San is a 54-year-old rice and crop farmer living in Cambodia with her husband, two sons, two daughters, and nine grandchildren. She enjoys visiting the pagoda to join in ceremonies.
Ten years ago, San developed blurred vision, tearing, and irritation in both eyes. She has been unable to see clearly, do her work well, and is unhappy with her appearance. She and her sister traveled to our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), for further evaluation, and she was found with a pterygium in each eye.
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. The growth can cause discomfort and obstruct vision. There is a higher prevalence for pterygiums along the equator, where there is more sun exposure.
San needs a surgical procedure to scrape and remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface, and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The CSC tells us that for $148, San can have the procedure she needs. The total cost covers the procedure, supplies, and two days of inpatient care. After her pterygium excision surgery, San’s discomfort will be relieved and her vision will improve.