LWB Community Blog

A Trip to the Hospital in Phnom Penh

When we were in Cambodia several weeks ago, we met some children in need of medical assistance. Last week, they traveled almost ten hours from their village to the capital of Phnom Penh to be evaluated at the hospital there.

Rachel and Sara were going to the capital to be evaluated for prosthetic eyes. Several years ago, Rachel, who is fifteen, was bit by an insect and subsequently lost her right eye due to infection.

Sara was born without her right eye. She has lived for seventeen years without an eye and and has suffered some difficulties from people who carry a stigma against anyone who looks differently.

Christine is a beautiful young lady we met who contracted tuberculosis two years ago. Despite her family scrounging together all of their savings to help her get the treatment and oxygen she needs, she is obviously still struggling. We wanted her to be evaluated at a top hospital to see if there are other courses of treatment that could be taken to improve her health and quality of life.

Last but not least is this darling four-year-old.  He has gradually been going blind, but no one had yet determined why. We were hopeful that some treatment could be found for him.

After doctors examined Christine, they determined that she has a strongly resistant strain of TB which is why she is still struggling. She will be treated in the hospital in Phnom Penh for a week and then will transfer to a hospital closer to her home to receive eight months of medication, along with oxygen.

Christine’s family is impoverished and will need assistance covering the costs of this medication; donations towards her future care would be gratefully accepted.

After evaluating Sara, doctors determined that her current eye socket is too small at the moment for a full-size prosthetic eye. However, they have fitted her with a smaller eye to help enlarge the hole, so that in the future she could be fitted with one more similar in size to her left eye.

Happily, Rachel was able to get the correct size and now has a beautiful new prosthetic eye.  Doesn’t she look radiant?

The little boy was sadly found to be permanently blind.

The good news is that we are hopeful that as he gets older, we could identify a school for the blind for him. He is such a bright and sunny child with so much potential! We also learned that he wants to become a singer, and we hope that his dream will come true.

Before heading back to their village, Leng took the kids out to eat. They really enjoyed seeing the capital city, and we are so glad that they were able to receive quality medical care, even if the news was not completely what we were hoping for.

Thank you to everyone who donated to make these evaluations and this trip possible for these four wonderful kids!

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