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A Patient Returns

The Cambodian parents have been very gracious about sharing their children’s stories.  One of those stories started over a year ago. The father of this little girl from Koskong province told us that she was walking behind her house holding her mother’s hand about 6 a.m. one morning when a snake bit her on the top of her foot.  It was a white snake about 2 inches in diameter and 2 feet long.   The father made a tourniquet with clothing and tied it above the girl’s ankle and took her to a private clinic, but they had run out of anti-venom.  He then carried her to a traditional healer called a Krokmer.  A krokmer is described as a thinking person who works with trees and herbs.  He used no medication but blew on the snake bite.  The father and child stayed in the healer’s house and he blew on the snake bite twice a day for three days.  Within one day the foot had swollen to the ankle, and every day it worsened; so they left the healer’s house and arrived at the Angkor Children’s Hospital (AHC) five days later.  When they arrived the whole foot was red.  The child stayed 18 days in the hospital and had resection of the first, second and third metatarsals, all cuneiform bones, and the navicular bone.  She sustained severe soft tissue loss and needed a skin graft from her lateral thigh. Plasticos surgeons participated in her care at that time. Today she returned for more reconstructive surgery. She walks well but her great toe was very prominent; the aim today was for her to be able to wear a shoe.  Her surgery today should help her greatly.

Debbie, Pediatrician

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