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Success! Thoeun from Cambodia raised $216 to fund pterygium eye surgery.

  • $216 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Thoeun's treatment was fully funded on August 23, 2021.

Photo of Thoeun post-operation

July 1, 2021

Thoeun underwent pterygium eye surgery.

Thoeun’s vision has dramatically improved since his surgery. The symptoms have disappeared and he has returned to work on the farm to support his family. Thoeun looks forward to spending time with his grandchildren and watching Khmer boxing on TV again.

Thoeun shares, “I didn’t realize how bad my eyesight was until I could see again. I hope that the strangers who helped me to have my surgery will continue to help Cambodians.”

Thoeun's vision has dramatically improved since his surgery. The symptoms have disappeared and he has returned to work on the farm to suppor...

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May 21, 2021

Thoeun is a 63-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He has one daughter, three sons, and eight grandchildren. Sadly, Thoeun’s wife passed away years ago from diabetes, and now he lives with his son who is also a farmer. In his free time, Thoeun enjoys watching Khmer boxing on TV, planting vegetables, and spending time with his relatives.

Five years ago, Thoeun developed a pterygium in his left eye, causing him blurry vision, tearing, and burning. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucus 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. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside.

When Thoeun learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours with his son seeking treatment. Thoeun needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of his procedure is $216 and this covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for May 21st.

Thoeun shared, “I hope after surgery my eye can see well and feel comfortable. I want to go to the rice field and plant more vegetables.”

Thoeun is a 63-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He has one daughter, three sons, and eight grandchildren. Sadly, Thoeun's wife passed away yea...

Read more

Thoeun's Timeline

  • May 21, 2021

    Thoeun was submitted by Sieng Heng at Children's Surgical Centre.

  • May 21, 2021

    Thoeun received treatment at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre in Cambodia. 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.

  • May 24, 2021

    Thoeun's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 1, 2021

    Thoeun's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • August 23, 2021

    Thoeun's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 4 donors

Funded by 4 donors

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $216 for Thoeun'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 pterygium, a non-cancerous growth of conjunctiva covering the cornea, causes tearing, redness, blurred vision, burning, itchiness, and discomfort.

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

When the growth affects the central visual axis, vision will be decreased. The abnormal growth also causes pain and discomfort. Patients usually complain of irritation, light sensitivity, foreign body sensation, and decreased vision.

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

Pterygium occurrence is much higher among people who live near the equator because of greater exposure to the sun. It is nicknamed "surfer's eye."

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Surgeons scrape the dysplastic conjunctiva from the cornea surface, removing the affected conjunctiva. They place an autologous conjunctival graft to cover the defect and prevent recurrence.

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

Surgery cures the symptoms caused by pterygium. Patients experience improved vision and reduced pain and discomfort.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Surgical excision of a pterygium is curative. The procedure is very low risk.

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

Most patients live with the eye irritation and decreased vision until it starts to affect their daily life. Then, they seek care.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Irritation can be temporarily treated with lubricating drops.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Ray is a 2-year-old boy who lives with his four brothers and parents in a refugee camp. His siblings go to school and his mother weaves traditional Karen skirts for sale at their home. Unfortunately, his father has been unable to leave the refugee camp to search for work since August 2021, due to local COVID-19 restrictions. When Ray was eight months old, his mother noticed a worrying swelling. She brought him to the hospital in the refugee camp, where a medic examined Ray and advised his mother to come back if it increased in size. In July 2021, his parents brought him back to the hospital for a medical examination and he was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. With the help of the organization Malteser International (MI) staff, Ray and his mother were brought to the hospital, where a doctor examined Ray and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. Ray has little appetite and cries frequently, and the pain he feels often causes him to wake up during sleep. After completing a physical examination, the doctor scheduled him to be admitted to the hospital on January 12th so he can receive hernia repair surgery the following day. As Ray’s family cannot afford to pay for surgery, MI staff referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance accessing treatment. This procedure will cost $1,486, and Ray and his family need help raising money. Ray's mother shared, “I will send Ray to school when he is older and I want him to become a doctor because I want my son to help the community and other families."

49% funded

$744to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.