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Success! Sophea from Cambodia raised $1,500 to fund surgery for scoliosis.

Sophea
100%
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
$1,500
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Sophea's treatment was fully funded on January 22, 2020.

Photo of Sophea post-operation

October 26, 2019

Sophea underwent surgery for scoliosis.

Sophea’s operation went well. Surgery will improve her quality of life by correcting her spine position and allowing Sophea to sit for long periods of time without discomfort. Surgery is also important to ensure Sophea does not further the worsening of the condition. Sophea’s mom feels happy that Sophea won’t have to miss any more school.

Sophea said, “I am so happy that I can walk normally again and no longer have any back pain.”

Sophea's operation went well. Surgery will improve her quality of life by correcting her spine position and allowing Sophea to sit for long ...

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October 8, 2019

At the age of seven, Sophea fell three meters from the roof of her house. Sine then, her back has formed a curve in her spine, and she has experienced pain in her back and difficulty sleeping. Surgery can help correct the position of her spine, and prevent further worsening of the condition. Sophea has three sisters and enjoys reading books, listening to music, and cooking. Her favorite subject in school is math, and she hopes to become a tailor when she grows up.

At the age of seven, Sophea fell three meters from the roof of her house. Sine then, her back has formed a curve in her spine, and she has e...

Read more

Sophea's Timeline

  • October 8, 2019
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • October 09, 2019
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Sophea 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.

  • October 15, 2019
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Sophea's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 26, 2019
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Sophea's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • January 22, 2020
    FULLY FUNDED

    Sophea's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 29 donors

Funded by 29 donors

Treatment
Spinal Surgery
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,500 for Sophea's treatment
Hospital Fees
$160
Medical Staff
$722
Medication
$0
Supplies
$610
Labs
$3
Radiology
$5
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients experiencing severe back pain may also experience fever and chills, unexplained weight loss, sudden bowel and/or bladder incontinence, and severe, continuous abdominal pain. Back pain may be caused by vertebrae, the small bones of the spine. The back conditions for which surgery is recommended include degenerative disk disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, fracture, infection, and tumor.

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

Patients with severe back pain experience difficulty walking, sleeping, sitting, riding a motorcycle, working, going to school, and carrying out everyday tasks. If the pain affects a patient's ability to work or go to school, the patient will be unable to earn money to support his or her family or continue his or her education. Patients may experience discomfort and difficulty breathing.

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

Cambodian culture emphasizes the importance of working hard and earning money to support the family. When a patient is unable to work, he or she may feel helpless or may experience financial difficulty.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

There are several types of spinal surgeries performed to treat back pain: Spinal fusion: This is the most common surgery for back pain and is used to keep the spine stable after injury, infection, or a tumor. The surgeon joins the spinal bones (vertebrae) together. In a spinal fusion for scoliosis, the surgeon attaches rods, hooks, wires, or screws to the curved part of the backbone to straighten and stabilize the spine. Laminectomy: In this procedure, the surgeon removes parts of the bone, bone spurs, or ligaments in the back. This relieves pressure on spinal nerves and can ease pain or weakness. Foraminotomy: The surgeon cuts bone at the sides of the vertebrae to widen the space through which nerves exit the spine, relieving pressure on the nerves and easing pain. Diskectomy: A disk, the cushion that separates the vertebrae, can slip out of place, pressing on a spinal nerve and causing back pain. In a diskectomy, the surgeon removes all or part of the disk to relieve pain. Disk replacement: A surgeon removes the damaged spinal disk and inserts an artificial one between the vertebrae. Interlaminar implant: The surgeon implants a U-shaped device between two vertebrae in the lower back. This device helps keep the space between them open and eases pressure on the spinal nerves. Bone grafting will also be performed to support the spine and stimulate bone healing.

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

The patient will be able to work or go to school without pain.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

As with any operation, there are potential risks associated with spinal surgery. These include: Infection: Antibiotics are regularly given to the patient before, during, and after surgery to lessen the risk of infection. Bleeding: A certain amount of bleeding is expected, but this is not typically significant. Pain at bone graft site: A small percentage of patients will experience persistent pain at the bone graft site. Recurring symptoms: Some patients may experience a recurrence of their original symptoms. Nerve damage: It is possible that the nerves or blood vessels may be injured during these operations. These complications are very rare. Blood clots: Another uncommon complication is the formation of blood clots in the legs.

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

Spinal surgery is not widely offered in Cambodia, especially for low-income patients who cannot afford treatment. Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) provides this procedure free of charge. Patients travel to CSC by bus, taxi, or motorbike from all over Cambodia.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Patients that do not seek a surgical procedure may try exercises and medication. However, these forms of treatment may not be effective.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Emma

Looking jovial, 26-year-old Emma walks into the office wearing a broad smile. However, behind the joy and smile are recurring stomach pains that give her sleepless nights. Emma was diagnosed with symptomatic cholelithiasis - a gall bladder disorder that requires laparoscopic cholecystectomy analgesia surgery. If left untreated, cholelithiasis can lead to serious complications such as tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that could spread spreads to other parts of her body. In Mid-April 2020, Emma started experiencing recurring pains burning in nature. She tried managing the pains using over the counter pain killers but the pain kept recurring. About a week later she was forced to visit a health centre in her home town Kayole for medical checkup. Emma was treated for suspected ulcers at the facility and was discharged with anti-acids. The pains seemed under control for over a month but they recurred in July. She went back to the same facility where a scan, x-ray, and further tests were recommended. Results indicated that she had cholelithiasis and she required urgent surgery. Doctors from the facility recommended she go to Kijabe Hospital for treatment. Emma is a single mother of one. She shared that she is raising her 6-month-old baby on her own after the father of the child left them and declined responsibility. She works as a shop attendant about 10km from her home and earns a total of $100 monthly income as her salary. To enable her to fend for the family, she has a house helper who takes care of her little child while she out looking for their daily bread. She pays the house help $35 a month. The three live in a single room rental which costs $50 a month. The remaining less than $20 is not enough to buy food and basic needs and still cover the cost of surgery. Emma is the oldest in a family of three. Her siblings are unemployed and live with their mother in the village. They depend on produce from their ¼ acre farm for survival. Emma’s employer and few close relatives contributed a small amount for the surgery but she still needs $616 in financial support to fund the treatment. Emma shared, “I need this surgery to get better and take care of my small family. I am the father and the mother to my little kid and my siblings depend on me. The small salary I get I barely make enough for our family and we basically live from hand to mouth. I have to spend all the income I make.”

50% funded

50%funded
$310raised
$306to go
Hellen

Hellen is a farmer from Kenya. Hellen, accompanied by her youngest daughter, looks uneasy but confident as she met with our local Watsi rep. She shared a smile as we approached her but occasionally frowns and gets lost in thoughts. She has symptomatic fibroids which have been causing her excessive bleeding since 2015. Doctors recommended a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy-TAH to help stop the prolonged bleeding and relieve her of stomach aches and discomfort. Hellen's problem started in early February 2015 when she began experiencing stomach aches and bleeding. She visited a nearby health centre and was treated for suspected ulcers and stomach pains. Although her pains and the discharges kept recurring, she never visited the hospital but was managing the condition with medication from a nearby pharmacy. However, in November 2016 her condition worsened and she was forced to visit a bigger hospital. After a series of tests and visits to the facility, doctors recommended myomectomy. At the time Hellen was taking care of two of her family members, her husband who succumbed to prostate cancer, and a son who has epilepsy. Due to financial constraints, she was unable to get the surgery done and opted not to seek medical attention. After a while, her daughter mobilized resources from friends and relatives and opted to bring her to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital for medical attention. The OBS/GYN team recommended a TAH, of which she is unable to fully cover the cost. She was recently widowed after her husband and the father to her 4 children passed on as a result of his cancer. Her second-born child is suffering from epilepsy and has been in and out of the hospital depleting their family's already limited resources. She shared that her kids have been supportive but bills for her husband and his subsequent burial have forced them to seek help from well-wishers and relatives. Her National Health Insurance has not been approved for the procedure. Hellen lives in a one-acre piece of land in Embu where they practice small scale farming for home use. She was a housewife who relies on her children since her husband who was the breadwinner passed on. She is unable to pay for the cost of the surgery and treatment and hereby requests for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $794 to fund Hellen's surgery. On September 24th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Hellen will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Hellen says, “I have lived with pain and bleeding for a long time. I sacrificed the family resources to treat my husband and child. I need help to at least put this pain to a stop.”

20% funded

20%funded
$166raised
$628to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.