One Step Beyond – Cambodia – People – Long Sokly
My accident happened in August 2000. But actually, I don't remember the exact date. It happened in the Tram Kak district, in Takeo province, close to Kampot province. It was 11 o'clock in the morning, and I was returning home from my farm to eat lunch. It wasn't very hot on that day, and the sky was cloudy.
I left home in the morning, and walked along the path to my gardens. I went into the forest to pick some mushrooms and collect vegetables from my small gardens, which I had built there. I went into the bush to sow some seeds and corn. All the time, I was taking the paths which I always took. Then, on my way back home. I came down the hill to a point where an old firepit was. We always passed that place, but never had an accident there. It is far away from our farms. It is still in the bush close to the hillside. Everyday, when I went to my gardens, and on my way home, I always passed the same old firepit, which soldiers used to use. But I didn't know this – I thought it was just a place where other farmers cook. And at that place, I stepped on the mine.
When the mine blew up, I heard a loud noise. At first, I didn't realize that I had lost a leg, but when I looked down at myself, I saw it. I started shouting for help. I was shocked and nervous, and saw that my leg was smashed and looked awful. I kept on shouting. I did not know what else to do. I couldn't walk. I was conscious the whole time. I didn't faint – I can remember everything. It was very painful. When the people realised that had I stepped on the mine, they rushed to help me. They were afraid that I wouldn't survive for long, and that I would die. I was losing a lot of blood from my wounded leg. So they helped stop the bleeding by tying it up. And then they carried me to a hospital. There were three of them – they were all men, and they were strong. Other people with a cow cart came, and they helped me too.