Leang was doused in petrol and set alight by his corrupt yet influential boss.
Seriously ill, his wife Ting, set about trying to find treatment. Trudging from hospital to hospital, in incredible pain, he was offered nothing more than an intravenous drip and balm for his wounds.
Desperate, they made their way to Phnom Penh and the wards of one of the capital’s larger hospitals. Here, they hoped, Leang would find the treatment he needed. And, because the hospital that Leang was slumped in was a state one, that treatment should be free.
So tells Joel Brinkley in his new book ‘Cambodia’s Curse’ The story continues:
“Several hours later a doctor came in and told us the burn was very serious and he needed to clean the wounds. But we would have to pay him $100. He told this to my grandmother. She is old, and had just lost a leg to a landmine. Through the evening, the price increased to $150. I was crying. I told the doctor I didn’t have $150.
The doctor said, “Well I guess we don’t need to clean the wounds’ “He took off his gloves and walked away.”
With no chance of coercing any money from the victims the monster-doctor never returned.
Leang died the next day. His ex-boss still has both his freedom and influence.
· Cambodia’s Curse by Joel Brinkley, Public Affairs, New York, 2011