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The resilient Samnang

Samnang* is 8 years old, loves riding his bike and excels at school in Khmer literature. But when CCT’s social work team started working with his family 12 months ago, Samnang was not playing with other kids and often missed school. This is the story of Samnang’s journey from a life-threatening chronic condition to a healthy childhood.

Samnang had a congenital (but worsening) growth on his left hand known as an Arteriovenous Malformation. Kids like to run, skip and hop but for Samnang, even a small accident could’ve been fatal if he was to fall on his hand, due to the potential for a large loss of blood. Samnang’s grandmother was growing so concerned for his safety that he was often not attending school and missing out on playing with other kids. For Samnang, this lack of socialisation and limits on his behaviour was resulting in a lot of boredom, while for grandma the situation was causing immense stress.

“I had trouble sleeping at night from stress” said Phally*, Samnang’s grandmother. “The growth was getting bigger and bigger”.

When CCT started working with Samnang’s family and was made aware of Samnang’s condition, the CCT Medical Outreach team was called out to do an assessment and explore treatment options. With CCT’s support, Samnang was able to get treatment for his condition at the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap. Working out the best treatment options required multiple trips to Siem Reap coordinated by CCT, as well as hospital stays for Samnang and his grandmother.

After the options for treatment were explained to Samnang and his grandmother, part of his affected hand was amputated as the best agreed treatment. CCT covered the transportation costs to travel to Siem Reap for Samnang and his grandma and made sure that there was always a friend or neighbour to take care of his other siblings while grandma was away. After the surgery, our Medical Outreach team helped grandma to manage Samnang’s recovery safely at home.

Now less than a year after we first met Samnang, he is back in school and discharged from our medical program.

For Samnang the change has been huge and he feels more free to be like other kids his own age.

“Now it’s easier for me to play football with my brother and neighbours. I can ride my bike more now”.

Medical interventions like this which dramatically increase quality of life for kids with chronic medical conditions are only possible because of the committed support of CCT’s donors and partners : a heartfelt thank you from the CCT team to all those who support our Medical program and ensure that children, regardless of illness or disability, can remain living in their families and their communities.

*Names changed to protect privacy