The 2014 trip to Kratie was a success, far exceeded our expectations. In a nutshell, these were what we achieved:
- Cambodia Vision treated 2,916 men, women and children from 17 provinces (irrespective of their religious and political backgrounds)
- Operated on 433 cases of cataract (including 2 patients with HIV positive and one active malaria sufferer being treated at the hospital)
- Provided 247 specially cut glasses
- Provided 1,703 reading glasses
- Provided over 2,000 sunglasses
- Provided 250 hearing aids
- Gave away boxes of children’s toys
- Donated 20 hospital beds to Kratie and Sihanouk Hospital Centre of Hope
- Provided training to 28 medical students from Phnom Penh and Kratie
- Installed and donated 9 air conditioning units to Kratie Referral Hospital
- Upgraded electrical work at the Kratie Referral Hospital to cope with our equipment and air conditioners
- Donated general medication to Kratie Referral Hospital
- Gave away almost 3 pallets of vitamins and supplements to patients (no one left the hospital empty handed)
- Our team helped treat 4 non-eye related cases:
- A 115 kg lady who had a C-section to her 5th child (the baby was 6kg) and was in a lot of pain after the anaesthetic worn out
- A 7-year old girl who fell from a mango tree and her brother fell on top of her and as result had her spleen ruptured. She was opened up twice and was not responding to the treatment given by local doctors
- A middle-aged gentlemen who suffered severely infected boil on his face
- We also bought 2 bags of blood to a lady who suffered from major thalassemia (sadly she was not aware of it).
Blood transfusion was also administered to an 81-year old who was abandoned by her four children and lived and begging on the streets (severe malnutrition) prior to providing a cataract procedure.
It was a happy ending to all these cases; they were all well and happy when we left the hospital. Thanks to our skilled medical staff and extra resources we had to be able to assist.
It was a good closure for us when on our second last day we had a 100-year lady walk in to the hospital with her daughter (the registration was closed at this stage of course). She was on a hunger strike the day before as her daughter could not bring her to the hospital for treatment. To make matters worse, when they finally got to the hospital they were told the registration was closed. She was devastated to say the least but a joy it was when we decided to make one more exception and the outcome of the operation was better what we anticipated. She brought tears to our eyes when the eye patch was off.
All these do not come without costs.
Many volunteers gave more than just their time, expertise and funding their own expenses. Many volunteers helped pay for travel expenses to patients just so they can have their eye treated because they could not travel to the hospital to excess our service. Many volunteers gave their own fund to patients (both eye and non-eye related), children and those who lend a hand.
Many volunteers were affected by what they saw. They were exhausted physically and mentally and became ill as a result of working long hours in the heat, humidity and perhaps not used to the local food, putting our own health at risk to save others. Somewere hospitalised in Phnom Penh and in Australia.
All these sacrifices don’t go unnoticed. The patients and their families appreciated their effort. In fact I received an email advising that people of Kratie and around the country are still talking about our “kindness and sacrifices”. Cambodia Vision team was referred to as the “living gods”. This I hope is the kind reward that will energise and bring back to help the people of Cambodia.
I received very positive feedback from the patients, their families, hospital staff, media, local sponsors and Government representatives. The team was praised for its professionalism, skill, care, diligence, politeness, kindness and hard work.
We attracted the attention of many major national media coverage both TV and Radio including Radio Free Asia, CTN, Hang Meas, DAP News and Bayon. Social media went wild updating each day’s events as they unfolded.
On behalf of the people of Cambodia and the Cambodia Vision team, I thank you wholeheartedly for the sacrifices the volunteers made. They left their loving family behind, foregone holidays, their fund and skill to help the people of Cambodia. Lives were changed. They spread love and kindness. They taught them to help others, the true meaning of human existence.
May I take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the Melbourne community especially Richard Lim, Than Thong and Hong Lim MP, for organising an incredibly successful fundraising function on the 31st of October in our absence, and raised approx. $40,000. What a fantastic effort that was. Thank you also to Anthony Lee and Julian Tsui from the Chinese Radio 2CR for also raising over $20,000.Such fantastic effort. We need everyone’s continued support to be able to carry out our work and give the Gift of Sight to as many people as we can.
Thank you to ALL our major sponsors and donors in Victoria, NSW, WA and QLD for without their support, this work could not be carried out. I thank all those individuals and agencies who helped promoted the service prior to the trip.
Again thank you. Your sacrifices, dedication and contribution are highly appreciated:)
I attach a few of photos here as example and please visit our Face Book page at cambodiavisioninc to see more photos.