My story is :
I have polio and I struggle with it very much. I tried hard with my life because I wanted to be like the other children. When I saw how beautiful they were and how much money they had, I was very jealous, but I didn’t know what to do. I only study hard and humble myself.
When I was young, I wanted to be a business woman. When I grew up, I still would have loved to be a business woman, but now, my hope only has 30% and I’m still waiting for 70% of my dream.
I think that I hoped, when I came to CHA, that I would be happier than I was at home. I know everything is good here at CHA.
At CHA, they give me hope. The teachers love me very much and I love them too.
I have a lot of hope for my life since coming to CHA.
I want to live at CHA forever.
Nobody forced me to come to CHA. I came on my own.
My favorite part of CHA is talking and laughing and having fun with each other.
Thank you. I love you and you all love me too.
History of Khourn Sok Chea (CHA Member) who died of heart attack
Ms. Khourn Sok Chea was born on 13th January, 1997 in Laang Village, Laang Commune, Dorng Tung District, Kampot Province. Her father’s name is Meas Sokhun, Birthday: 1972, Occupation: Barber, and mother’s name: Khut Moa, Birthday: 1978, Occupation: Housewife. She attended state school for 7 years, and she lived with her sister because her parents divorced each other – her father lived about 5 kilometers away, and her mother lived in different places in Cambodia. When CHA members went to her house to make an interview with her, she lived with her younger sister near her aunt’s house. Her father lived with his second wife and her mother lived with her second husband, so she stayed with her sister without doing anything at home, and her sister still went to school every day. Her body was very skinny (31kgs.) with brown long hair. Her arms and hands were very weak, and could not lift heavy things and her legs are very small could not stand strongly by lifting things heavy. She got used to having drugs abuse because she had bad feeling with her family and wanted to forget bad memory, so she had to do like that (as she mentioned to our members when she came to CHA). She always sat still and she seemed upset all the time, and her eyes filled with tears every day. She stopped studying at school. Her sister and she depended on her aunt and got some money from her parents, but she could not afford to live at her house, so CHA decided to recruit her as a CHA trainee to learn skills on 14th November, 2012, but her sister could not be accepted to come along with her to CHA because she was 11 years old. She got also used to having bone Tuberculosis and lungs problem; but she was relived well in the past. CHA did not know that she had a heart problem because her relatives and family did not tell us her problem, but when she was recruited to learn skills at CHA, CHA only notified that she seemed to be psychological because she sometimes acted as unusual, such as, sitting on her own, crying when someone blamed on her a little bit, liking to kiss somebody who made joke with her, being jealous of everyone that got something more and more beautiful than her, and sometimes she had a head in the cloud to say something very strange – it meant that she was upset and she wanted something to be happy and made a joke to forget something bad in her feeling. Sometimes her father raised the bad article at home to let her know and she cried and sat on her own, without eating and drinking and CHA staff tried to console her to be pleased again and told her to forget that, and sometimes, her mother told her something unhappy in her family and made her feeling very upset. Kim Tha, CHA director, called her mother and father not to tell her about something unhappy and unusual; otherwise, she was sick, cried, sat still without learning anything, and did not eat and drink anything at all, and then they both agreed to Kim Tha’s suggestion. Once, Ms. Tun, a CHA new trainee, who was recruited near her house, and she was polio who was raped by the man who lived near her house, and she told Chea that his brother wished to rape Chea’s sister (13 years old) who stayed at her house alone; therefore, she started thinking about her sister worriedly, and was worried about her all the time, and tried to call her father and mother telling about her sister who will be raped some time, and she asked them to pay attention to her sister by asking one of them to take her sister to live with. On this matter, she fell sick and worried about this issue all the time, and she started having a catch cold, runny nose and eating a little bit as well as not sleeping so well. CHA provided her some medicine to relieve this illness, but her feeling filled with sorrow and grief, so the medicine could not help her relieved as other members who got sick like hers. She became increasingly sick, so we had to send her to the Clinic near CHA program to check her illness.
When we took her to see the doctor, he checked her blood pressure, throat and temperature, and then the doctor took her blood to examine. After half an hour, we got the result of her illness. The doctor told me that she had Typhoid (160 degrees) -not too bad, inflamed throat and blood problem, and then the doctor injected her with the syrup mixed up with other medicine to cure her illness. After half an hour, she got a little better, but she still had bit phlegm in her throat, and she was hungry. She asked me to go to CHA to take rice broth with dried fish. While I was away from her, she asked the doctor to turn on TV and she followed singing an English song which was taught to her at CHA, and Khmer songs. While singing a song via TV, she said to the doctor that she was a serious pain in the left chest. When the doctor saw her face becoming pale, and it was difficult for her to breathe, he hurriedly put Oxygen in her mouth, and then took her to Russian Hospital right away with Ms. Pich, a CHA member, who was appointed her to take care of CHEA while CHEA being sick at the Clinic. When she arrived at hospital, she was taken into the emergency room to be cured on her problem. The result of her real problem while being at hospital was the heart attack, the doctor said that she had the heart attack, and they injected heart medicine into her blood-stream twice and made massages on her chest, and her heart was beating a little bit, and then stopped beating, and after that, she was taken to the second room which was the last treatment to assist her life. She was in the last room with the Oxygen in her mouth, with the monitors checking her pulse and heart beating over four hours. At last, the doctor told me that she died of heart attack because she has had this problem for ages, and we all did not know her problem and her parents did not tell us about her heart problem. We all become despondent. While she was on the bed checked into her heart beating and her pulse on the monitors in the emergency room, Kim Tha, Thaily and Pich met her aunt who was sick at hospital, sleeping near her room, told us that she had heart problem since she was at home, and her two sisters had died the same as hers – one died when she was 6 months old, and another died when she was 6 years old, so we think that she has had the heart-problem descendant/race . The doctors at the hospital told me that any person that had the heart attack was checked and cured only at least 30 minutes, and if any patient was not available to be relieved during those, he or she was taken to the Corpse’s Room, but Chea had been cured over four hours by our appealing to the doctors who took care of hers for going on the treatment, and finally they could not help her life. We are all very deeply depressed and we all fell into despondency and cried. We thought that she should not die of heart attack so young. We pray to God for sending her soul in peace in heaven, and we express our deep grief and sorrow for the loss of our best member that we have adored. Now, all of us have been grief-stricken over her death. We all feel absolutely sorry for her who died of heart attack at 9:15pm on 3rd Match, 2014. Her dead body was taken to her village at 10:30pm on 3rd Match. 2014. We are very very very sorry for the loss of such a best friend at CHA. She will never be forgotten. She is in our heart all the time and we miss her in our heart and pray for her.
All of CHA members joined Chea’s funeral ceremony on 5th March, 2014 at 11:00am in Laang Village, Laang Commune, Dorng Tung District, Kampot Province. Unfortunately, we did not see her dead body before cremating during the ceremony because her funeral time was due at 10:00pm on 4th March, and caught fire on her body completely at 12:00 midnight, so we missed her cremation because we are all in Phnom Penh, about 100 Kms. In magical powers, her dead body was not cremated well, and the fire caught fire on the coffin and her clothes only, and her body was not burnt, she seemed that she might wait for our members, but the clergyman who burns the corpse said that her limited time for her dead body to had to be cremated completely at midnight, but she could not; therefore, he asked her father prayed for her soul to catch a fire on her body, but not possible, and he asked her mother prayed for her soul instead, but still not possible, so her dead body laid still at the crematorium without burning. Until 3:00 am, the clergyman decided to ask her father and mother (on both) prayed for her soul together, and then they asked an excuse for her life that they could not look after her and her sister for ages, and left her behind, and told her that CHA members would come to meet her in her funeral procession the following day. After their praying to her soul for an end to their sufferings of her life and an excuse for not taking care of her for a long time, and telling her soul about CHA members coming to the funeral march the following day, her body started burning completely and entirely, and left remains of her bone pieces to be placed in the basket before keeping them in the funeral casket/urn on her seven-day funeral ceremony.
All of CHA members attend her funeral procession as scheduled as her family held in her village. We did complete every procession in her funeral for good on 5th and 9th – 10th March, 2014.
She’s gone and we all have been filled with a sense of loss. We miss her very much, and her name is in our prayers all the time.
See photos of Chea’s funeral here