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Success! Phearum from Cambodia raised $495 to fund burn contracture surgery so she can use her hand.

  • $495 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Phearum's treatment was fully funded on October 17, 2022.

Photo of Phearum post-operation

November 3, 2022

Phearum underwent burn contracture surgery so that she can use her hand.

Phearum and her family traveled many hours on rough roads for a diagnosis and treatment for her burn scars. Phearum was fearless and adapted well to the many masked faces she met. She had a complicated surgery by specialty surgeons and was able to return home after several days in the hospital. Her mother worked with the physiotherapist to learn about post-operative care and daily dressing changes. When Phearum’s scar is healed, she should be able to grasp objects and use her hand like any other child. This will be a big help to her when she starts school next year!

Phearum’s mother said: “We are thankful that Phearum could receive this treatment to repair her burn. She can hold things better and play with the other children. Thank you to the staff who took such good care of her.”

Phearum and her family traveled many hours on rough roads for a diagnosis and treatment for her burn scars. Phearum was fearless and adapted...

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May 9, 2022

Phearum is an energetic 5-year-old girl. She is not yet in school and has a six-year-old sister in first grade who she likes to keep up with! Her parents are seasonal farmers and have several cows. She enjoys playing with toys, watching TV, and going to the market with her mother. She shared that her favorite meal is Khmer noodles and milk.

In 2021, Phearum was burned on her left hand by a cooking fire. Her mother took her to a local provincial hospital for medical treatment. After the wound healed, the skin tightened around the burn site, and she was left with contractures on her left wrist and a deformity of her finger. The scars are itchy and keep her from being able to do all she used to. She is starting to feel self-conscious of the look of her hand too. A local hospital referred her to our medical partner Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) for help. There surgeons recommend a Z-plasty procedure to improve the functional and cosmetic appearance of her scars.

On May 9th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her to grasp objects and use her finger again. Now, her family needs help to fund this $495 procedure.

Phearum’s mother said: “I am hoping my daughter can have her burn scars fixed, and she can use her hand well again.”

Phearum is an energetic 5-year-old girl. She is not yet in school and has a six-year-old sister in first grade who she likes to keep up with...

Read more

Phearum's Timeline

  • May 9, 2022

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

  • May 9, 2022

    Phearum 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.

  • May 9, 2022

    Phearum's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 17, 2022

    Phearum's treatment was fully funded.

  • November 3, 2022

    Phearum's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 12 donors

Funded by 12 donors

Burn Contracture Release Surgery
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $495 for Phearum'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?

The patient will have burns on one or multiple areas of his or her body, which can be both functionally limiting and cosmetically uncomfortable. Burns can become infected and necrotic. Scars or contractures may form where the individual has been burned. This causes the skin to tighten, making it difficult for the patient to move the affected area. This condition can limit function, especially if the contractures form on the patient's hand.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Contracture burns are common on young children's hands and feet, and they limit their mobility. As children grow older, they often become uncomfortable about the appearance of the burns.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Many Cambodian homes use open cooking fires, which increase the risk of accidental burns.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

During a debridement procedure, the burned skin is removed under general anesthesia. If there is any necrotic tissue, it is removed by a sharp dissection and cleaned with antiseptic agents. Once good granulation tissues are seen, the area is covered with a skin graft donated from the upper arm or thigh. When scars or contractures form (usually within one month after the burn), a z-plasty is needed. Surgeons make a z-shaped incision along the contracture area and release the tightened tissue. Dressings are applied. Additional post-operative care might involve physiotherapy and pressure garments.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

Patients will experience increased function, reduced pain, and a much lower risk of infection.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

If less than 40% of the body is burned, these burns can be effectively treated through debridement, skin graft, and contracture release treatments. There is a risk of infection, but this can be managed with various forms of daily dressings.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Skin grafts and other burn treatments are accessible at local clinics and hospitals. However, if patients are poor, they often resort to traditional healers.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Traditional medicine is available, but with unsuccessful results.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Saoly is a 33-year-old former garment factory worker from Cambodia. He is from the Kampong Speu province, and married with two children. His wife makes and sells traditional Khmer cakes at the local market. His children are four and seven years of age. Since an accident, he has been home and likes to listen to the news, watch TV, and play with his children. In March 2020, he was in a motorcycle collision with a truck and fell on his left shoulder on the pavement. This caused paralysis of his left shoulder and arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. In August 2020, he had a surgical nerve graft, which allowed him to successfully bend his elbow, but he still cannot move his shoulder or his fingers. He cannot work, feels phantom pain in his arm, and is very depressed he cannot support his family and his wife has to work hard. Saoly traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On December 1st, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes that he will be able to move his shoulder, use his hand, and work again to support his family. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Saoly said: "I hope this surgery will help me to use my arm again. I would like to work in a factory again to support my family."

29% funded

$502to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.