Saing is a 74-year-old rice farmer. She is a widow and has one daughter, two sons, and six grandchildren. Her husband passed away during the Khmer Rouge regime, so she lives with her oldest daughter, who works in a garment factory. Saing used to be a rice farmer but shared that she can no longer work in the fields due to her declining vision. At home, Saing likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio and go to the pagoda.
Four years ago, Saing developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. 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. As a result of this condition, Saing has difficulty seeing things clearly and a hard time with day-to-day tasks. She used to cook for her daughter's family but finds it too difficult now.
When Saing learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three and half hours seeking treatment. On April 22nd, she will undergo surgery to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent a recurrence. CSC is requesting $225 to cover the total cost of her procedure, which includes medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days.
Saing shared, "I hope my eyes stop burning after surgery, and I can go outside and be more independent."