Heang is a 70-year-old lotus farmer from Cambodia. She is married with two sons, one daughter, and 11 grandchildren. Her husband passed away four years ago from hypertension. She lives with her son who is a construction worker.
Ten years ago, Heang developed a pterygium in right eye, causing her pain, headaches, irritation, burning, and discomfort. 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. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. Her symptoms have gotten worse in the past year.
When Heang learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for 30 minutes by tuk tuk with her son seeking treatment. Heang 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 her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for July 3rd.
Heang shared, “I hope after surgery the irritation stops so I can go outside easily and take care of myself well.”