Ai is a 58-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has two daughters, one son, five grandchildren, and enjoys watching television in his free time.
Five years ago, Ai developed a pterygium in both eyes, causing him tearing, irritation, redness, and blurry vision. 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. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside.
When Ai learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, he traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. Ai 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 his procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for January 13th.
He said, “I hope that I will be able to see clearly and I can go back to planting rice and helping around the house.”