Sokha is a 60-year-old mother of nine. She has two sons, seven daughters, and nine grandchildren. All of her children are now married. She lives with her husband who is a farmer and she used to work in the rice field with her husband, but for the last five years she has not gone because she cannot see. She stays home to help look after her grandchildren instead. She likes to watch Khmer movies on the TV and listen to the radio.
When she was about fifty, Sokha developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her itching, irritation, burning, and tearing. 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 Sokha learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. Sokha 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 February 4th.
She told us, “I hope after surgery my eye will be better. I want to help my husband to plant rice to earn money to support our family.”