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Noun is a 64-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia who needs $216 to fund sight-restoring pterygium eye surgery.

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July 6, 2020

Noun is a 64-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She and her husband have four children and thirteen grandchildren. Her husband is a motorcycle taxi driver. She works in her field, and helps take care of her grandchildren. In her free time she enjoys going with her family to the local pagoda to give food to the monks and pray with them.

Ten years ago, Noun developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her irritation, tearing, and eye pain. Her symptoms have worsened in the past year. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside.

When Noun learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for three-and-a-half hours by taxi seeking treatment. Noun needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for July 6th.

Noun shared, “I hope after surgery I feel no more irritation and do not feel like I have to scratch my eyes. I would feel so happy to return to my work and see everything clearly when I am with my family.”

Noun is a 64-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She and her husband have four children and thirteen grandchildren. Her husband is a motorcy...

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Noun's Timeline

  • July 6, 2020

    Noun was submitted by Sieng Heng at Children's Surgical Centre, our medical partner in Cambodia.

  • July 06, 2020

    Noun received treatment at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. 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 07, 2020

    Noun's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 16, 2020

    Awaiting Noun's treatment update from Children's Surgical Centre.


    Noun is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 2 donors

Funded by 2 donors

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $216 for Noun'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?

A pterygium, a non-cancerous growth of conjunctiva covering the cornea, causes tearing, redness, blurred vision, burning, itchiness, and discomfort.

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

When the growth affects the central visual axis, vision will be decreased. The abnormal growth also causes pain and discomfort. Patients usually complain of irritation, light sensitivity, foreign body sensation, and decreased vision.

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

Pterygium occurrence is much higher among people who live near the equator because of greater exposure to the sun. It is nicknamed "surfer's eye."

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Surgeons scrape the dysplastic conjunctiva from the cornea surface, removing the affected conjunctiva. They place an autologous conjunctival graft to cover the defect and prevent recurrence.

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

Surgery cures the symptoms caused by pterygium. Patients experience improved vision and reduced pain and discomfort.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Surgical excision of a pterygium is curative. The procedure is very low risk.

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

Most patients live with the eye irritation and decreased vision until it starts to affect their daily life. Then, they seek care.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Irritation can be temporarily treated with lubricating drops.

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.