Sophorn's Recovery

On 17 March 2017, Sophorn, a mother of three, was severely burnt from a gas explosion while cooking in her home, resulting in third-degree burns to 80% of her body.  Doctors at Calamat Emergency Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, were able to save her life, but the injuries left her disfigured and at high risk of infection. After 14 weeks in the hospital, first in Cambodia and then in Thailand, Sophorn’s family were unable to afford the medical treatment any longer, which had already amounted to USD 10,000; a significant sum of money for a poor Cambodian family like hers. With few options left, Sophorn was then moved to a donation-based hospital in Phnom Penh where she shares a room with 24 other patients. Unfortunately, Sophorn’s condition has worsened, and her skin grafts have become infected in her neck and leg. 

Sophorn is in a critical state. To survive, she needs specialized treatment in isolation. If she continues to be deprived, doctors may have to amputate her legs or the infection might spread to the rest of her body, which could be fatal.

Like most mothers, Sophorn’s children are her world.  Before her accident, she was a stay-at-home mom and lived to provide the best for her family.  As many traditional Cambodian women are, Sophorn was community oriented and loved to care for her family and friends.  Sophorn was the kind of person who brought people together and filled them with love (and food!).  Currently, Sophorn’s one desire is to recover so that she can be there for her family and children again.

Quality healthcare in Cambodia and neighboring Thailand is relatively cheap in comparison to western countries like Australia or the United States; however, these services--particularly specialized treatment for burns--are not accessible to poor, uninsured families like Sophorn.  This unjust situation is adding to the severity of her condition. It is hard to fathom that this mother’s life and the future of her family should be determined by the size of their bank account.  Thankfully there is hope, and with that fighting spirit that all mothers have, Sophorn is continuing to persevere.

No matter who and no matter where, everyone is invited to join Sophorn on her journey to recovery.  This is going to be a long road, but history shows that people can do incredible things when they come together. So, how can you contribute? If you have thousands of followers on social media, share her story.  If you have medical expertise, share your skills.  If you have finances, whether it be $1 or $1,000, then give.  Get creative; everyone has something of value to contribute to Sophorn’s journey to recovery.  Will you join us?

If you would like to make a donation, please choose from one of the following amounts: $1, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $100+

UPDATE: As of September 18, 2017
When Sophorn was initially admitted to a hospital in Thailand for 3 months, the costs were approximately $10,000, putting the family into debt. Sophorn is now receiving treatment in the same hospital for another 2-3 months, while she is treated for infection. We estimate that these costs will be approximately $6,000-9,000 ($100/night). 

Once she is fully recovered in Thailand, she will be transferred back to Cambodia where an in-home nurse will take care of her. Despite the obstacles along the way, Sophorn is defeating the odds and continuing to fight for her life. We hope you will continue to support her.

Continue to follow her progress here:
  • Michael Wiltse 
    • $100 
    • 51 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 51 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 56 mos
  • Katie Nading 
    • $50 
    • 56 mos
  • Caroline Christenson  
    • $20 
    • 56 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Vanna Hem 
Colorado Springs, CO
Amy Louise Collins