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Success! Sean from Cambodia raised $1,027 to fund mobility restoring spine surgery.

  • $1,027 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Sean's treatment was fully funded on January 4, 2021.

Photo of Sean post-operation

July 21, 2020

Sean underwent mobility restoring spine surgery.

Sean’s surgery went well. Her wound will heal for ten days and then she will begin physiotherapy. There is no sign of infection at the incision and she is feeling well and excited to be walking without pain now.

Sean said, “I am so happy that I can walk, work, sit, and stand better than before.”

Sean's surgery went well. Her wound will heal for ten days and then she will begin physiotherapy. There is no sign of infection at the incis...

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July 4, 2020

Sean is a 64-year-old farmer who makes a living selling her crops locally. Her husband died four years ago from heart disease, but she has nine children in the area. She lives with one of her daughters, and together they help take care of her nine grandchildren. In her free time she loves to visit the local pagodas and take part in celebrations and ceremonies.

2 years ago, Sean started to experience back pain. She was able to work despite this pain, but the condition got worse over time. She was able to obtain painkillers which helped her continue to function. However, she recently has felt her pain increasing again. She experiences too much pain to be able to walk or stand for longer than a few minutes, and has difficulty sleeping.

Luckily, Sean has come to Children’s Surgical Centre, for help and doctors will be able to perform a laminectomy to relieve pressure on the nerves in her spinal cord. She will feel immediate pain relief and will have a much easier time doing all of her daily activities. She will also be able to return to her work and take care of her grandchildren.

Sean is a 64-year-old farmer who makes a living selling her crops locally. Her husband died four years ago from heart disease, but she has n...

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Sean's Timeline

  • July 3, 2020

    Sean 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.

  • July 4, 2020

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

  • July 7, 2020

    Sean's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 21, 2020

    Sean's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • January 4, 2021

    Sean's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 26 donors

Funded by 26 donors

Spinal Surgery (without implants)
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,027 for Sean'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?

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. Often, pain, numbness, or weakness is also felt in the arms and legs.

​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?

Spinal surgeries are generally classified as decompression or fusion. Decompression surgeries are performed to relieve pressure on a spinal nerve, and involve removal of a disc or of bone that presses on the spinal nerve in order to relieve this pressure. Common decompression surgeries are discectomy and laminectomy. Fusion surgeries are performed to stabilize the spine and relieve pain. There are various methods of fusion surgeries; in those performed without hardware, two or more vertebrae are fused together by inserting a bone graft, which helps bone grow and eliminates motion between the fused vertebrae.

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.


Paw is a 59-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in a refugee camp. In her free time, Paw like to feed her three chickens and sing gospel songs. She also loves looking after her granddaughters at home when their mother is teaching. On a late evening earlier this month, Paw was walking home in the rain when she slipped and fell on the muddy road. She accidentally hit her forehead against a tree stump and tried to break her fall by sticking out her right arm. Right after she fell, Paw experienced a sharp pain in her right arm and forehead. Her son and daughter-in-law brought her to the camp hospital, where Paw was given stitches for her forehead as well as pain medication, and her arm was put in a splint and a sling. The medic then referred her to another hospital, where she was finally admitted at two days later when a car became available to take her. At the hospital, Paw received a X-Ray and was told that her right wrist is broken and requires surgery. With her hand wrapped in a bandage, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, Chiang Mai Hospital, for further treatment. Currently, Paw cannot move her right wrist, not even to lift her hand. Without more pain medication, her hand and forearm experience severe pain with any movement, so Paw has to be careful to keep her right hand straight. Because of this, Paw cannot complete her daily chores nor look after her grandchildren. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 23rd and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help Paw move her hand around and resume her daily activities again with ease. “I want to get well soon so that I can go back to taking care of my grandchildren,” Paw said. “They are waiting for me at home to go back to my daily life. Now, I have to come for my treatment and there's nobody look after them. It is hard for my daughter in-law.”

82% funded

$262to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.