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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lucky Cambodian children get gift of life

Lucky Cambodian children get gift of life

Ten Cambodian children suffering from heart defects will be selected for free medical treatment in South Korea this year, visiting Korean officials announced yesterday.

Doctors from Se Chong hospital in Korea’s Phu Chorn city arrived in Phnom Penh yesterday to examine 20 Cambodian children suffering from heart disease and will select 10 to receive specialist treatment in South Korea.

The team was conducting examinations at New Hope for Orphans, in their Boeung Tompun commune, Mean Chey district office.

"No discrimination"

Choi Young Mi, one of the specialists from Korea, told the Post yesterday that the program’s ambition was simply to save young lives.

“There is no discrimination; whether they are rich or poor or whatever their religion is, we only want to help,” she said.

Choi Young Mi added that this particular project is also carried out in Thailand and Laos, but the need for charity was decreased in both those countries since the improvement of their hospitals.

“We are paying attention to Cambodian children because in Cambodia their medical technology is still at a certain level,” she said.

The medical care will be funded by private donations from Korean citizens as part of a scheme that has helped 134 Cambodian children since 2002.

As well as medical expenses, the treatment package also includes transfer flights and other expenses for parents to accompany their children.

Precedent of success

Chun Chhaikry, 38, said that his six-year-old son Kry Manon had been born with a hole in his heart and was selected for treatment last November.

Chun Chhaikry said he used to send his son for medical check-ups in Calmette hospital and for additional treatment in Vietnam, but fees were sky high and the doctors would not guarantee his son’s life.

“For a month’s treatment in Korea, I would have spent over $100 on passports and another $20,000 covering treatment, recommendation, food, and plane tickets but thanks to this project, I didn’t pay anything at all,” Chun Chhaikry said yesterday.

“I am very happy my son is now fully healthy, it is like he has died and now has come back to us again,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tep Nimol at tep.nimol@phnompenhpost.com

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