Phnom Penh – A few seconds were all that it took to change ten-year-old Srey Pheak’s life forever. When she reached into the brick machine to clean off some clay, she got trapped. The machine quickly pulled her arm in, like it would with clay, and crushed it.
“When the incident just happened, inside the ambulance, she asked me: ‘Mum, my hand is chopped. When I recover, will it regrow?’ I told her yes,” her mother Khim Channa recounts in the hospital while holding her daughter in her arms.
But Srey Pheak’s arm won’t regrow, and her mother was unable to hold back her tears in the ambulance, she tells Voice of America. “I was crying, and she told me ‘mummy, don’t cry. I survive. It’s just the hand that’s chopped, I still have life in my body.’ She comforted me. It’s not me who comforted her,” the 34-year-old mother recounts, tears welling up in her eyes.