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Chum is a young grandmother from Cambodia who needs $216 to fund pterygium eye surgery.

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June 4, 2020

Chum is 56-year-old farmer from Cambodia. Chum lives with her daughters, who work at a garment factory. Together they take care of Chum’s first grandchild. Chum’s husband passed away fourteen years ago. When it is not planting season, Chum cooks for her family, and enjoys watching Thai dramas on TV.

About five years ago, Chum developed a pterygium in both eyes, causing her blurred vision, irritation, and constant tearing. She feels a burning sensation in her eyes all day long. 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.

When Chum learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. Chum 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 June 4th.

Chum said, “I just want this burning feeling to be gone, and I hope that I can get clear vision as well. After the surgery I will spend a lot of time with my grandchild and work again.”

Chum is 56-year-old farmer from Cambodia. Chum lives with her daughters, who work at a garment factory. Together they take care of Chum's fi...

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Chum's Timeline

  • June 4, 2020

    Chum was submitted by Sieng Heng at Children's Surgical Centre, our medical partner in Cambodia.

  • June 04, 2020

    Chum 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.

  • June 05, 2020

    Chum's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 10, 2020

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


    Chum is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 1 donor

Funded by 1 donor

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $216 for Chum'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?

A pterygium, a non-cancerous growth of conjunctiva covering the cornea, causes tearing, redness, blurred vision, burning, itchiness, and discomfort.

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

When the growth affects the central visual axis, vision will be decreased. The abnormal growth also causes pain and discomfort. Patients usually complain of irritation, light sensitivity, foreign body sensation, and decreased vision.

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

Pterygium occurrence is much higher among people who live near the equator because of greater exposure to the sun. It is nicknamed "surfer's eye."

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Surgeons scrape the dysplastic conjunctiva from the cornea surface, removing the affected conjunctiva. They place an autologous conjunctival graft to cover the defect and prevent recurrence.

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

Surgery cures the symptoms caused by pterygium. Patients experience improved vision and reduced pain and discomfort.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Surgical excision of a pterygium is curative. The procedure is very low risk.

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

Most patients live with the eye irritation and decreased vision until it starts to affect their daily life. Then, they seek care.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Irritation can be temporarily treated with lubricating drops.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.