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Success! Sal from Cambodia raised $696 to fund shoulder surgery so he can use his left arm.

  • $696 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Sal's treatment was fully funded on February 23, 2021.

Photo of Sal post-operation

February 26, 2021

Sal underwent shoulder surgery so he can use his left arm.

Sal underwent a complex nerve transfer surgery by surgeons at Children’s Surgical Centre. His arm was supported in a sling for 3 weeks post-operation, after which he’s started physiotherapy to regain motion and strength. Although nerve regeneration can take 6-8 months, he is hopeful that he will have a complete and successful recovery. As a chef, it is important for Sal to be able to use his arm freely.

Sal shared, “I am slowly gaining use of my hand, and soon my arm will be strong with good mobility. I am hopeful that I will be able to return to work and cook delicious food again to support my family.”

Sal underwent a complex nerve transfer surgery by surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre. His arm was supported in a sling for 3 weeks post-...

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November 24, 2020

Sal is a 41-year-old chef from Cambodia. Sal has been married for 11 years and has one son and two daughters. His wife sells coffee from their home. In his free time Sal enjoys searching for new recipe ideas, playing sports like football and volleyball, listening to the radio, and watching comedy programs on TV. On the weekends he enjoys spending time with his family outdoors.

A year ago, Sal was in a motor vehicle accident that injured his left shoulder and arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He can not move his left shoulder, arm, or hand.

Sal traveled to our medical partner’s care center to receive treatment. On November 24th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Sal will finally regain use of his arm. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure.

Sal said, “As a chef, I need my arms to work to cook well in the kitchen. I hope after surgery I can use my left arm again and be free of pain.”

Sal is a 41-year-old chef from Cambodia. Sal has been married for 11 years and has one son and two daughters. His wife sells coffee from the...

Read more

Sal's Timeline

  • November 24, 2020

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

  • November 24, 2020

    Sal 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.

  • November 25, 2020

    Sal's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 23, 2021

    Sal's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 26, 2021

    Sal's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 21 donors

Funded by 21 donors

Brachial Plexus Injury Surgery
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $696 for Sal'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?

Symptoms of brachial plexus injury (BPI) vary on the severity and location of the injury, but include muscle weakness, loss of sensation, pain, and paralysis. BPI can cause neuropathic pain with damage to the spinal cord and can be long-lasting, with effects such as burning numbness.

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

The impact of a brachial plexus injury can range in severity; some patients may experience weakness or great pain, others may be paralyzed in their shoulder and upper arm. This can make day-to-day tasks difficult and impair quality of life.

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

Motorcycle collisions are the most common cause of brachial plexus injury, and are, unfortunately, an exceedingly common occurrence in Cambodia.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Treatment for brachial plexus injury can involve nerve repair, nerve grafting, nerve transfer, or tendon and muscle transfers depending on the location and type of injury, and the amount of time since the injury occurred. A nerve repair involves reattaching a severed nerve; nerve graft is a procedure that takes a healthy nerve from another part of the body and transplants it to the injured nerve to guide regrowth; a nerve transfer is a procedure that cuts a donor nerve and connects it to the injured nerve when there is no functioning nerve stump to attach a graft. Nerve regeneration occurs approximately at a rate of 1 mm/day, and so recovery from a brachial plexus injury can take months for small improvements. Physical therapy during this time is important to prevent stiffness, contractures, or atrophy and increase the chances of regaining good movement in the affected limb.

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

While BPI surgery may not restore full movement to a patient, it can greatly increase the patient’s ability to use the affected limb and reduce the pain of the injury.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

BPI surgery is complicated and risks include infection as well as failure to restore movement, which would require further surgery.

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

Surgery to treat brachial plexus injury can be very complex and not widely performed. Surgical treatment in Cambodia can be expensive and hard to access. Patients will travel for hours by car, motocycle, and bus to receive free surgery at CSC.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Brachial plexus injury can have a range of severity; some patients may be able to be treated by splinting or physical therapy, but serious cases require surgical intervention. These types of injuries do not have alternatives to improving movement and functionality.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Isaack is an energetic 21-year-old from Kiambu County in Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of seven. His mother works as a housewife and his father works as a small businessman and lives in western Kenya. Isaack works on construction sites and enjoys playing football during his free time. Last Sunday, Isaack was playing football with his friends when he bumped into a fellow player and fell. Instantly they knew his injury was serious because his tibial shaft assumed a C-like shape and begun to swell. Isaack was brought to Nazareth Hospital. The fracture was stabilized with a splint. Isaack was instructed to go home and await for potential surgery while the swelling went down. Upon review by the surgeon, an implant is recommended to ensure he heals. When Isaack was informed of the money required for surgery he asked the surgeon if there was any other treatment option because he had no way to raise the funds necessary and his family was not in a position to contribute to his bill. The surgeon explained that the nature of the fracture requires surgery for proper healing and referred him to the Watsi-AMH program. If not treated the fracture on Isaack’s left leg may heal with a deformity leading to reduced functionality of his left lower limb, thus affecting his mobility, which is an important for allowing him to work and earn money to support himself and his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner AMH can help. On September 2nd, Isaack will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. If treated, the fracture on Isaack’s left leg will heal without any deformity and allow him to walk with ease. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Isaack remarked, “I look forward to the day I will be able to play on the football field again and go to work with ease so that I can fend for myself as I am used to.”

74% funded

$268to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.