Kheth is a 33-year-old moto taxi driver who lives with his wife and son in Cambodia. He enjoys playing football and helping his parents on their farm.
Kheth began experiencing discharge from both of his ears when he was two years old. Frequent ear infections—known as chronic otitis media—caused tears in each ear’s tympanic membrane. This has caused him recurrent ear discharge, hearing loss, and pain, and he was treated unsuccessfully with oral antibiotics and ear drops.
The tympanic membrane—commonly known as the eardrum—is a thin membrane that separates the external ear structures from the middle and inner ear. It plays a major role in hearing by transmitting sound waves from the air to the middle ear, where the waves are converted to nerve impulses that travel to the brain. The eardrum also protects the middle ear from foreign objects, water, and bacteria. A tear in the eardrum can lead to hearing loss and increased the risk of infection.
On January 4, 2016, Kheth underwent a myringoplasty—surgery to repair the tympanic membrane—on his right ear at Watsi’s medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). His right ear has healed well, and his hearing has already improved from that ear.
Kheth still experiences recurrent ear discharge, hearing loss, and pain in his left ear. Surgeons will now perform a myringoplasty on the left ear to repair the perforated tympanic membrane, treat his infection, stop the pain and discharge, and allow his hearing to improve.
$399 pays for Kheth’s second myringoplasty as well as two days of hospital care and three follow-up appointments in the first month after the surgery.
“I hope my ear discharge stops on the left side and my hearing will get better like my right ear,” shares Kheth.