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Som Ath is a 72-year-old from Cambodia who needs $229 to fund cataract surgery so he can see clearly.

Som Ath
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  • $20 raised, $209 to go
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$209
to go
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October 19, 2021

Som Ath is a 72-year-old retired soldier. He has four sons, five daughters, and many grandchildren. Som Ath lives with his eldest son who is in the military. Nowadays, Som Ath stays at home and takes care of his grandchildren. In his free time, he likes to listen to the news on the radio.

Two years ago, Som Ath developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him blurry vision and sensitivity to light. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside.

When Som Ath learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On October 19th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure.

Som Ath shared, “I hope my eye can see clearly again so I can teach my grandchildren how to read and write, and help them do their homework after school.”

Som Ath is a 72-year-old retired soldier. He has four sons, five daughters, and many grandchildren. Som Ath lives with his eldest son who is...

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Som Ath's Timeline

  • October 19, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • October 19, 2021
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Som Ath was scheduled to receive 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.

  • October 20, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Som Ath's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Som Ath is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Som Ath's treatment update from Children's Surgical Centre.

Funded by 1 donor

Profile 48x48 10714363 739039089511249 3116632349941804854 o

Funded by 1 donor

Profile 48x48 10714363 739039089511249 3116632349941804854 o
Treatment
Cataract - One Eye
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $229 for Som Ath's treatment
Hospital Fees
$48
Medical Staff
$141
Medication
$0
Supplies
$40
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Patients with cataracts experience decreased vision, discomfort, and irritation. Cataracts occur when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, causing functional blindness. These changes in the lens commonly occur with increasing age and therefore affect elderly people. Cataracts can also be congenital or traumatic.

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

The decreased vision from cataracts can cause functional blindness. This makes it difficult for the patient to conduct daily activities. Patients often need a family member to help guide and care for them. If the patient is elderly, this often affects a young child in the family. When a grandmother needs help getting around, a young child is often assigned to help with her daily tasks. That child cannot go to school.

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

In many countries in the developing world, surgical services are inadequate. Cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness globally. Even where surgical services are available, barriers to surgery remain, including cost, shortage of human resources, poor infrastructure, and limited awareness about access to available services.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed worldwide. Surgeons remove the cloudy lens and place a clear lens implant in its place.

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

A patient's vision can improve to 20/20 within one day after the surgery.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Cataract surgery is highly effective and carries a low risk.

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

Cataract surgery is available in most areas of Cambodia. However, free surgery is not as widely available.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Some debilitating effects of cataracts can be improved with glasses. When the cataract becomes mature, however, the only definitive treatment is surgical.

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U Ghwe

U Ghwe is a 70-year-old man who lives with his wife and granddaughter in Burma. His wife is ill and not able to look after household chores most of the time. His granddaughter is a student in grade 12, but since her school is closed right now, she looks after the household chores. U Ghwe is a weaver and primarily makes bamboo baskets used to carry materials for construction. The family also fishes and raises chickens. Four years ago, U Ghwe had a stroke which left the muscles in his right foot very stiff. Although he can walk, he cannot wear sandals comfortably and instead goes barefoot. About a month ago, while cutting bamboo for weaving, he felt something bite the sole of his right foot. When he got home that evening, his foot was painful, itchy, red and swollen. Unfortunately, he did not have money to seek treatment at a clinic and eventually, the wound developed into an abscess filled with pus. A family member finally recommended that he visit our medical partner's care center for further examination and treatment. After examination, a doctor diagnosed him with an ulcer and told him that he has diabetes. The doctor shared with him that any injury U Ghwe sustains will not heal easily. His doctor has recommended surgery to clean the ulcer and help it to heal. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Ghwe receive the recommended treatment. On October 7th, he will undergo a wound debridement procedure at BCMF's care center to help his wound heal. Now, he needs help raising $694 to fund his procedure and care. U Ghwe shared, "I do not know how long my daughter will not be able to [give] me money. Today, my daughter called me and said that my son-in-law will need to have surgery so she cannot send me money. I am the only one who can earn an income, so if I do not feel better, I will not be able to work. I am interested in working with wood. If was younger, I would learn and become a carpenter but now I feel I am too old."

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Hser is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her parents in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. She and her family fled there many years ago from Karen State in Burma because of civil war. Hser is now a high school teacher in the refugee camp, and she earns 1,000 baht (approx. 33 USD) per month. Hser used to teach groups of students at their home due to Covid restrictions that closed schools in July 2021, but all home teaching was also stopped in September 2021 when Covid cases increased in the refugee camp. Since then, Hser teaches students online, but many of her students cannot afford to pay for mobile data to study from their family’s mobile phones. Since late 2019, Hser has been experiencing pain in the right side of her abdomen every day, especially at night. She says that she has lost her appetite and has lost some weight because of this. She feels like the mass is gradually increasing in size and feels more comfortable lying down then sitting. She also feels tired when she walks. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumour, and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which involves surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Hser's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Hser is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 9th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, this treatment will help Hser to live free from pain and she has hope that she'll be able to live her life happily with her parents in the future. Hser said, “I love being a teacher and when I have recovered, I will continue to teach. My parents worry about me a lot and they want me to receive surgery as soon as possible. They are stressed about my condition, but I do not want to feel stressed because stress cannot help me feel better. So even though I cannot eat a lot, I try to eat as much as I can to stay strong.”

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Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

U Ghwe

U Ghwe is a 70-year-old man who lives with his wife and granddaughter in Burma. His wife is ill and not able to look after household chores most of the time. His granddaughter is a student in grade 12, but since her school is closed right now, she looks after the household chores. U Ghwe is a weaver and primarily makes bamboo baskets used to carry materials for construction. The family also fishes and raises chickens. Four years ago, U Ghwe had a stroke which left the muscles in his right foot very stiff. Although he can walk, he cannot wear sandals comfortably and instead goes barefoot. About a month ago, while cutting bamboo for weaving, he felt something bite the sole of his right foot. When he got home that evening, his foot was painful, itchy, red and swollen. Unfortunately, he did not have money to seek treatment at a clinic and eventually, the wound developed into an abscess filled with pus. A family member finally recommended that he visit our medical partner's care center for further examination and treatment. After examination, a doctor diagnosed him with an ulcer and told him that he has diabetes. The doctor shared with him that any injury U Ghwe sustains will not heal easily. His doctor has recommended surgery to clean the ulcer and help it to heal. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Ghwe receive the recommended treatment. On October 7th, he will undergo a wound debridement procedure at BCMF's care center to help his wound heal. Now, he needs help raising $694 to fund his procedure and care. U Ghwe shared, "I do not know how long my daughter will not be able to [give] me money. Today, my daughter called me and said that my son-in-law will need to have surgery so she cannot send me money. I am the only one who can earn an income, so if I do not feel better, I will not be able to work. I am interested in working with wood. If was younger, I would learn and become a carpenter but now I feel I am too old."

63% funded

63%funded
$440raised
$254to go