Nejat lives in Ethiopia. When she was just one-year-old, she developed severe cataracts that left her unable to see. Five years later, time was running out for Nejat. The long-term damage from the cataracts meant that soon there would be no point in carrying out the surgery.
That’s when the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital landed in Addis Ababa. Nejat’s cousin took her along. The Orbis team assessed her and declared her fit for surgery. After the operations, Nejat’s sight was completely restored. Now she can live the life she had always dreamed of – running, playing with her friends, and of course going to school.
Enkhzul was five years old and suffering from hereditary cataracts in both eyes. Her little brother, Ganshagai, four, also had the same condition.
When their mother heard the Flying Eye Hospital was coming to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, she and her children journeyed nearly 1,000 kilometres to reach the hospital – the same distance as Land’s End to John O’Groats. Enkhzul couldn’t go to school because her sight problems were so bad.
Dr. Dan Neely, a leading volunteer ophthalmologist from the USA, initially removed the cataract in one of Enkhzul’s eyes and did the same with Ganshagai. After the initial operation, Enkhzul and Ganshagai were able to see more clearly - Enkhzul even started singing songs to the Orbis staff on-board. The smile on her face when she could see her mother for the first time was priceless.
When Verah heard there was going to be an Orbis eye screening in Mansa Village, she cycled with one-year old Racheal 60kms from her home to the Mansa Hospital. At the screening, Racheal was diagnosed with cataracts. Verah and Racheal travelled more than 500kms by bus to the Kitwe Eye Annexe for cataract surgery, performed by Dr Mboni.
After a year of darkness, little Racheal had her bandages removed and saw her mum, Verah’s, face for the very first time.
Dr Mboni, the Orbis-trained Ophthalmologist who carried out Racheal’s operation, knows exactly how crucial the operation was for her. Describing the bubbly one-year old just moments after the bandages were removed from her eyes, he told us:
“As Racheal plays happily with an empty tub on the bed, one struggles to fully fathom the impact the short operation will have on this little girl.”
Each one of these operations is life-changing and to make it available to as many children as possible, we urgently need your help.