They have travelled from different cities and provinces to get a chance to be healed by Ray Rong, a resident of Prey Veng’s Svay Chrum village. Rong is known far and wide as one of the best healers in the area, and the blessing water and herbal medicines he gives to patients are claimed to defeat a hundred different kinds of diseases. Many other traditional healers proffer the same goods, but there’s one important difference: Rong is only three years old.
Still too young to speak clearly, Ray Rong is the third child of five to Tep Saray and Un Saroeurn, a pair of impoverished farmers.
In the last couple of months, the boy has risen to fame on the back of claims that he has healed hundreds of people. Every day, at least two hundred patients, including some from across the border of nearby Vietnam, wait outside his house to get blessed water and medicine. Some of Rong’s patients travel hundreds of kilometres and spend several nights sleeping near the toddler’s house in the hopes of getting a chance to meet him.
The 60-year-old Yay Hom was one of Ray Rong’s patients, who brought incense, candles, cake and pure drinking water as an offering to the child healer.
“I have to wait for my turn to be called in and see the healer,” she says. “I have suffered from diabetes for 10 years. My blood sugar level was never less than 410 mg/dL.” (Healthy blood sugar levels range from 70-180 milligrams per decilitre.) “I took medication and saw other doctors, but I never felt better. After the holy child gave me magic water to drink and some fig fruits, my blood sugar level dropped to 110 mg/dL.”
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