Confidence in surgeons

Pediatric opthalmologist Dr Ouk Solephy makes a follow-up examination of Ra Pagna

Ra Pagna, an energetic two-year-old boy from far-flung Pursat Province in Cambodia was in danger of losing sight in one eye after an accident which left him with a lacerated cornea and a prolapsed iris.

It was the kind of injury the local hospital could not deal with so his worried parents had travelled 200km with him to seek treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital (KSFH) Paediatric Clinic in Phnom Penh, a specialised eye clinic supported by Sight For All.

Pagna, along with his parents, grandmother and other relatives, arrived at the clinic at 6pm, where an ophthalmologist confirmed the extent of his injuries from blunt trauma.

He was admitted at 11pm to undergo corneal surgery under general anaesthesia and received an intra-vitreous anti-biotic injection.

Before surgery, Ra Pagna’s mother had grave fears that her son’s vision would be seriously impaired.

“I cried and I couldn’t sleep while my son was suffering. I fainted when he was given a general anaesthetic,” she said. “But I was very confident in the skills of the eye surgeons. They gave me hope.”

Pagna’s mother, a factory worker, and his father, a taxi driver, spent US$500 on medical expenses and to travel to Phnom Penh to have their son treated, a small fortune for a low-income villagers.

 “The money has value, but the restored sight of our son is beyond price,” she said.

“I am so happy that my son’s sight has been restored. As a mother and father, we are happy a thousand times more than the money spent.”

Pagna’s parents joyfully told clinicians and everyone sitting in the Paediatric Clinic waiting room: “See our son, he is playing, his eye is clear and back to normal, it doesn’t hurt anymore and he has stopped crying.

 “Pagna is our lives. If he lost his sight it would be as if we lost our lives. Thank you and best wishes to everyone for this gift.”

The parents returned to their home and told relatives and other villagers of the great eye care, skilled ophthalmologists and technology that helped their son in Phnom Penh.

Pagna’s eye surgeon was trained by Sight For All.

“I cried and I couldn’t sleep while my son was suffering. I fainted when he was given a general anaesthetic. But I was very confident in the skills of the eye surgeons. They gave me hope”– Ra Pagna's mother

Ra Pagna with his parents playing with toys at the KSFH Paediatric Clinic in Phnom Penh