Posted on 27 June, 2013

This post is by Michael Were, Manager of OHI.

When we think of cataract surgery, we often think that it is a condition that occurs later in life. While that is true, you may be surprised to learn that cataracts can also occur in young children for a number of different reasons.

We met Herbi a few days ago, a young boy not living too far from where we are working. Herbi lost the vision in his right eye at 3, and his left eye at 5 years ago. With no funds to be able to afford surgery, he has been living in complete blindness ever since.

A few years ago, there was a chance for him to receive surgery, however an unrelated illness thwarted his chance, and the family had resigned themselves to the fact Herbi may never see again.

Today Herbi celebrated his 12th birthday with a rather novel gift. Today he received an operation on his left eye to remove the cataract and give him his sight back. A few moments ago, we turned down his dressings and he got to see his mother for the first time in 7 years!

While his sight is still hazy, he could still see shapes and movement. His sight will improve in the coming days. We hope to be able to operate on Herbi’s right eye on future visits.

It’s been an incredibly long day for the team today. We have completed 23 cases during the course of the day, and at 10pm are looking forward to departing for the hotel and hopefully some dinner. It’s stories like Herbi though that make it all worthwhile.

Herbi after recieving eye surgery on his birhday

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