In 2010, Veasna* a father of two young children was living in Preah Vihea Province when he was in a bad car accident. With no money to pay for hospital bills, like many other people living in poverty he simply went to a local pharmacy to buy medicine when the pain was severe.
In 2013 when the pain got worse he finally went to see a doctor who told him that that he needed hip surgery. Unable to afford the surgery his condition deteriorated and by 2016 he was no longer able to walk. It was around this time that he and his wife divorced and Veasna decided to move with one of his young sons to live in Sihanoukville. His son, aged 11 at the time, had to drop out of school to stay home to look after his father.
One day Veasna heard from a neighbor about M’Lop Tapang and contacted us because he wanted his son to study at our Community Shelter which was not far from their house. When our social workers visited their home and found out that the young boy had stopped going to school because of his father’s disability they arranged for Veasna to be seen at our Medical Clinic. After meeting with Veasna the medical team decided to help send him to a hospital in Phnom Penh for hip replacements. The surgery was done for free and M’Lop Tapang provided funds for transportation and food.
Very soon after returning home from the surgery Veasna walked into M’Lop Tapang’s clinic and with a big smiling face he said “I am so happy that I can walk again, I feel like I am a new born person”.
Now that he can walk again his son no longer needs to stay home to look after him and has returned to study at public school with the support of our “Back to School” program. With assistance from our Futures team Veasna has now found employment working as a security guard. He hopes that in the near future he can find a job working as a motorbike repair instructor as he used to do before his accident.
*name and photo changed for confidentiality