Special report by Brian Doolan, CEO
Kenya: Share in this incredible moment – the moment that Joy was reunited with her mother, after life-changing surgery to restore her sight.
A better life for Joy
I hope you can get a sense of their happiness and excitement – this was the moment when a better life for Joy and her family began.
In Western Kenya, our team visited a home where a little girl was playing. She was sitting under the hot, bright sun – holding her hands close to her face. She wriggled her fingers, causing the light to ripple over her face. You could see she was having fun. Her family tells us: Joy plays with the sun because its great light is the only thing she can see.
Four-year-old Joy was born with cataracts in both eyes. The whole family loves this lively, happy, little girl dearly, especially her grandmother who cares for her. Sadly, in this part of the world, a blind child’s chances of survival are slim.
An eye operation can cost as little as $25. But for Joy’s family, this is an enormous sum of money – they would never be able to pay for surgery.
A child filled with hope
Joy’s grandmother, Ruth, stayed with her all the time she was in hospital.
Before the operation, Joy was chatting and singing. She never complained – she didn’t flinch when the anaesthetic needle went into her arm. Even her surgeon, Dr Mundia, remarked on how courageous she was.
A life transformed
Joy’s eye patches were removed – it was a big moment.
Dr Mundia could see the operation was a success and, two minutes later, Joy was walking around the hospital on her own with a huge smile on her face.
Joy’s future looks so different now. We asked Dr Mundia for a message for supporters of The Fred Hollows Foundation.
“A small amount of money can do so much. Joy is now only four years old. Thanks to your generosity, we have given her 75 years of good vision and good life.”
A few days later, once Joy had rested, we took her home. Joy rushed to hug her mother, who is finishing her education so she can get a job and provide for her daughter. She was delighted to see that the operation was a success – Joy’s future is looking so much brighter now. Soon, she’ll be starting school herself.
A blind person needs your help today
Ninety per cent of blind people live in the developing world, and in four out of five cases, their condition is treatable. It’s vital that we act quickly to save the sight of a child before it affects their development.
Follow in the footsteps of pioneering eye surgeon, Fred Hollows, and give sight to someone living in poverty.
Key achievements in 2011
Our supporters have already made a huge difference in the countries where we work. Last year alone, The Fred Hollows Foundation worked with our local partners to:
- Perform 282,714 eye operations and treatments
- Train 10,757 medical and support staff
- Build or renovate 50 medical facilities
- Deliver $3,389,496 of equipment
- Screen the eyes of 1,604,802 people.
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