Thursday, April 29, 2010

Intensive care

Vann Nath, inside one of the rooms used as a prisoner holding cell at Tuol Sleng
This morning I visited Calmette Hospital to meet with Vann Nath's wife and to find out more about the artist's critical medical condition. He was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday with severe internal bleeding from what may be a stomach ulcer and has not eaten or drank for three days. He's in the intensive care unit at Calmette, his family are with him though the absence of a proper diagnosis and treatment is worrying, as the hours pass and he gets weaker. The family would like him to be treated in Bangkok, where he underwent surgery for spine and kidney problems in recent years, but in his current critical state that's not a feasible option. I was there to pass on a private donation towards the family's medical bills from Hanuman and a New Zealand film team who met and interviewed Vann Nath last year. Vann Nath has appeared in many documentaries over the years, always exuding a dignified calmness about his past, as one of the few prisoners to get out of Tuol Sleng alive, and his desire for justice. He was a key witness in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal proceedings against Comrade Duch last year.



Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Update on Vann Nath's health : Friday.

His son in law has told me that there has been an improvement in Vann Nath's condition. Less pain, less bleeding, blood transfusions have been taking place and a team of foreign doctors have been assigned to the patient, after a phone call from PM Hun Sen to the hospital director emphasized how important it was for him to get the best treatment. The signs are better but he's not out of the woods by any stretch and surgery is still a possibility.


April 30, 2010 at 4:54 PM  

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