Posted on 17 October, 2014

Vath and Bec

Let another Cambodian adventure begin……tomorrow!

Every Open Heart International trip is an adventure. We never know how the week will unfold or what hurdles will confront us. Without doubt, all are very rewarding for the volunteers involved, and the children and families we treat.

You may remember Vath (pictured above with Bec) whom we operated on in March 2013. He was a six year old boy that had blue lips and fingers resulting from a lack of oxygen in his blodd and a complex heart defect. He had no exercise tolerance and was unable to go to school, although he could always share the most endearing of smiles. His operation in May was a part one – a small operation to temporarily assist his condition, and enable him to walk and play like any boy his own age. It did not however completely fix his heart.

Vath prior to surgery

Vath before surgery

Vath prior to surgery – note his blue lips, gums and fingers which show the lack of oxygen in his blood.

Vath will return on Sunday to Angkor Hospital for Children for assessment for full correction of his heart defect. If our Cardiologist, Dr Phil, gives him the thumbs up, he will proceed with surgery that will enable him to live a full life. This is complex surgery requiring specialised and expensive equipment, and we have successfully procured equipment and supplies from a variety of places to set up for this operaton.

As I write there is a film crew collecting Vath and his family to transport him to hospital in a Cambodian limousine (aka an airconditioned van). We all have our fingers crossed for you Vath that you are fit and well enough for the operation. Why is there a film crew? Well that’s a story we’ll share with you a little bit later…..

We will have another 16 children awaiting assessment when we arrive this weekend, all hoping for surgery to correct life-limiting congenital defects. And we will have a very eager and capable Cambodian team to train to be able to do the simpler operations independently. No doubt we have a busy week ahead….

A very special thanks to Warren and the team at ConMed Linvatec for their enormous efforts with equipment supplies that has enabled the Cambodian project to move forward, and also for giving Vath this opportunity to live a normal life!

Can’t wait to see all the OHI Cambodia team at the airport in the morning!

Vath and Team

Tags:  Cambodia,