Cambodia Sight Story 1

Sam and Huen with their youngest grandchild. © Ellen Crystal Photography

Fifty-two years ago in rural Cambodia, Sam and Huen were arranged to be married. They had grown up in the same village, just 4 houses away from each other but they had never spoken until just one week before their wedding. “I was very happy to marry her, she was so beautiful!” said Sam.

Together they struggled through the Khmer Rouge Regime, making a life together by farming rice and raising their six boys and two girls.

As their family grew to include five grandchildren, they encountered yet another trial: they were both losing their sight.

Huen went blind first; she was afraid to walk alone, but Sam guided her, helped her with chores, and carried water for her.

Thankfully Seva came to their area, and Huen’s sight was restored through cataract surgery at an eye camp. It was just in time, as shortly thereafter Sam completely lost his vision. It was now Huen’s turn to take care of Sam.

Cambodia Sight Story 1

Sam and Huen on their way back home after Sam's cataract surgery. © Ellen Crystal Photography

For Huen “happiness would be when Sam gets his vision back and he can see the people around him. He can do things for himself like go to the pagoda and read Buddha’s teachings. We can even go to the pagoda together for parties like we did before we lost our sight.”

For Sam, he wanted to see his family’s faces again – his beautiful wife, his children and his grandchildren.

The very next year, Seva returned to the area, and Sam’s sight was restored as well.

Cambodia Sight Story 1

Huen and Sam outside their house. © Ellen Crystal Photography

 “My wife is still beautiful, now she just has more wrinkles,” said Sam with a twinkle in his eye and a big smile. “And before I could see, my grandchildren seemed really small, now I can see how big they really are! We can do things like take walks and play with them now and one day even dance at their weddings.”

"My wife is still beautiful, now she just has more wrinkles" - Sam

Cambodia Sight Story 1

Sam looking at his grandchildren after having his sight restored. © Ellen Crystal Photography

Sam and Huen now know that Seva Canada donors paid for the surgeries that gave them back their sight and independence and would like “to give a big, big, thank you very much!”

On behalf of all the Cambodians who have been given the power of sight due to the generosity of Seva Canada donors “Awkoon Chran!” Thank you very much!

Cambodia Sight Story 1

Awkoon Chran from Sam, Huen and the rest of their family. © Ellen Crystal Photography

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