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Success! Phonny from Cambodia raised $229 to fund vision-restoring cataract surgery.

  • $229 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Phonny's treatment was fully funded on December 1, 2020.

Photo of Phonny post-operation

July 10, 2020

Phonny underwent vision-restoring cataract surgery.

Phonny’s surgery was successful. He has been discharged with eye drop medication and a one-week followup appointment has been scheduled to check his visual acuity. He will no longer experience any photophobia or tearing, and with improved vision he will enjoy increased independence.

Phonny shared, “I am glad that my eye is better. When I can see better I will take better care of my family. I can work and make more money to support us.”

Phonny's surgery was successful. He has been discharged with eye drop medication and a one-week followup appointment has been scheduled to c...

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June 8, 2020

Phonny is a 51-year-old farmer from rural Cambodia. He grows several crops, including beans and cashews. He also raises pigs. He and his wife have two sons together and his whole family works alongside him in the farming. When he is not farming he likes to walk through his village and visit with his friends, bringing them gifts from his farm.

One year ago, Phonny developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him blurred vision, tearing, and photophobia. His vision has become worse in the past two months.. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside.

When Phonny learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, he traveled for many hours by taxi seeking treatment. On June 8th, 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 $229 procedure.

Phonny said, “Now I can’t work easily, because I can’t see what I am doing. It is hard to feed my animals, and recognize where I am going when I walk around. I hope my vision is better so that I can do these things again.”

His wife said, “I want him to be more independent again, and go to visit his friends by himself. I am worried that his vision will be bad forever now.”

Phonny is a 51-year-old farmer from rural Cambodia. He grows several crops, including beans and cashews. He also raises pigs. He and his wif...

Read more

Phonny's Timeline

  • June 8, 2020

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

  • June 08, 2020

    Phonny 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.

  • June 09, 2020

    Phonny's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 10, 2020

    Phonny's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • December 01, 2020

    Phonny's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 3 donors

Funded by 3 donors

Cataract - One Eye
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $229 for Phonny'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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Thein is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife in Yangon, while his daughter lives with his aunt. He and his wife are vendors at the main bus station. In his free time, Thein likes to go to the tea shop with his friend and talk about work. In the future, he would like to become a motorcycle broker, where he believes he could earn a more steady income. Unfortunately, Thein has been unable to work since March 2020. At the time, he often felt too tired or unwell to work. Upon seeking care, Thein was diagnosed with a heart condition involving a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Thein has difficulty breathing and feels tired when he does not receive oxygen or an intravenous drip. He cannot sleep well at night and has to take sleeping pills to help him get rest. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement procedure for Thein. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 13th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and improve his quality of life. Thein shared, “After I have recovered fully, I will go back to work. I will try to search for a job that pays better so that I can pay off my debt. After I have paid back my debt, I will save money for my family’s future. I want my daughter to complete her studies.”

75% funded

$360to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.