Ten-year old Seyha lives what the majority of rural Cambodian’s would call an “average” childhood. Seyha’s parents, like most other families living on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, spend their days tending to rice and vegetable fields, earning just $2 per day.
When Seyha was four-years old, she was playing with other children near an abandoned factory next to her home. As Seyha was running, she tripped and fell on a rusty oil barrel, which had been sawed in half. Deeply lacerating her calf muscle, Seyha was left in critical need for medical attention. Because her family’s daily income is only $2, Seyha was taken to a local medicine man to mend her wounds with traditional ointments, herbs and banana leaves. Shortly after, Seyha’s condition began to deteriorate rapidly and her leg became infected with gangrene. As sepsis began to set in, the only remaining option was to amputate her leg.
Years following her accident, Seyha’s parents were still saving to afford a $250 prosthetic device that would enable Seyha to walk again and finally start school; 90% of disabled children in the developing world do not receive an education. In 2011, ALTSO started to provide free orthopedic care to children in Cambodia and heard about Seyha’s story. Within three months, ALTSO had sourced funding to sponsor Seyha’s treatment until the age of 18 with free prosthetic limbs!
Today, Seyha is at the top of her class and extremely active and healthy. Every 3-4 months she receives a check-up and is refitted with a new prosthetic device as her body continues to grow.