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Success! Song Heu from Cambodia raised $696 to fund a brachial plexus repair surgery.

Song Heu
  • $696 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Song Heu's treatment was fully funded on February 20, 2021.

Photo of Song Heu post-operation

February 22, 2021

Song Heu underwent a brachial plexus repair surgery so he can use his arm again.

Our medical partner shared that surgeons at Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) performed a complex nerve graft surgery to repair Song Heu’s nerve injury. While nerve regeneration can take up to 6-9 months, Song Heu is hopeful he will regain sensation and use of his left arm as a result of this surgery. Song Heu will keep his arm in a sling for three weeks post-surgery while his wounds heal, and return for a follow-up visit to CSC to test his nerve regeneration.

After his surgery, Song Heu shared, “I hope I can use my hand and it will have strength and mobility. I want to return to work and support my family.”

Our medical partner shared that surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) performed a complex nerve graft surgery to repair Song Heu's ne...

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November 18, 2020

Song Heu is a 28-year-old man from Cambodia. He has three older sisters and to support their family, Song Heu’s mother sells vegetables in the market and his father is a tuk tuk driver. In his free time, Song Heu enjoys exercising, listening to music, playing games on his phone, meeting with friends to discuss problems, and doing house work.

Last month, Song Heu was attacked by someone trying to steal his motorbike. The thief cut Song Heu’s left arm and neck with a knife, causing paralysis. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left arm side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Now, Song Heu has a scar on his left neck and has no control of his left shoulder, elbow, or hand. He cannot lift his arm at all and therefore is unable to work.

Fortunately, Song Heu traveled to our medical partner’s care center to receive treatment. On November 17th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Song Heu will regain use of his left arm. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure.

Song Heu shared, “I hope I can use my arm again with full function so I can resume my normal life activities.”

Song Heu is a 28-year-old man from Cambodia. He has three older sisters and to support their family, Song Heu's mother sells vegetables in t...

Read more

Song Heu's Timeline

  • November 17, 2020

    Song Heu received 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.

  • November 18, 2020

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

  • November 20, 2020

    Song Heu's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 20, 2021

    Song Heu's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 22, 2021

    Song Heu's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 27 donors

Brachial Plexus Injury Surgery
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $696 for Song Heu'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?

Symptoms of brachial plexus injury (BPI) vary on the severity and location of the injury, but include muscle weakness, loss of sensation, pain, and paralysis. BPI can cause neuropathic pain with damage to the spinal cord and can be long-lasting, with effects such as burning numbness.

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

The impact of a brachial plexus injury can range in severity; some patients may experience weakness or great pain, others may be paralyzed in their shoulder and upper arm. This can make day-to-day tasks difficult and impair quality of life.

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

Motorcycle collisions are the most common cause of brachial plexus injury, and are, unfortunately, an exceedingly common occurrence in Cambodia.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Treatment for brachial plexus injury can involve nerve repair, nerve grafting, nerve transfer, or tendon and muscle transfers depending on the location and type of injury, and the amount of time since the injury occurred. A nerve repair involves reattaching a severed nerve; nerve graft is a procedure that takes a healthy nerve from another part of the body and transplants it to the injured nerve to guide regrowth; a nerve transfer is a procedure that cuts a donor nerve and connects it to the injured nerve when there is no functioning nerve stump to attach a graft. Nerve regeneration occurs approximately at a rate of 1 mm/day, and so recovery from a brachial plexus injury can take months for small improvements. Physical therapy during this time is important to prevent stiffness, contractures, or atrophy and increase the chances of regaining good movement in the affected limb.

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

While BPI surgery may not restore full movement to a patient, it can greatly increase the patient’s ability to use the affected limb and reduce the pain of the injury.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

BPI surgery is complicated and risks include infection as well as failure to restore movement, which would require further surgery.

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

Surgery to treat brachial plexus injury can be very complex and not widely performed. Surgical treatment in Cambodia can be expensive and hard to access. Patients will travel for hours by car, motocycle, and bus to receive free surgery at CSC.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Brachial plexus injury can have a range of severity; some patients may be able to be treated by splinting or physical therapy, but serious cases require surgical intervention. These types of injuries do not have alternatives to improving movement and functionality.

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.