Phorn is a 42-year-old vegetable vendor. She is married with three sons, three daughters, and two grandchildren. She lives with her husband who is also a vegetable vendor and onion farmer. At home, she helps to care for her grandchildren and watches the news on her phone.
Five years ago, Phorn developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her itchiness, tearing, 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 Phorn learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. Phorn 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 $225. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for October 13th.
She shared, “I hope after surgery my eye stops tearing and burning. I want to do housework, not be ashamed of my eye, and go back to selling vegetables.”