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Phannith is an aspiring computer programmer from Cambodia who needs $541 to fund surgery that will enable him to move his neck.

  • $309 raised, $232 to go
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July 9, 2020

Phannith is fourteen years old. He is a student in the ninth grade. He has one younger sister in fifth grade. His parents are factory workers and work long hours, so he takes care of his sister everyday. His favorite subject at school is math and he wants to be a computer programmer when he grows up.

Since he was born, Phannith has had torticollis. The muscles on the left side of his neck are involuntarily contracted, causing his head to tilt to that side, and he has difficulty moving his head or looking around. It can also cause recurrent neck pain and make it difficult to sleep.

Fortunately, surgeons at Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) can perform a tenotomy to release the tension in those muscles and allow Phannith to gain normal movement of his head once he has recovered and completed physiotherapy. Now, Phannith needs your help to fund this $541 surgery.

Phannith shared, “I hope that soon my neck will feel better and look better. I hope I can play sports with all my friends and not have to worry about neck pain.”

Phannith is fourteen years old. He is a student in the ninth grade. He has one younger sister in fifth grade. His parents are factory worker...

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Phannith's Timeline

  • July 9, 2020

    Phannith was submitted by Sieng Heng at Children's Surgical Centre, our medical partner in Cambodia.

  • July 09, 2020

    Phannith received treatment at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. 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.

  • July 10, 2020

    Phannith's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 21, 2020

    Awaiting Phannith's treatment update from Children's Surgical Centre.


    Phannith is currently raising funds for his treatment.

Funded by 13 donors

Funded by 13 donors

Nerve and Tendon Repair
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $541 for Phannith's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

A number of nerve and tendon procedures are performed at Children's Surgical Centre. These are typically performed because a nerve is no longer fully functional. Reasons for this limited functionality can include lacerations, blunt trauma, burns, and tumors. Sometimes, spinal nerves are compressed due to herniated discs, bone spurs, and tumors.

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

The patient cannot work or drive a motorbike, the most common form of transportation in Cambodia.

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

Traffic accidents, common in Cambodia, are the most typical cause of a brachial plexus injury (BPI), or damage to a network of nerves on the neck and shoulders. The inability to use a limb is debilitating for patients, whose livelihoods involve physical activity. They are often farmers, factory workers, or drivers.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

When a nerve no longer functions, the muscle that it innervates no longer functions. Surgeons either repair that nerve or use a nerve from somewhere else in the body to act as a graft. In some cases, a nerve can be redirected from a less important muscle and grafted into a more critical nerve. During a BPI surgery, surgeons divert a nerve from one destination and sew it into the non-functioning nerve. It can take three to six months before a patient fully recovers from this operation.

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

The patient will regain function in his or her arm. The patient can drive a motorbike and go back to work.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This surgery is highly effective. The nerve is already damaged, so there is no risk of causing more harm. The surgery can only improve function.

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

This surgery is not available to most Cambodians. Patients travel up to twelve hours to visit Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). They learn about CSC from the radio, a neighbor, or a family member.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternative treatments to regain limb functionality.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.