Hope and a Future
Sam Bo was faint and feverish while tilling her rice field in Kandal, located 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Phnom Penh. For three weeks, her fever continued. It was time to get help and her husband Phala decided to bring his sick wife to a hospital. The couple first tried a few local facilities; the doctors prescribed various drugs to help the fever go down, but nothing worked. It seemed hopeless and Sam Bo was growing very weak.
Then they remembered Sihanouk Hospital. Sam Bo and Phala knew about SHCH because Sam Bo needed gall bladder surgery three years ago. Phala acted quickly. He put his wife on the back of his motor bike and came to Phnom Penh. Sam Bo held on weakly for the hour-long, bumpy ride. When they arrived, he carried her on his shoulders into the SHCH emergency department. Phala was hopeful upon arriving but still worrisome. He thought, “The doctors will surely save her.”
Sam Bo was diagnosed with a liver abscess, which caused anemia, dizziness and faintness. After the doctors administered a range of three different antibiotics, Mich Sam Bo began to feel better. She’s still in the hospital, and said, “I feel better and have a lot less fever.” She will be with us for a few more days and then go home.
Phala and Sam Bo were married in 1987, only eight years after the Khmer Rouge regime was ended. Over the course of their 26-year marriage, they have raised three children and witnessed the rebuilding of Cambodia’s health care system along the way. While progress is being made, severe deficits in rural health care still exist. SHCH fills a critical gap in delivering quality, compassionate health care for thousands of patients each year. When asked how she would change healthcare if she had the power, Sam Bo said, “I want more free care hospitals!” With your support, SHCH can continue to not only fill the gaps in Cambodia’s current health care system, but also continue to build up the capacity of Cambodian health professionals.