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Changing Lives: How CCT’s Medical Outreach Team gave a bed-bound child a second chance

Cambodian children and families often find it difficult to access adequate healthcare because of the lack of services available and the high costs of quality medical treatment.

CCT’s Medical Outreach Program provides healthcare workshops, as well as medical services through cooperation with other NGOs and public and private medical institutions. We cover costs of medical treatment and healthcare promotion workshops, as well as transportation to access these services.

Recently, the Department of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (DoSVY) referred an 11-year-old boy, Kiri*, to CCT. His family was unable to provide the level of support required for Kiri who was left virtually paralysed by severe illness as an infant, which caused him to lose all abilities to move and communicate.

This meant that Kiri lay on the same wooden bed for nearly a decade.

In late 2015, A CCT social worker visited Kiri’s family and organized a check-up with CCT’s Clinical Nurse, Rady. During the visit, it was evident that the child was severely underweight, and that he was unable to communicate or engage in any activities. Rady was very concerned about Kiri’s condition and felt that without treatment, he would experience a very poor quality of life. One of the major difficulties that the family faced was the lack of services for disabled children in Battambang.

So, Rady consulted with CCT’s Management and with the CCT Medical Board, and found a program in Siem Reap called Safe Haven that could provide the boy with the proper treatment. Enabled by the support of our generous donors, Rady was able to travel with Kiri and his grandmother to Siem Reap in January 2016.

As a result of his meeting with Safe Haven, the boy received a custom wheel chair and he is now sitting up and looking around for the first time in his life. Kiri’s grandmother, aunt and Rady have been trained on how to provide physiotherapy to the child at home, and a feeding plan has been developed to help Kiri gain and maintain weight.

Rady will continue to visit Kiri regularly, with support from a CCT social worker, and we will also organize additional visits to Safe Haven. We are happy to report that the boy is making very good progress, gaining more movement and muscle control. For the first time in his life Kiri is able to leave the house with his family, go for outings and experience the world outside his bedroom. This has improved Kiri’s social wellbeing, but also his family’s ability to engage in their community and undertake activities outside the home.

Rady says: “This boy has lived with paralysis for over 10 years. By taking him to Safe Haven in Siem Reap, the boy is able to see the neurologist and his grandmother and I are given training on how to properly care for him at home in Battambang. The boy is now more mobile and his quality of life has been improved.”

Through teamwork, advocacy, a conscientious and caring approach to their work, consultation and collaboration, the medical and social work teams have been able to greatly improve Kiri’s prospects of a dignified future with a better quality of life!

*Name changed to protect privacy