Chanthou is a 65-year-old saleswoman with two daughters, three sons, and two grandchildren. Chanthou lives with her husband who is a laborer in the city. She sells groceries at home and also takes care of her grandchildren. In her free time she enjoys listening to the monks preach on the radio.
Five years ago, Chanthou developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her to experience 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, Chanthou has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside.
When Chanthou learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for one hour with her husband seeking treatment. Chanthou 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 and will cover medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th.
Chanthou shared with us, “I hope after surgery my eye can get better so I can continue my work selling groceries and easily get to the pagoda by myself.”