What would you do if you had an eye condition that was easily treated with a 15-minute surgery? You’d accept treatment, wouldn’t you?
Maya suffered with cataracts for a year, to the point that she was forced to stop doing the things she loved, like making garlands in her free time and spending time with her family. Eventually, she was forced to stop working too.
This wasn’t just difficult for Maya. Her whole family works as daily wage labourers on a farm in a small village in Lalitpur, Nepal.
Living with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and young grandson means that every day is a struggle to put food on the table. The family depends on each other’s wages to afford their living. So when one family member becomes disabled, the whole family suffers from the loss.
Months before, Maya had been diagnosed with cataract and referred for surgery at the nearest hospital, but Maya was afraid. “I was scared because I thought it would hurt,” says Maya. She was also worried about the cost, and though she was told that she needed surgery, she didn’t go through with it. “I didn’t tell my son or daughter-in-law about my eyes because I knew they couldn’t afford it.”
But she couldn’t ignore her need forever. Maya was bumping into things, and she needed help just to perform basic tasks at home.
It got so bad that one day she couldn’t even recognize the faces of her friends and family anymore. Unable to do the things she loved, or see her family’s faces, Maya grew more and more sad by the day.
“I was fearful that I would have to live a dark life, being a burden on my family,” says the 76-year-old woman. “But I didn’t think anything could be done to help me since I was already so far along in years.”
Then a few months later a knock came on Maya’s door that would change her life!
Two community health workers trained by Operation Eyesight stood at Maya’s doorstep. They screened her eyes, and immediately referred her to our partner, the Nepal Eye Hospital, for treatment at no cost to her and her family. With the financial barrier out of the way, Maya decided to face her fear and underwent sight-restoring cataract surgery!
Now that she can see, she’s thrilled to be back at work, and she can see the faces of her friends and family again. “I’m so happy now I can contribute to my family and make my garlands again.” Maya says joyfully. “And even better, I am so happy to have my sight back so one day I can watch my grandson get married. Even though I was scared before, now I tell everyone to go have their eyes checked.”
“Now I can see my family living happily, not having to worry about me anymore, and I am so grateful. I want to thank to doctors for painless surgical treatment and restoring my vision. I want to thank the community health worker from the bottom of my heart, and thank you so much to the generous donors who made it possible for community health workers to reach me and refer me for treatment!”
It’s thanks to incredible people like you that Maya was helped. But there are thousands more people like Maya who need access to quality eye health care. Please consider making a donation today and help us give the Gift of Sight to many more – For All The World To See!