46-year-old Rathana is a tuk-tuk driver from a rural province in Cambodia. He now works in the capital of Phnom Penh, where he rents a traditional house with his wife and their two sons, ages 4 and 9. His wife works in a garment factory, and his children attend a nearby school.
On April 5th, Rathana fell off his motorbike and lost consciousness. He was taken to a hospital on the outskirts of town, where he paid the equivalent of two months’ wages for pain medications and routine tests. One month later, he noticed weakness in his left arm and hand, but he delayed seeking treatment due to a lack of funds.
When Rathana finally sought the help of our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, he was diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury to 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 the loss of function and sensation. Currently, Rathana is unable to use his left hand, and he cannot work.
On July 20th, Rathana will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, the only facility in Cambodia where this treatment is available. After recovery, he will be able to use his hand again, and to return to work. Children’s Surgical Centre is requesting $709 to fund this procedure.
After surgery, Rathana hopes that he can go back to work to support his family and do his every day activities.