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Chheng is clothes seller from Cambodia who needs $1,087 to fund knee replacement surgery.

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January 5, 2020

Chheng is a 50-year-old clothes seller from Cambodia. She enjoys cooking for her family, including one son and one daughter, and likes to watch television in her free time.

For the last ten years, Chheng has suffered from swelling and pain in her left knee. She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her left knee and cannot stand for a long period of time, and now has difficulty walking comfortably.

Fortunately, Chheng learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total knee replacement to relieve Chheng of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 6th, and Chheng needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure.

I hope that I will no longer be in any pain, and I will be able to walk well again and return to my work,” Chheng said.

Chheng is a 50-year-old clothes seller from Cambodia. She enjoys cooking for her family, including one son and one daughter, and likes to wa...

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Chheng's Timeline

  • January 5, 2020

    Chheng was submitted by Lindsay Bownik, Stakeholder Relations Officer at Children's Surgical Centre, our medical partner in Cambodia.

  • January 06, 2020

    Chheng received treatment at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. 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.

  • January 07, 2020

    Chheng's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 02, 2020

    Awaiting Chheng's treatment update from Children's Surgical Centre.


    Chheng is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 22 donors

Funded by 22 donors

Total Knee Replacement
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,087 for Chheng'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?

Patients typically experience severe knee pain and difficulty walking or standing for months by the time our medical partner will perform a total knee replacement (TKR). A TKR treats knees that are severely damaged and therefore not amenable to any other form of treatment.

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

Patients may not be able to walk, and physical activity is extremely restricted, making any movement painful. This prevents patients from being able to carry out daily life.

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

Cambodia's population is about 16 million people, and the median age is only 24.2 years. While some patients' arthritic joints are caused by old age, younger patients may also develop arthritic joints from congenital, infectious, and traumatic causes. Traumatic causes include motorbike accidents, which are common. Motorbikes are the main form of transportation in Cambodia, but traffic laws are rarely followed and weakly enforced. Often, patients injured in motorbike accidents cannot afford to seek proper treatment in local clinics or hospitals. They visit Khmer traditional healers or simply take pain medications. Their injuries never heal.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

During a knee replacement procedure, surgeons remove the damaged cartilage and bone from the ends of the femur and tibia. The removed portions are replaced with metal components that recreate the surface of the joint. The under-surface of the patella (kneecap) is cut, and a plastic button is placed. A medical-grade plastic spacer is then inserted between the metal components to create a smooth gliding surface.

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

The patient will be able to walk without pain, improving his or her quality of life.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

There are very few risks posed by a TKR. Blood clots are possible, as they are with most orthopedic surgeries. However, common preventative measures have reduced their risk, and now less than 2% of patients develop them. Osteolysis, which occurs when fragments are released from the knee implant into the body and cause inflammation, is possible but uncommon. Scar tissue or other complications can sometimes affect motion in the knee, but these can be resolved with special exercises or physical therapy.

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

No other hospital or organization in Cambodia is currently doing TKRs, and there are many people with painful, arthritic knees who cannot live their lives comfortably. CSC is the only center that provides this procedure free of charge. Patients travel to CSC by bus, taxi, or motorbike.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

A patient may undergo a knee fusion at another facility. This procedure will reduce his or her pain, but will leave the patient with a stiff knee that does not bend.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Chit is a 39-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law’s three children. Her husband has recently left the village to work in Bangkok so he could increase his income, especially since her condition has worsened. Since she became ill, she feels bored because she is unable to work. Around five months ago, Chit started to feel unwell with a stiff neck, headaches, and pain in her right eye. Soon after, she noticed that the black part of her right eye started to move inward toward the middle of her face, becoming crossed eyed. As soon as she noticed a change in her right eye, she went to a hospital to see a doctor about her condition. At the hospital, she underwent a CT scan of her head which showed normal findings. Therefore, the doctor just gave her an injection and oral medications. A week later, she decided to go see a local medic in her village because she felt like the medications were not helping. The medic looked at her medical test results, assessed her and said she might have a neurological condition. The medic gave her oral medication and another injection. She took the medication she received from the medic, and her symptoms subsided gradually. Chit's symptoms disappeared completely about 20 days ago, but this only lasted around 10 days because she noticed that the black part of her right eye had started to become white and the rest of her eye, normally white, started to turn red. She bought eye drops at a local medication stall, but they did not help. A few days later, she learned about Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a charitable clinic, from one of her nephews. On January 11th, Chit visited MTC regarding her condition, and a medic explained that unfortunately her eye was not functional anymore and that it needed to be removed due to a severe infection. The medic also explained that if her right eye was not removed, the infection could spread to her left eye and cause the same problem. MTC then brought Chit to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) and the doctor there confirmed that her eye needs to be removed as soon as possible. Chit said, "It's upsetting to know that I need to have one of my eyes removed. But then, I feel that since the eye is bad, there is no sense in keeping it. In the future, if possible, I want to get a prosthetic eye."

72% funded

$407to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.