surgeon removes parts of the bone, bone spurs, or ligaments in the back. This relieves pressure on spinal nerves and can ease pain or weakness. Foraminotomy: The surgeon cuts bone at the sides of the vertebrae to widen the space through which nerves exit the spine, relieving pressure on the nerves and easing pain. Diskectomy: A disk, the cushion that separates the vertebrae, can slip out of place, pressing on a spinal nerve and causing back pain. In a diskectomy, the surgeon removes all or part of the disk to relieve pain. Disk replacement: A surgeon removes the damaged spinal disk and inserts an artificial one between the vertebrae. Interlaminar implant: The surgeon implants a U-shaped device between two vertebrae in the lower back. This device helps keep the space between them open and eases pressure on the spinal nerves. Bone grafting will also be performed to support the spine and stimulate bone healing.

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

The patient will be able to work or go to school without pain.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

As with any operation, there are potential risks associated with spinal surgery. These include: Infection: Antibiotics are regularly given to the patient before, during, and after surgery to lessen the risk of infection. Bleeding: A certain amount of bleeding is expected, but this is not typically significant. Pain at bone graft site: A small percentage of patients will experience persistent pain at the bone graft site. Recurring symptoms: Some patients may experience a recurrence of their original symptoms. Nerve damage: It is possible that the nerves or blood vessels may be injured during these operations. These complications are very rare. Blood clots: Another uncommon complication is the formation of blood clots in the legs.

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

Spinal surgery is not widely offered in Cambodia, especially for low-income patients who cannot afford treatment. Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) provides this procedure free of charge. Patients travel to CSC by bus, taxi, or motorbike from all over Cambodia.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Patients that do not seek a surgical procedure may try exercises and medication. However, these forms of treatment may not be effective.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Francis is 27-year-old man who is married and they have one child. He drives whenever he can get work and his wife runs a small kiosk (a temporary roadside shop) that helps to sustain their young family. Francis shared that he's feeling horrible because he had just married when an accident occurred, and now he has to depend on his wife. Francis remembers 15th May 2018 as if it was yesterday. It is a day he says he saw death but says he thanks God he is still alive. Francis worked as a driver who was employed when he could get work. He drives sand lorries, all the drivers wait in one field where lorries are packed and wait for their opportunity to work. Then when the opportunity comes, the driver goes to get sand about 30 kilometres away from his home area. It is in one of these trips that Francis was driving a lorry full of sand and had a head-on collision with a trailer. He was taken to a hospital and a fracture repair procedure was done. But last November Francis started having pain and an inability to walk with this leg. He went to a nearby hospital where an x-ray was done and showed dislodged plates. He was told to give it time to heal but seeing no difference decided to come to Nazareth Hospital where the surgeon advises he undergo a fracture repair to finally heal his condition. On July 26th, Francis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Francis will no longer be in pain, he will be able to work and provide for his young family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “It is very frustrating to marry and be unable to support your family. This accident changed what plans I had for my new family. Now I cannot meet the cost but I plead for help so that I can be able to use my leg and resume my job,” said Francis.

91% funded

$93to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.