Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Lucky Wednesday’ at home

‘Lucky Wednesday’ at home

‘Lucky Wednesday’ at home

After surviving an attempted burial last week, a newborn with a cleft lip and palate was released from hospital in Svay Rieng town and taken home by her mother yesterday.

Nicknamed “Lucky Wednesday” by doctors after her miraculous survival last week, the baby, who was legally named Kong Sokthida over the weekend, barely made it through her first hours of life. She was rescued on Wednesday from beneath a pile of dirt at the town’s Prey Chhlak pagoda, where her father, ashamed of his firstborn’s malformed lip, had allegedly left her to die.

She was saved when boys from the pagoda heard her muffled cries.

A newborn baby who was buried alive lies on the ground in Svay Rieng province on Wednesday after being rescued
A newborn baby who was buried alive lies on the ground in Svay Rieng province on Wednesday after being rescued. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Despite the horrific accusation against her husband – 29-year-old Kong Sokthy – the baby’s mother yesterday pleaded with police to free him from jail, where he is being held and facing charges of aggravated attempted murder.

“I’m not angry with him, because he may have been in a very bad mood to see the baby like that,” Heng Dany, 29, said. “I want him to be reunited with me and our family. He loves me and our family.”

Dany claimed she did not initially know her baby was born with a cleft palate; she hadn’t had a chance to see her daughter before her husband left the delivery room with their child.

Even after the baby was rushed to hospital after being rescued, Dany was still not able to see her for two days, as hospital staff feared the mother might also harm her baby.

“I was asking and crying and begging to see my baby, but the doctor did not trust me, even though I knew nothing about what my husband had done.”

Dany was reunited with her daughter on Friday. On Saturday, NGO Operation Smile visited them, bringing baby clothes and demonstrating special ways to nurse the infant, who has trouble breastfeeding.

“The baby is doing much better now,” said Dr Mok Theavy, Operation Smile’s medical director. He added that Dany was not aware that her baby could have a free and relatively simple corrective surgery.

Operation Smile plans to operate on her cleft lip in July and on her palate when she is at least nine months old.


  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune