Sam Tob, 57, is blind, which makes it difficult for her to find formal employment. She lives with her husband and older sister, caring for grandchildren but relying on her family’s small income: $7 a day, which her sister earns from collecting and selling recyclable materials.
When Tob became sick four months ago, she first hid it from her family. She knew they could barely afford healthcare and didn’t want to cause problems for them. Even though Tob was having trouble breathing, was coughing and had swelling throughout her body, she stayed quiet until her condition got worse and couldn’t be ignored. Eventually, she confided in her adult daughter.
Tob’s daughter took her to a nearby clinic. Tob was misdiagnosed with anemia and given medicine, but when it didn’t work, Tob’s daughter brought her to a hospital (not SHCH) in Phnom Penh. After 10 days of hospitalization, Tob was not yet recovered and her daughter sold her land to pay the $250 medical bill. She later borrowed money from a microfinance institution to buy it back.
Tob and her family had exhausted their financial resources and could not afford to pay for more medical care. Fortunately, in a last effort to help Tob, her daughter brought her to the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE (SHCH). After blood tests, x-rays and CT scans, Tob was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and was found to have excess fluid in the lungs, which was making it hard for her to breathe. She was hospitalized at SHCH for three days receiving medicines and IV fluids to help her recover. Tob has now returned home with her daughter with her condition much improved.
Before she left SHCH, Tob’s daughter expressed her relief and gratitude. “Thank you so much for saving my mother’s life. We are so poor and had no money left for more medical treatments. Without SHCH, my mother would surely have died.”