The transformative effect of sight restoring surgery
Cataract surgery is life changing, both for the patient and for their caregivers, as underscored by the following three stories from patients at a recent surgical outreach event in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Wese Worke traveled from Demebeza Girogis to attend HCP’s outreach event in Bahir Dar. She had lost her vision in July 2020, and had spent much of her days sitting at home without being able to go to church by herself. After receiving sight-restoring surgery, Worke exclaimed, “Both my eyes are as bright as the sun. I’m so happy. The whole community will be cheering for me when I get back.” Reflecting on her decision to travel to the outreach, she said, “I refused to come at first but my son insisted and brought me here. I thank him.”
Terefe Gelaw, 78, came from Mertole Mariam to the outreach in Bahir Dar. He had lost vision in both eyes and had been blind for almost five years. Previously a farmer, Terefe says, “I had no one to lead me and I was suffering so I ended up staying in the church.” After his surgery, Terefe expressed his joy at having his sight restored. “I can see very well. I can see far away and I can eat. I’m very happy beyond words. I would be dancing if it was not for my old age.”
Emawa Bere, 60, traveled from Ayehu Guagsa, Agew to the outreach. A widow, she lost vision in both of her eyes a year ago. She said, “I could no longer do house chores and have been dependent on my granddaughter. I’ll hopefully be independent once I regain my sight back.” Emawa was cheerful after the sight in both of her eyes was restored at Felege Hiwot Referral Hospital during HCP’s surgical outreach event in Bahir Dar. "I'm very happy", she said.