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Success! Kao from Cambodia raised $229 to fund a sight-restoring cataract surgery.

  • $229 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Kao's treatment was fully funded on February 16, 2021.

Photo of Kao post-operation

February 18, 2021

Kao underwent a sight-restoring cataract surgery.

Doctors at our medical partner CSC removed Kao’s cataract and inserted an intraocular lens implant. Previously she had not been able to see well, and couldn’t recognize faces or go outside. After a post-op course of eye drops to aid in healing and decrease inflammation, she is able to more of what she loves to do. She can visit the pagoda and sell Khmer cakes again in her village.

“I’m happy that I can see clearly. I can sell Khmer cakes at home and do more outside now.”

Doctors at our medical partner CSC removed Kao's cataract and inserted an intraocular lens implant. Previously she had not been able to see ...

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November 18, 2020

Kao is a 60-year-old Khmer cake seller from Cambodia. She has one son, one daughter, and five grandchildren. Kao lives with her daughter, who is a farmer. When Kao is not selling cakes in her village, she enjoys visiting the pagoda to listen to monks pray.

Five years ago, Kao developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, itching, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside.

When Kao learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her niece seeking treatment. On November 17th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure.

Kao shared, “My business depends on my vision, if I can see well then my business will also be well.”

Kao is a 60-year-old Khmer cake seller from Cambodia. She has one son, one daughter, and five grandchildren. Kao lives with her daughter, wh...

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Kao's Timeline

  • November 17, 2020

    Kao 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.

  • November 18, 2020

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

  • November 20, 2020

    Kao's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 16, 2021

    Kao's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 18, 2021

    Kao's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 4 donors

Funded by 4 donors

Cataract - One Eye
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $229 for Kao'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 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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Paw is a 24-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Burma, Paw, her husband, their three daughters and her parents fled in March 2021 after the Burmese military shot rockets into their village. In Thailand, as refugees, they cannot work, and have temporarily moved in with Paw's brother and his family. They receive rice from her brother's neighbors, while her brother's family provides them with vegetables and curries. In July 2021, Paw's parents and her two older daughters went back to their village when they felt it was safe to do so. Meanwhile, her husband and her three-month-old baby have stayed with her while she receives treatment in Chiang Mai. Two years ago, Paw noticed a mass on the right side of her neck. Her neighbor suggested she apply a natural remedy, but unfortunately, the mass remained and grew over time. In September 2019, she visited a local hospital in Thailand with her husband, but the surgery recommended was too expensive. She experiences pain near the site of the mass, and the mass is still growing. Paw sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). She is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 16th, and now she needs to raise $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Paw shared, “I felt embarrassed and very upset when I first noticed that I had this problem. I will feel a lot better after my surgery because I have needed to receive it since I first went to see the doctor in 2019. In the future I want to look after my children and send them to school.”

86% funded

$202to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.