Would you travel 8 hours on a bus to seek treatment?

Would you travel 8 hours on a bus to seek treatment?

Sokky, 14 years old with her mother in Emergency Department

When she was just 14, Sokky Chuum was running and playing with her friends in Kong PongThom province when she fell down and hurt her hip.  At the time, she just took some medicine and carried on with life with her family – four siblings and her parents.

Six years later, she had to drop out of school to join the entire family as they moved to Ratanakiri Province, in the far northeast of Phnom Penh, to look for work on the rubber plantations in the area.  It is hard work that requires considerable walking from tree to tree to harvest the sap that is used for making automotive parts.   The family lived in company housing. All four children were working alongside their parents.  “I want go to school like other boys and girls. I love studying; I don’t want drop of school but I must move with my family,” said Sokky.

Chuum Sokky struggled with pain in her hip for a long time, but didn’t talk about it much for fear of losing her job.  She spent a lot of money on traditional medicine.  Then pain increased to the point where she went to the local hospital for treatment, spending funds that were dedicated for food.   Her conditioned worsened.  She couldn’t walk.  She was unable to work.

Sokky’s family was so worried about her that they scraped together bus fare for Sokky and her mother to travel. They heard from a neighbor about a hospital that could help – they were desperate and willing to try. The pair took the 8-hour bus ride to the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE.  Sokky was barely able to move and her mother was very worried.

Once delivered to Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE, Sokky was examined, tested and x-rayed.  She was diagnosed with an inflammation in the hip bone and treated with a variety of anti-inflammatory medications that reduced the pain and swelling.  She was discharged before the end of the day and feeling much better.

“I feel better when I got the medicine from doctor, and now I feel very relieved,” Sokky said. “I am so thankful to the doctor, nurse and the staff at the hospital. They dedicated their time and talent to help me and now I am cured.”