Posted on 27 June, 2013

This post is by Michael Were, Manager of OHI.

Whenever I travel as part of my role at Open Heart International, I return home so thankful for healthcare and the medical system in Australia we often take for granted.

Today I met the Binwinican family, a phenomenal story that I hope will have a happy ending in the near future. The family consists of parents, and 6 children. Mum and three of the children have bilateral blindness as a result of cataracts. Bilateral of course means both eyes.

The family live about an hour for the Hospital, and had previously visited during the patient screening that was completed before Christmas. However with forms to complete, and local doctors to visit, it became too difficult for this family to work out what to do. Without the paperwork at the Hospital completed, they simply disappeared again from everyone’s radar until today when one of the staff tried to contact them.

After examination of their conditions and calls from Dr. Geoffrey Painter back to some of his colleagues in Australia, it was determined that we were not going to be able to help….right now. As part of the surgery, a replacement lens is inserted, and we do not have the specific lenses required. They are a tricky case and an unusual lens is required for all four of the family.

Of course back home in Australia, you have time to plan for these things and surgery can be booked later for a time once you have the lens. What to do when you are flying home in a couple of days? For Dr. Geoffrey Painter, the option is pretty simple.

He leans down next to Mum and her kids, and with the help of a nurse as translator explains his personal commitment to them. He will go home to Australia and find the lenses he needs. Then he will come back later in the year specifically to provide surgery to all of them, and both their eyes.

With a promise made, the Hospital staff have a second surprise for the family. They have a small monetary gift to help them with food and supplies for the next few months.

The Binwican family

The Binwican family being assessed The Binwican family after shopping

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