Ten years ago a man came to us in the latter stages of AIDS. His wife had already died and he would follow her in death a few months later. Although at one time he had been very well off, he had spent everything he had on treatments and in the end, had to ask me to build him a small hut to die in. He didn’t want to die in the hospice because he wanted to be with his five children. They took very good care of him, especially his oldest son Samorn, who was about 15 at the time. A few days after his father’s death, Samorn showed up and announced that he would be living at Wat Opot and I would be helping him with his education. We had the room and so I let him stay. In the years that have followed all of the 5 siblings have taken up residency at Wat Opot and now all but the youngest are in University.
A couple of weeks ago we decided to rearrange things again because we were getting in more young children and there is also the possibility that we will be taking in children who have been raised in prison because their mothers are doing time. We had built a new storage room and so we emptied out the office and I moved the clinic in behind my desk so that I wouldn’t have to walk across campus every time someone needed medicine. The clinic now is the new Tiny Tots Room.
As often goes, no sooner did we get the new clinic set up and we had our first, and then second, well in fact the bed has been in use nearly every day since, because of a flu like virus that is going around. Fortunately it only hits one or two of the children at a time but even so, it is a strain to care for sick children every day, and so when Samorn showed up this week end I put him to work… because you see, he is now a Registered Nurse, working with one of the Organizations in Phnom Penh.
Because of his experience with caring for his father and growing up in the Wat Opot Community, he is not afraid of working with HIV and AIDS patients. This makes him unique among his co-workers.
He also works well with children, having grown up with over 50 younger brothers and sisters at Wat Opot.
Samorn enjoys his work but hopes to go on to get his Masters Degree in Nursing, which he could do on the weekends over the next two years, if he can find a sponsor to help him. All he needs is the tuition of $4,000.00 to reach his goal… his work will cover the rest of his expenses. Anyone interested? If so visit our Wish List Page for more information.