Special thanks to Ronald Kefa, our project officer in Kenya, for writing this beautiful story of hope restored!
James was 51 years old when he went blind. He had lived unable to see out of his left eye for years, and one morning he woke up unable to see out of his right eye, either. When James could see, he worked as a brick-maker, supporting a family of six. The family resides in the Uasin Gishu County in Kenya, and they depended on James for their living.
James was in despair. “I couldn’t believe that I had just lost my only functional eye!” His family was equally at a loss. Suddenly, they seemed to be staring at an uncertain and bleak future. Without James’ income, they wouldn’t have enough to support themselves!
It was around election time in Kenya and James had been eagerly waiting to cast his vote for the leaders that he had put his faith in to change his and his family’s life. But to take advantage of any opportunities that could come from the results of the election, he needed to be strong and healthy, and able to see.
Yet there he was; unable to get by on his own. Frustrated and afraid, he felt he had become a dependent rather than the breadwinner of his family. Without sight, how was he to carry on his brick-making enterprise?
“I feared my business would crumble like half-baked bricks do when exposed to the slightest rain.”
Luckily for James, brighter days were just around the corner. James’ family was visited by a community health volunteer who informed them that medics from Huruma Sub-County Hospital’s Eye Unit were carrying out an outreach in the neighborhood. At the outreach camp, James was found to have bilateral cataracts and was booked for surgery at the hospital. The following week, James’ brother led him to the hospital.
It was a miracle! James received sight-restoring surgery on his left eye, which he had lost sight in years before his right, and he could see out of it again! A month later he had surgery on the right eye, and his vision was completely restored.
Now James has gone back to his brick-making business, which puts food on the table for his young family. What’s more is that he received surgery just in time for him to fully participate in the national general election, and to vote for his favourite leaders.
“It feels like getting a second chance at life. I took my eyes for granted but now I know what it means to be blind,” says James. “Now that I can see again, I will work hard and I know I will succeed.”
Thanks to the generous support of people like you, James received the Gift of Sight! Imagine! Your donation not only restored his vision, but his hope in the future for him and his family. There are many other families like James’ that need our help! Please consider donating to our cataract surgery program to give more people hope for a brighter future!