This is the third blog-post from Esther Tot who received the ESOMAR Foundation Scholarship to study at the English based Bachelor Degree program in International Business at the National University of Management (NUM) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
A dreadful accident happened to me in 2011! It upsets me so much to talks about this but this is life and we can’t stop it. On August 30th, 2011 my right eye got hit by a knife. It was scary and dreadfully painful! It all happened while I was cooking my own food because my mom was busy working till late that evening. I spend most of my time alone cooking and doing laundry and that time I was just about 14 years old and I was chopping a chicken leg with a small and very sharp knife. The knife broke into half and the broken and sharp piece flew up and poke my eyeball and it dropped back very fast. I thought that the chicken hit my eye but when I tried to wash it with water it didn’t go away, the sight was still blurred and I was so frightened when I looked down on the ground and saw a broken piece of the knife laying there on the floor! At that moment I knew what really hit my eyeball and when I touched the eyeball it felt soft like the balloon running out of air. I was so scared, I didn’t even have a phone.
At that time I lived with the neighbors. When they were going out they always locked the gate. I had to stand there and wait for people to pass. I gave them the key and asked them to unlock the door for me. I ran out to borrow the neighbor’s phone to call my mom. She hurried home and took me to Ogdoung hospital. We didn’t have money, my mom couldn’t even afford the 500 riels to park the bike. It was the saddest moment of our life because I had to do an eye surgery or else I would get blind forever. I could hear my mom crying and begging the doctor to please help me, that I was her only child and we were poor and the doctor said he couldn’t do a free surgery, he could only offer a discount. I cried and the nurse told me not to cry because the tears could hurt the eyeball. I tried hard not to cry but I still cried and in my heart I prayed God to help me and I memorized the memory verse of Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you”. This verse calmed my heart. Later I heard my mom call her boss and the church pastor and a moment later they came and had a private talk with my mom. Suddenly the doctor called me to the surgery room and did the surgery on my eye. I could feel all the needle, knife and scissor movements on my eyeball and I kept on praying and memorizing that verse from the Bible. The surgery was successful. They covered my right eye for about one month and I could use only my left eye. Sadly the doctor said that a mistake was made by his training nurse. She forgot to cut out the dead cell and there was still water in my eyeball.
My eye has not been functioning well until now. I have to undergo a 2nd surgery but I don’t have money. I had once asked the doctor how much it would cost to change my lens so I can see clearly again. He said it would be about $5000 dollars which I could never raise but I really want to see normally from both eyes.
Till now no one at school knows that I can see with only one eye and it always hurt when I try to look at something which is too bright or stare at the books or letters too long. My eyeball starts to hurt and I get headache. But I never want to quit my study. No one at school knows I am disabled but I never want to call myself this way. I end up bearing this pain and this pain is what persuaded me to study hard because I want a better job so I can give my mom a better life. I also want to save money to change my lens because I really want to see normally again.
My motto for pain is that, “There are 2 types of pains, the pain that changes you for good and the pain that changes you for bad and it is your choice to choose which pain you want to take.”
At last, I just want to tell everyone who struggles through any types of pain to not giving up and keep on living and changing the world, don’t let the world change your smile but let your smile change the world.
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