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Phon is a grandfather from Cambodia who needs $211 to fund cataract surgery.

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November 17, 2019

Phon is a father of eight from Cambodia. He has seven grandchildren and enjoys listening to the news on the radio and watching television.

One year ago, Phon developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside.

When Phon learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 18th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $211 procedure.

Phon said, “I hope that I will be able to see clearly again and can return to my work on the rice farm.”

Phon is a father of eight from Cambodia. He has seven grandchildren and enjoys listening to the news on the radio and watching television. ...

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Phon's Timeline

  • November 17, 2019

    Phon was submitted by Lindsay Bownik, Stakeholder Relations Officer at Children's Surgical Centre, our medical partner in Cambodia.

  • November 18, 2019

    Phon 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.

  • November 21, 2019

    Phon's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 03, 2019

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


    Phon is currently raising funds for his treatment.

Funded by 1 donor

Funded by 1 donor

Cataract - One Eye
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $211 for Phon'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?

Patients with cataracts experience decreased vision, discomfort, and irritation. Cataracts occur when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, causing functional blindness. These changes in the lens commonly occur with increasing age and therefore affect elderly people. Cataracts can also be congenital or traumatic.

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

The decreased vision from cataracts can cause functional blindness. This makes it difficult for the patient to conduct daily activities. Patients often need a family member to help guide and care for them. If the patient is elderly, this often affects a young child in the family. When a grandmother needs help getting around, a young child is often assigned to help with her daily tasks. That child cannot go to school.

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

In many countries in the developing world, surgical services are inadequate. Cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness globally. Even where surgical services are available, barriers to surgery remain, including cost, shortage of human resources, poor infrastructure, and limited awareness about access to available services.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed worldwide. Surgeons remove the cloudy lens and place a clear lens implant in its place.

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

A patient's vision can improve to 20/20 within one day after the surgery.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Cataract surgery is highly effective and carries a low risk.

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

Cataract surgery is available in most areas of Cambodia. However, free surgery is not as widely available.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Some debilitating effects of cataracts can be improved with glasses. When the cataract becomes mature, however, the only definitive treatment is surgical.

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Thi is a 47-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in Myawaddy Township of Karen State in Burma. Only two of her children go to school. Her youngest boy is in third grade and her daughter is in fifth grade. Her oldest son works at her cousin’s vegetable shop in Bago. Thi has been unemployed for approximately five months due to her condition. Before her illness, she was a day laborer on a farm and her husband is a day laborer in construction. Around five months ago, Thi started feeling sick. She experienced weakness, trouble sleeping, heart palpitations (irregular heartbeat), and sweats. At first, she ignored these symptoms, hoping they would resolve themselves. However, the symptoms did not improve. About two months later, she went to a local doctor who gave her oral medication to use for a week, but she did not get better. She started feeling pain in her left abdomen, difficulty breathing, and trouble eating and sleeping. Doctors want Thi to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Thi's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 17th. “Now, I feel too weak to do manual labor. I was working on a farm before, but I don’t think I’ll be able to do it any longer. In the future, I think I will try to start a small business in my village. I think I can sell vegetables and clothes. If I can do this, life will be easier for me,” she said. In her free time, Thi likes to use a meditation necklace to focus her mind away from her pain. “When I move the beads through my fingers, it helps reduce my pain.”

1% funded

$409to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.