Life hurts when you can’t breathe

Life hurts when you can’t breathe

In the dusty streets of Phnom Penh, there are many recycling collectors that are walking through the city. Their pull carts that are loaded with cans, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes. Occasionally, the female trash collectors sometimes carry their babies or toddlers standing tall or swinging in a hammock as they nap. Kann Sroeun, a 60 year old widow, makes about $5 per day working her area in Phnom Penh.

Surrounded by exhaust fumes and city dirt, many of the street vendors and have breathing problems such as asthma and persistent cough. Sroeun arrived at Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE last month with severe difficulties. She was hypoxic, meaning that she did not have enough oxygen in her body, and had a very fast heart rate and shortness of breath.

Sroeun felt her situation was desperate. As a widow, she lived with her brother and sister in an urban shantytown slum in Phnom Penh. A doctor’s visit in a private clinic would have cost her at least 2 days wage and more charges for any treatment, medication or other supplies that might have been delivered to her.

She arrived at the hospital in the morning and was promptly evaluated. Sroeun received pure oxygen–a great relief for her tired lungs—and was diagnosed with severe asthma. After a week to rest and receive additional medications, Sroeun was discharged and returned to work.

“This is a great place. We received wonderful care and warmness from doctor and staff here.”- Sroeun. Yan Yunh, Sroeun’s sister,said “We thank the donors and doctors for support to the hospital. Without your contribution, this place would not exist and many would be. We are the poor so we really need you.”