as of July 2014
Mending Bones to a Healthier Future
Chaim Puthna is from Kompong Speur province, located approximately 60 km from Phnom Penh. The population of Kompong Speur consists primarily of poor farmers however most of the inhabitants are forced to immigrate out of the province to search for jobs. Puthna lives in a small 3m x 5m house with his wife, and two children, ages 5 and 3.
As the head of the family, Puthna does not want to be employed far away from his family who depends heavily on him. His family has a small rice field however their main source of income comes from selling charcoal. With an old motorcycle that carries both him and his charcoal, Puthna works more than eight hours a day alongside different roads to earn enough money to support his wife and their two growing children. As his kids continue to grow, Puthna knows that there are many needs that his children have that he will not be able to provide. More than anything, however, Puthna works his hardest in order to provide his children with an education when they are old enough to go to school.
One day, while picking up the charcoal with his younger brother, Puthna was involved in an motorcycle accident that left him in extreme pain and shock on the side of the road. His younger brother was able to get an ambulance to take him to the local hospital’s emergency room. When it became clear that the local hospital didn’t have the means to treat Puthna’s condition, he was rushed in an ambulance to a private clinic in Phnom Penh for x-rays. It was discovered that the accident had left Puthna with pelvic and sacral fractures. After being sent back to the local hospital, Puthna’s condition worsened causing the doctors to send him back to a Phnom Penh hospital. At this point the family had spent $600 on the treatments done by the local hospital, which the money they acquired through a loan from the MFI, but still Puthna was only getting worse and options were running out.
In Phnom Penh, Puthna was delivered to the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE (SHCH) with his younger brother, wife and friend by ambulance after hearing about the hospital through a friend. At the SHCH, the pain increased so he was sent to the Emergency Department (ED) for diagnose. After being examined at the ED, the extent of Puthna’s condition was discovered and he was immediately rushed into surgery. After surgery, Puthna’s condition improved but was still serious so he was sent to the surgical ward to continue the doctor’s evaluation.
“[After the accident] I suppose, I was dead at that time because I was in pain and swoon on the road” he said.
At the SHCH, Puthna received free treatment and advanced care. The doctors kept a close watch on his condition and everyday Puthna continued to improve.
“I feel warmly with SHCH, I never met before; the doctor, nurse and hospital staff are friendly to the patients” he explained. With a smile, he added that; “ I am so happy when I saw the hospital give free treatment for the poor people like us, especially good care with high quality treatment. I am grateful and thankful to the SHCH that give me a new hope and life”.
When he goes back to his province he will return to work to support his family, but Puthna is grateful for the second chance that he received from the SHCH. Although life back home might not be easy upon his return, he is looking forward to going home to see his dear children and to begin working hard again for his family and his children’s future.