Lai is a 35-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. Lai has a son and daughter. Her children are students, and her husband is a construction worker. When Lai is not working or taking her kids to and from school, she likes to watch Khmer and Thai dramas on TV.
Seven years ago, Lai developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing tearing and severe irritation. 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 Lai learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours to seek treatment. Lai needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence of the pterygium. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for July 2nd.
Lai shared, “I hope that my eye surgery will remove this growth so I can continue with my work at the rice field again. I want to cook food for my children, take them to school, and be independent.”
Her husband shared, “I think my wife has become very sad and angry because of this problem, so I hope the doctors can help her feel well.”