Sorn Kimtol is 43 years of age and lives in Anlong Cheng Village in Oddar Meanchey Province in the remote northwest of Cambodia. He is father to three young children. He is a moto taxi driver earning an income to support his family. When Kimtol was only 14 years old, he was attacked by a bull causing an injury to his right eye resulting in him losing his sight in that eye. Approximately two years ago, Kimtol noticed the vision in his left eye deteriorating and getting progressively worse in the last eight months.
Kimtol stated” Having been blind in my right eye for such a long time, I adapted. But with the vision in my left eye deteriorating, I could no longer drive at night. I was very worried if I became completely blind how could I keep driving and support my family?
In March, Kimtol had an appointment with Doctor Kakada (a visiting ophthalmologist) at the Mobile Eye Care Services in Oddar Meanchey Provincial Hospital (near the Thai border). Kimtol reported “While it was disturbing to hear that my right eye was beyond repair, it was also encouraging that there was the possibility of my sight being improved by at least 50 percent in my left eye.”
Kimtol was one of the recipients of 182 cataract surgeries performed by Doctor Kakada and his team and sponsored by the Eye Care Foundation (ECF). The day after the operation, when the bandage was removed, Kimtol was astounded by the result:
“I cannot believe that such a quick operation can instantly give me back my sight. I am truly amazed that I can see everything so clearly. I keep closing my eyes and opening again to check that this is real. I am not sure I can find the words to thank everyone involved for this wonderful gift. I am looking forward to returning to my job, supporting the family and most importantly being an active father.”
Kimtol’s wife, Pheak Samnang Kimtol shares: “I am so grateful that my husband can see again. I was very worried about him becoming more and more depressed. But look at his smile now. It means so much to us as a family and especially for our children. Thank you to the doctors and to Eye Care Foundation”.
Note: Two weeks after the surgery, when Piseth (ECF Country Program Manager) called to follow up with Kimtol, he was still very excited and extremely surprised that he could see so clearly. He reports his life has completely return to normal and again thanked everyone involved.