Acid Victim Has Surgery in US

Doctors in the US have operated on Tat Marina’s mouth and nose, in the first phase of what is expected to be as much as three years of treatment on the 16-year-old acid attack victim.

Tat Sokhon, Tat Marina’s father, said the family wanted the nose and mouth fixed first so she could speak clearly and breathe easier. Last month, Tat Marina’s mouth was still swollen from the December attack near Phnom Penh’s Olympic Market and plastic plugs remained in her nostrils to keep her nose from closing.

“I never dreamed anyone could bring the beauty back to my daughter,” Tat Sokhon said. “But now I have some hope. I now feel that she can live in society….But she never will get back what she has lost.”

Tat Marina herself realizes she will get only about 80 percent of her beauty back, he said. “She will decide by herself whether she stays there forever or [eventually] comes home.” But he said his preference is for her to remain in the US.

The father said the medical treatment is being supported “generously” by a hospital in the state of Massachusetts and that Tat Marina is staying in a good environment. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Khoun Sophal, the wife of Under­sec­retary of State Svay Sitha of the Council of Ministers. But police have said they can’t locate her.

 

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