Imagine slowly losing your sight. Transitioning from full independence to being led around with a stick by one of the young members of your family for the rest of your life. The young person becomes your daily guide and loses the opportunity to go to school. Blindness becomes a tremendous burden not only for you but also for your caretaker.
Though dramatic, this is the reality of many living with blindness in South Sudan because of the scarcity of care and resources to combat cataracts and trachoma (an infectious disease that leads to the breakdown of the outer surface or cornea of the eyes). Recently, SowHope collaborated with Partners in Compassionate Care to provide a two-week cataract surgery camp near their medical clinic.
During these two weeks, 307 fully blind people received surgery to remove cataracts or trachoma while another 367 were treated with preventative medicine to slow down or prevent blindness from occurring. The surgeries resulted in the restoration of every patient’s eyesight! SowHope funded the surgeries for 183 women and medication for an additional 259 women.
While having bandages removed after surgery, one woman was asked, “What will be different in your life?” She answered, “When I can see, I will start gardening, so that I can feed my grandchildren.” Then with great satisfaction, she said, “I will be free to come and go as I wish and I will never be led by anyone again!”