Yoeun is a 62-year-old retired rice farmer with one daughter who sells food on a mobile cart. She no longer works in the family rice field due to her age, instead staying at home and looking after her grandchildren and her elderly mother. Her husband died in the Khmer Rouge regime. She enjoys listening to monks preaching on the radio when she has free time.
Since ten year ago, Yoeun has had a pterygium in her left eye, causing her irritation, pain, headache, and blurred 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 Yoeun learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours with her daughter finally seeking treatment. Yoeun 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 12th.
“I hope after surgery my eye gets better, I can be independent and not worry about my eye anymore. I want to go to the pagoda ceremony without help and take care of my mother,” Yoeun told us with a hopeful smile.