Read our powered by our community 🙌 Check out our 🙌
Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Leang Sim from Cambodia raised $1,500 to fund spinal surgery.

Leang Sim
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Leang Sim's treatment was fully funded on December 24, 2020.

Photo of Leang Sim post-operation

December 24, 2020

Leang Sim underwent spinal surgery.

Leang Sim has had progressive difficulty breathing, sleeping, and walking from her congenital curved spine. To correct this, specialty doctors at CSC implanted rods and screws in her back that can be extended as she grows. This will allow her spine to grow straight and heal without any further curving. After recovery in the hospital, she will start physiotherapy to help strengthen her muscles. In the future, she will return to have the rods extended as she grows taller.

She shared that she is feeling a little bit anxious to return to school, where she enjoys reading and math. “I hope my back will be strong, I will able to walk normally and I can return to school, wear a nice dress, and can help my mother with daily chores like cleaning, shopping or the cooking.”

Leang Sim has had progressive difficulty breathing, sleeping, and walking from her congenital curved spine. To correct this, specialty doct...

Read more
November 19, 2020

Leang Sim is a seven-year-old 1st grade student. She has one older brother who is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Their father sells vegetables at the market and their mother is a vegetable farmer. When Leang Sim is not at school she likes to play with toys with her brother, read books, watch TV, and go outside with her parents.

When Leang Sim was one, her mother first noticed she had a curved spine. Doctors have now diagnosed Leang Sim with thoracolumbar scoliosis. She arrived at Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) with a curved spine reporting difficulty walking, sleeping, and trouble breathing after strenuous activity.

Surgeons at CSC will place an extending rod inside Leang Sim’s back to help improve her condition now and as she grows, the rod will be extended to alleviate her scoliosis.

Leang Sim’s mother is hopeful for the surgery and said, “I hope my daughter can walk well after surgery.”

Leang Sim is a seven-year-old 1st grade student. She has one older brother who is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Their father sells vege...

Read more

Leang Sim's Timeline

  • November 18, 2020

    Leang Sim 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 19, 2020

    Leang Sim was submitted by Sieng Heng at Children's Surgical Centre.

  • November 20, 2020

    Leang Sim's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 24, 2020

    Leang Sim's treatment was fully funded.

  • December 24, 2020

    Leang Sim's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 37 donors

Spinal Surgery
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,589 for Leang Sim's treatment
Subsidies fund $89 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients experiencing severe back pain may also experience fever and chills, unexplained weight loss, sudden bowel and/or bladder incontinence, and severe, continuous abdominal pain. Back pain may be caused by vertebrae, the small bones of the spine. The back conditions for which surgery is recommended include degenerative disk disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, fracture, infection, and tumor.

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

Patients with severe back pain experience difficulty walking, sleeping, sitting, riding a motorcycle, working, going to school, and carrying out everyday tasks. If the pain affects a patient's ability to work or go to school, the patient will be unable to earn money to support his or her family or continue his or her education. Patients may experience discomfort and difficulty breathing.

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

Cambodian culture emphasizes the importance of working hard and earning money to support the family. When a patient is unable to work, he or she may feel helpless or may experience financial difficulty.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

There are several types of spinal surgeries performed to treat back pain: Spinal fusion: This is the most common surgery for back pain and is used to keep the spine stable after injury, infection, or a tumor. The surgeon joins the spinal bones (vertebrae) together. In a spinal fusion for scoliosis, the surgeon attaches rods, hooks, wires, or screws to the curved part of the backbone to straighten and stabilize the spine. Laminectomy: In this procedure, the surgeon removes parts of the bone, bone spurs, or ligaments in the back. This relieves pressure on spinal nerves and can ease pain or weakness. Foraminotomy: The surgeon cuts bone at the sides of the vertebrae to widen the space through which nerves exit the spine, relieving pressure on the nerves and easing pain. Diskectomy: A disk, the cushion that separates the vertebrae, can slip out of place, pressing on a spinal nerve and causing back pain. In a diskectomy, the surgeon removes all or part of the disk to relieve pain. Disk replacement: A surgeon removes the damaged spinal disk and inserts an artificial one between the vertebrae. Interlaminar implant: The surgeon implants a U-shaped device between two vertebrae in the lower back. This device helps keep the space between them open and eases pressure on the spinal nerves. Bone grafting will also be performed to support the spine and stimulate bone healing.

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

The patient will be able to work or go to school without pain.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

As with any operation, there are potential risks associated with spinal surgery. These include: Infection: Antibiotics are regularly given to the patient before, during, and after surgery to lessen the risk of infection. Bleeding: A certain amount of bleeding is expected, but this is not typically significant. Pain at bone graft site: A small percentage of patients will experience persistent pain at the bone graft site. Recurring symptoms: Some patients may experience a recurrence of their original symptoms. Nerve damage: It is possible that the nerves or blood vessels may be injured during these operations. These complications are very rare. Blood clots: Another uncommon complication is the formation of blood clots in the legs.

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

Spinal surgery is not widely offered in Cambodia, especially for low-income patients who cannot afford treatment. Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) provides this procedure free of charge. Patients travel to CSC by bus, taxi, or motorbike from all over Cambodia.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Patients that do not seek a surgical procedure may try exercises and medication. However, these forms of treatment may not be effective.

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.