Sovann is an 8th standard Khmer Buddhist Girl who studied at our elementary school in Phum Chreh, Phnom Penh. Although she is already an adolescent her size is that of 9 years old!

Sovann with Judith
Her life is signed by suffering: she is from a very poor family and was born with AVSD (Atrial-ventricular septal defect).This caused her heart to enlarge and not function normally. One of her heart valves was also leaking.  Her calm and serene gaze reveals intelligence as well as acceptance of her physical handicap, proper of poor people in this Country who have no other possibility than that of trying to live with it.

She has frequented our school since kindergarten – a weak child but attentive and committed in her study. The Sisters contacted local doctors to see if something could be done for Sovann but found no possibility available in the Country.

The problem was brought to the notice of good, catholic Singaporean Doctors and people who come yearly for a week long volunteering Advent solidarity experience among the poor in our schools and elsewhere in Cambodia.

Sovann at home
A plan was quickly worked out by them to take Sovann to Singapore for a thorough investigation of the case and on the possibility of surgical intervention. The result was positive. Audrey and Judith, two good and generous hearted Singaporean catholic ladies, took it to heart to work out every detail for the realization of a surgical intervention in Singapore on Sovann.  Last August Sovann embarked again a plane with her mother for a journey to new life. The surgery was carried out by excellent Doctors at KK Hospital and was funded by the KK Outreach Fund which helps the needy in developing countries.

Much prayer was raised by the Sisters who had worked hard with Audrey and the Singaporeans to investigate the case, organize and carry out the enterprise from the Cambodian side.

Great was everyone’s joy and gratitude toward God for the success of the intervention and on welcoming back Sovann, a more lively, happy and  hopeful girl. She is now staying with us at our Center for sometime for proper care.

Sr Lina Chiandoto 
Phnom Penh 15 September 2013

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