From the Field
Marta, age 13
Marta was very insecure. Blinded by cataracts in both eyes, she had to attend a special school and was very depressed. When she was 6 she was first taken to a hospital for medical care for her condition. It was not until 7 years later, when Marta was 13-years-old, that she was able to have something done to help with her blindness.
During a clinic supported by SEE International, Marta was able to have surgery on both eyes—removing the cataracts that had clouded her vision for so many years. Her sight has been restored and Marta is now able to attend a regular school. She plays with her brothers and sisters and even helps her mother with the household chores.
“Marta is now a very secure child. I am so thankful to everyone who helped! I am so happy because after all of Marta’s years of suffering she can now see and be a normal girl,” Marta’s Mother explained.
Mrs. Simasiku had been blind for two years due to cataracts when she heard on the radio that SEE International was having an eye clinic near her home. At the clinic, she was screened and it was determined that her cataracts were operable. A volunteer SEE International affiliate surgeon from Arizona performed her surgery, restoring her sight. Her joy knew no bounds when she regained her sight. She danced and screamed. And when she stopped, she started counting her fingers and then all of the patients in the ward! Now she can go back to her farm and start plowing the fields, which had been left unattended due to her blindness.
Domingo, age 40
A humble fisherman from Lucena, Domingo did his best to support his wife and 8 children with a meager income from fishing. His ordeal began when some of the other fishermen resorted to dynamite fishing, and he was a victim of an explosion. Due to the accident, he lost his left arm and developed cataracts in both of his eyes from the trauma. His wife had to work at the market selling vegetables just to make ends meet.
Then Domingo learned about am upcoming SEE International clinic. When the clinic date arrived, Domingo was screened and then scheduled for cataract surgery by a volunteer surgeon. When the surgery was done, Domingo was very excited to get home to his family. His children tested him by throwing a coin in the air and waiting for him to find it. When he did, they jumped with joy, realizing that their father’s vision had returned!
"Our last patient entered the screening room with her daughter and son. She had a single tooth resting on her lower lip. With soft eyes and a kind face, she still had plenty of great years ahead of her. When the surgery was over, we opened the doors from the patient prep room to the waiting room. I don’t think her son could have been more than 6 inches from the door as he took his mother’s arm. You notice all the differences in China. The history, the politics the culture—and once in a while, you just catch that glimpse of how we are all the same, like the love between family members, and for that second you remember we are much more alike than different." –Kim Welton, SEE International Director of Programs