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Success! Ly from Cambodia raised $809 to relieve her ear discharge and pain.

  • $809 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Ly's treatment was fully funded on July 1, 2016.

Photo of Ly post-operation

July 27, 2016

Ly received pain-relieving ear surgery.

Ly’s mastoidectomy was a success. During the two-part procedure, doctors removed diseased cells from the how, air filled spaces in the skull behind her ear before removing the cholesteatoma that had grown behind her eardrum. The surgery has saved her from future hearing loss and potential facial paralysis, and has already stopped her ear pain and discharge. She will have her sutures removed in ten days, and will have follow-up appointments to test her improved hearing.

“I am really happy that my daughter had this operation done,” Ly’s mother, who came with her to the clinic, said. “Now Ly will return to her studies and have good health.” Both Ly and her mother are grateful to all those who helped her have this restorative surgery.

Ly’s mastoidectomy was a success. During the two-part procedure, doctors removed diseased cells from the how, air filled spaces in the skull...

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June 12, 2016

Ly is a 23-year-old student from Cambodia. She is in her second year at university where she is studying economics. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, listening to music, and cooking food.

Ly developed an ear infection in her right ear when she was five years old. This caused her right tympanic membrane to perforate. This has caused hearing loss, pain, and recurrent discharge from her ear. She has received ear drops from various health centers over the years for treatment, but her condition requires surgery to be fully treated.

After hearing about Watsi’s medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), on the radio, she traveled two hours with her mom to reach the facility for treatment. Doctors at CSC discovered a cholesteatoma—an abnormal skin growth located behind the eardrum—in Ly’s right ear. A cholesteatoma initially develops as a cyst after chronic ear infections. Over time, the cyst sheds layers of old skin that collect within the ear. Without treatment, a cholesteatoma can grow large enough to cause hearing loss, dizziness, or facial paralysis.

For $809, surgeons at CSC will perform a mastoidectomy, a surgical procedure in which doctors remove the diseased cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ear. The cells—known as mastoid air cells—are diseased as a result of Ly’s ear infections that spread to the skull structures near her right ear. Doctors will also remove the cholesteatoma that has grown behind her right eardrum.

Funding for Ly also covers the costs of two hearing tests, one night in the hospital, one day of inpatient post-operative care, and three outpatient follow-up visits in the month following surgery.

After surgery, Ly’s ear discharge and pain will stop. Let’s help make that happen!

Ly is a 23-year-old student from Cambodia. She is in her second year at university where she is studying economics. In her free time, she en...

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Ly's Timeline

  • June 12, 2016

    Ly was submitted by Hannah Callas, Stakeholder Relations Officer at Children's Surgical Centre.

  • June 13, 2016

    Ly 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 1, 2016

    Ly's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 1, 2016

    Ly's treatment was fully funded.

  • July 27, 2016

    Ly's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 26 donors

Funded by 26 donors

  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

A mastoidectomy is a surgical procedure that removes diseased mastoid air cells. A patient who needs a mastoidectomy will experience hearing loss, chronic ear infections, and possibly cholesteatoma—an abnormal skin growth in the middle ear. Cholesteatomas cause hearing loss and ear discharge. The cholesteatoma will erode bones in the middle ear and can eventually expose the brain and cause death in complicated, untreated cases.

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

Patients live with hearing loss and chronic ear infections.

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

Treated incorrectly or left untreated, an infected mastoid bone can cause hearing loss, persistent ear discharge, meningitis, temporary dizziness, and temporary loss of taste. Due to poor hygiene and limited education in rural Cambodia, patients are likely to experience complications and receive the incorrect treatment.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

A mastoidectomy is performed with the patient asleep under general anesthesia. Surgeons will perform one of several different types of mastoidectomy, depending on the amount of infection present. These include: • Simple (or closed) mastoidectomy: The operation is performed through the ear or through an incision behind the ear. The surgeon opens the mastoid bone and removes the infected air cells. The eardrum is incised to drain the middle ear. Topical antibiotics are placed in the ear. • Radical mastoidectomy: This procedure removes the most bone and is usually performed for extensive spread of a cholesteatoma. The eardrum and middle ear structures may be completely removed. Usually the stapes, the "stirrup"-shaped bone, is spared to preserve some hearing. • Modified radical mastoidectomy: In this procedure, some middle ear bones are left in place, and the eardrum is rebuilt by tympanoplasty. After surgery, the wound is stitched up around a drainage tube, and a dressing is applied.

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

This treatment will relieve chronic ear infections, hearing loss, and other symptoms caused by the infected mastoid bone.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This treatment is highly effective, but it poses risks if performed by an inexperienced surgeon. The operation is near the facial nerve and the brain, so surgeons must be careful when operating. At Children's Surgical Centre, ENT surgeons only operate on cases about which they feel confident.

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

Care for this condition is not easily accessible in Phnom Penh. Only one other hospital performs ENT surgery, but care at that hospital is expensive. The ENT surgeons at our medical partner have a proven record of successful cases.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Once the infection stops responding to antibiotics, surgery is the only option.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Raymond is a 2-year-old toddler from Kenya and the only child in his family. A few months back, his mother lost her job at a clothing store because she must be at the hospital most of the time attending to her son. She works more flexible jobs like washing clothes for people in her neighborhood to help provide for the family. Raymond has been in and out of the hospital since birth. He was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's disease, a condition where the ganglion cells in the colon responsible for pushing food through are inactive or dead. He has undergone a series of surgeries through the family's health insurance fund. After a long journey, Raymond has one procedure left, but their insurance coverage has been exhausted, and they request financial assistance for his final procedure. Raymond underwent a colostomy, a procedure in which the end of the colon was brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. Raymond's colostomy requires closure in order to restore his bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,084 to cover the cost of his colostomy closure. The surgery is scheduled to take place on March 14th and, once completed, will allow Raymond to live more comfortably and confidently moving forward. Raymond's mother said: "We have come a long way with his treatment, and I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I really hope that it will go as planned."

11% funded

$964to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.