Eav Oun may face a lifetime of pain from a shell fired on July 5.
THE Keo family wasn't the only one to have its life shattered by poorly aimed rockets.
A former cyclo driver whose house was caught in the crossfire between opposing forces
a year ago found that soldiers would not let him escape until after he was injured
by the 80mm shell.
"On the morning of July 5 many soldiers passed my house," said Eav Oun,
43. "They put a tank by the railway. I don't know how it started, but the soldiers
wouldn't let me out of the house."
As the fighting raged that evening, Oun huddled on the cement floor of his porch.
He got up to go to the bathroom and, as he was coming back, a round came crashing
through the metal roofing.
"There were no motodops. A neighbor took me to the hospital. Many shells surprised
me [en route]. In front of my house were many tanks and soldiers loyal to Hun Sen."
The shell wrecked Oun's intestines and lower abdomen. He now has a plastic colostomy
bag attached to a hole in his gut and he cannot urinate.
Each time he eats, waste comes out of the open wound. His belly is a map of scars.
Doctors have already operated four times and are waiting for him to heal before they
can continue trying to reconnect his severed intestines.
Oun, who hasn't been able to work since the coup - driving a cyclo is out of the
question - faces still more problems. He is about to be evicted from the cement block-making
factory where he has long been allowed to squat.
"Soon I may be homeless," he says nervously.
With no money, no job, nowhere to go and a slew of medical problems he has a hard
time being hopeful.
The only help he has received has come from the Cambodian human rights group Licadho
which has paid for his operations.
A former militia member in the 1980s and a victim of the 1973 US bombings, he is
a realist when it comes to political and other issues. But immediate relief is the
most important thing to him.
"I am angry with the people who fight over power. I am not angry with [the CPP].
They helped some of the wounded," he said. "Whoever helps me get treatment,
I will vote for."
Anyone wanting to provide financial, medical or other assistance for victims of
last July should contact Licadho at: 012-806-468.