Mon is a 55-year-old vegetable seller from Phnom Penh province. She is a widow and has three sons, three daughters, and five grandchildren. Currently, she lives with her third son who is a barber in the local village. She picks lotus flowers and morning glory (water spinach) every morning in the small lake near her house. At home, she likes to watch Khmer drama on the TV.
Five years ago, Mon developed a pterygium in her right eye,, causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision from long-term exposure to hot, dry weather and dust. 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.
When Mon learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for one and a half hours seeking treatment. Mon 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 $225. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for October 16th.
Mon said, “I hope after surgery my eye can feel better and I won’t worry about it anymore. I can go back to selling and doing housework well.”