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Heang is a 69-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia who needs $229 to fund cataract surgery so that he can see clearly.

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October 12, 2021

Heang is a 69-year-old rice farmer with has three daughters, four sons, and ten grandchildren. Heang lives with his wife who also works as a farmer. In his free time, he likes to listen to the news on the radio.

Last year Heang developed a cataract in his right eye causing him itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside.

When Heang learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On October 12th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure.

Heang shared, “I hope my eye can see clearly again so I can return to planting rice and recognize things well. I want to be able to do more again.”

Heang is a 69-year-old rice farmer with has three daughters, four sons, and ten grandchildren. Heang lives with his wife who also works as a...

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Heang's Timeline

  • October 12, 2021

    Heang was submitted by Sieng Heng at Children's Surgical Centre.

  • October 12, 2021

    Heang was scheduled to receive treatment at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre in Cambodia. 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 13, 2021

    Heang's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Heang is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD

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

Cataract - One Eye
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $229 for Heang'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 with cataracts experience decreased vision, discomfort, and irritation. Cataracts occur when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, causing functional blindness. These changes in the lens commonly occur with increasing age and therefore affect elderly people. Cataracts can also be congenital or traumatic.

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

The decreased vision from cataracts can cause functional blindness. This makes it difficult for the patient to conduct daily activities. Patients often need a family member to help guide and care for them. If the patient is elderly, this often affects a young child in the family. When a grandmother needs help getting around, a young child is often assigned to help with her daily tasks. That child cannot go to school.

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

In many countries in the developing world, surgical services are inadequate. Cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness globally. Even where surgical services are available, barriers to surgery remain, including cost, shortage of human resources, poor infrastructure, and limited awareness about access to available services.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed worldwide. Surgeons remove the cloudy lens and place a clear lens implant in its place.

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

A patient's vision can improve to 20/20 within one day after the surgery.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Cataract surgery is highly effective and carries a low risk.

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

Cataract surgery is available in most areas of Cambodia. However, free surgery is not as widely available.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Some debilitating effects of cataracts can be improved with glasses. When the cataract becomes mature, however, the only definitive treatment is surgical.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Gorret is a small-scale farmer and a married mother of four children. Her husband works as a small-scale businessman, and together they own a four-room house for their family. Their children are in school, with their eldest at 16-years-old in secondary school and their youngest at 8-years-old in primary school. The family shared that they pay for school fees through loans that they repay over time. About eight years ago, Gorret experienced swelling in her neck during her third pregnancy, but it normalized after her delivery. However, she experienced swelling again during her subsequent pregnancy, but this time it did not decrease after her delivery as it had before. As a result, Gorret experiences chest pains and backaches, and occasionally she experiences temporary numbness in her arms. She can no longer carry or lift heavy loads comfortably, which is making things hard for her. Fortunately, Gorret recently visited the hospital at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). The doctors diagnosed her condition as a goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. They recommended a thyroidectomy, which will address her symptoms and prevent the risk that a goiter may become cancerous and cause difficulty breathing and eating over time. On November 9th, Gorret will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $333 to fund this procedure. Gorret shared, “I hope to look normal again after struggling with this goiter for many years. I was feeling inferior whenever in public, but I finally have the hope of living a better and improved life through surgery. I hope to continue with farming after recovery.”

45% funded

$183to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.