Chea is a 57-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has three sons, two daughters, and eight grandchildren. She enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her free time.
Five years ago, Chea developed a pterygium in both eyes, causing her irritation, burning, photophobia, and blurry vision. 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. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside.
When Chea learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. Chea 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 January 6th.
“I hope that the tearing and burning will stop, and I will be able to recognize things and return to my work,” Chea said.