Denise, a Haitian Grandmother

June 2017 | Patient Stories, Stories from the field

By Kate Bryant

Former Vice President of Development

During a program in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, our volunteers met Denise, who came seeking vital vision care. A grandmother at 52 years of age, Denise’s sight had diminished for years before she went blind in both eyes due to cataracts. Now completely dependent on her family, she was unable to work or care for herself. Denise faced many struggles due to her blindness, but the most difficult part was not being able to see her newborn granddaughter.

Had Denise lived in the United States, she would have been treated for cataracts long before losing her sight. But Haiti is a poor country with a fragile medical infrastructure, so Denise didn’t have that option.

Luckily, she was able to make the journey to one of SEE International’s eye clinics in Port-au-Prince. Led by Dr. David Baker, a volunteer ophthalmologist from Pittsburgh, PA, the SEE team successfully removed her cataracts fully restoring the sight she once had. It was a truly memorable sight to see Denise happy when the team removed her eye patch.

When she returned home, Denise’s newly restored independence allowed her daughter to resume work and provide for the family. But most importantly, Denise was finally able see her beautiful granddaughter for the very first time. The neighborhood children were also thrilled to have her home, and are pictured with Denise and her granddaughter below.

Thanks to supporters like you,  Denise has now regained her sight, independence, and productivity. Her daughter’s life has also been transformed as she has now returned to work and is able to provide for their family. All of them have hope for a brighter future.

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