Patient Stories from South Sudan

Touching stories of the joy of sight-restoration from South Sudan, where over 800 sight-restoring surgeries were performed

Please enjoy these heartwarming stories showing the impact and joy of sight-restoration from our cataract outreach in South Sudan, where over 800 sight-restoring surgeries were performed.


Meet Lyada Ngkulid, a 13-year-old girl who came to the cataract outreach campaign in Old Fangak from a village called Pulita. Lyada said life was very hard due to her blindness. She lost vision in both eyes when she was only eight-years-old and could only see a bit of light in each eye when she arrived. Traveling with her brother, Diu, and mother, Nyachieng, it took the family four days to walk to Old Fangak. Lyada had never been seen by an eye care professional before, so when they heard of the outreach event from Dr. Jill Seamans, an American doctor who has lived and worked in South Sudan since 1989 with the non-profit, South Sudan Medical Relief, they decided to make the long journey in hopes to have Lyada’s sight-restored. Before her surgery Lyada told HCP International Fellow, Dr. Allison Jarstad she was not scared to have surgery because she was suffering so much from her blindness the hope to see again erased her fear. After her patches were removed she began laughing. She exclaimed, “I can see your face and there are writings on the paper chart,” with joyful laughter. “God bless the doctors who helped me!”


Meet Nyadepni Chuil, a 48-year-old mother of two from Juaibar Village in South Sudan. Nyadepni had been blind for three years. During the outreach event in Old Fangak, she had her sight restored in both eyes by HCP Co-Founder, Dr. Geoffrey Tabin. Once her patches were removed she spoke of how incredibly happy she is to have her vision back.


Meet Nyarieka Durkuach, an 80-year-old woman from Dora. She heard about the outreach event in Old Fangak from some visitors who came to her community. Before surgery, she said she could only recognize a bright light if it flashed directly in front of her face but she could not make out shapes or shadows. Living in darkness, she walked over five hours holding onto a stick led by her granddaughter to reach Old Fangak. We removed the patches and she shouted, “Hallelujah I can see!!” She emanated pure joy and said she looks forward to having her life back.


This 60-year-old man could only see light in both eyes prior to surgery. HCP International Fellow, Dr. Allison Jarstad did cataract surgery in both of his eyes, and immediately after taking off his patches, he started dancing and grinning from ear to ear. “He was so happy, he grabbed my hands and thanking me over and over again,” Allison Jarstad.

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“He was so happy, he grabbed my hands, thanking me over and over again!”

– HCP International Fellow, Dr. Allison Jarstad