Success Stories

Who is Herbie helping?

Veasna, Cambodia

Veasna, Cambodia

Born in July of 1999, in Cambodia, Veasna had visible malformations of both his left hand and his feet. He only had a few toes, which grew in the wrong places. He was missing all the fingers on his left hand.

Living three hours outside of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, Veasna did not have easy access to paediatric health care. It was believed he would never walk. Nevertheless, Veasna began standing and walking at the age of one. Unfortunately he could not walk normally and was often teased by other children.

After several years, Dr. Jim Gollogly, executive director and chief executive officer at the Children’s Surgical Centre in Phnom Penh, met with Veasna and his family. Unfortunately, because of the complexity of Veasna’s case the surgery could not be done in the Phnom Penh Centre. Dr. Gollogly did, however, put Veasna’s family in touch with Herbie Fund at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

The Herbie Medical Review Committee assessed Veasna’s application as well as medical information and granted approval for him to receive specialized surgical treatment at SickKids. Veasna and his aunt Somany, a nurse in Cambodia, arrived in Toronto in mid April, 2009.

Surgery for his feet took place in late April. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. James Wright removed the extra appendages and areas that caused Veasna pain. Dr. Wright was able to significantly improve the appearance of Veasna’s foot and his functional comfort. Veasna will need to wear prosthetics but can do so without pain or teasing.

Veasna, who loves to draw, read, and play soccer, remained in Toronto until the trip home in July 2009. His medical team at SickKids monitored his progress closely to ensure he was in good health for the trip. His aunt Somany was thrilled at the opportunity given to Veasna through Herbie Fund.

...We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to come to SickKids. Other hospitals just don’t compare. ~ Somany (Veasna’s aunt and guardian while in Toronto)