Thai is a 58-year-old rice farmer living in Cambodia. She is married with four sons, three daughters, and five grandchildren. Thai enjoys visiting the pagoda to join in ceremonies.
About four years ago, Thai developed a pterygium in both eyes, causing her blurred vision, irritation, and burning. She can’t see clearly, do work well, or go outside on her own. Because of her vision impairment, she has been unable to work well or leave her home independently.
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. The growth can cause discomfort and obstruct vision. There is a higher prevalence for pterygiums along the equator, where there is more sun exposure.
Thai needs a procedure to scrape and remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface, and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. For $150, Thai can have the procedure she needs. The total cost covers the procedure, supplies, and two days of inpatient care.
After her pterygium excision surgery, Thai’s burning and irritation will be relieved and her vision will improve. She will then be able to resume work to support her family, and also visit the pagoda on her own as desired.