Choury is a shy, 18 year old girl living with her widowed mother in Kandal province in Cambodia. Her brothers are all married and live away from home, while her mother works as a rainy day rice farmer. In her free time, Choury enjoys playing tennis, swimming, cooking, listening to music, and meeting with her friends.
Since Choury was about three months old, she has had problems with her mouth. For the past ten years, she has had frequent infections, accompanied by fevers, near her left ear, and stiffness near her temporomandibular joint - which connects the jaw to the skull. Because her father has passed away, her mother has not been able to afford any medical care for Choury.
Choury is unable to open her mouth, which makes it difficult for her to eat and drink, and she always wears a mask due to her low self-esteem resulting from her face and frequent infections. Choury has been diagnosed with recurrent ankylosis and chronic osteitis. The ankylosis - and the constant inflammation in her jawbone - cause severely limited jaw function, as well as oral hygiene and nutritional problems.
Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. They plan to do surgery on December 6th at Kien Khleang Rehabilitation Centre. Her family needs help with the $469 cost of her surgery and hospitalization. After surgery, Choury hopes she will be able to open her mouth, to speak better, and to no longer feel ashamed of her appearance.
Choury said: "I hope the doctors can help me open my mouth better, and look like other people my age. I am embarrassed at work and feel poorly. I have not been able to eat real food. This would make me very happy."