In a small village in the Cambodian hinterlands lives Chey (68). He and his wife have eight children and many grandchildren of whom they are extremely proud, as grandparents always are. He has a large, loving family and yet Chey felt depressed and lonely. As result of losing his sight to cataracts, Chey had turned inward and become isolated. This is something we see often.
May I ask you for your help today to change the lives of Cambodian cataract patients such as Chey?
Because together we can provide eye care to many people in developing regions, such as the province of Kratie, which is mainly populated by impoverished farmers.
Chey and his wife and children are also farmers and everyone’s help is needed. But during the last year Chey was unable to work. Walking and eating independently had also become problematic. But the hardest part was that he could no longer see his grandchildren. He could no longer see them grow up or watch them play. That pleasure was lost to him.
In the remote provinces of Kratie, eye care services are few and far between.
Your support is urgently needed there. In our efforts to make significant improvements in that respect, we are in frequent contact with Dr. Heng Sokhan. He is the only ophthalmologist in the provincial hospital and with his team also makes frequent visits to the countryside to treat patients.
My colleagues saw him at work when they visited the region in September. They saw great perseverance and willpower. He is an extremely passionate doctor and very concerned and caring towards his patients. The health workers in these regions are also very committed to their patients and work hard to provide them with basic eye care. Ak Yuth, the health worker in Chey`s village, diagnosed Chey with cataracts and referred him to doctor Sokhan.
The family wanted to set aside money for the trip to the hospital but Ak Yuth said, “That won`t be necessary! You can ride with me on my scooter”. Conditions were tough on the day of Chey`s surgery. The air conditioning in the operation room had broken down, which was very uncomfortable for the patients. It also presented quite a challenge to the doctor performing the surgery, because under tropical conditions it is harder to keep the surgical field sterile.
Nonetheless, doctor Sokhan and his team continued working.
“Our patients travel far to get here. They have saved money in order to come and we need to help them”, the doctor said. Despite the unfavourable conditions that day, the surgery went very well. Chey can once more move around independently, work the land with his family and… “My grandchildren do not have to look after me anymore. I can take care of them again. It is a miracle that I can see once more and I am so very grateful!”
This life-changing work would not be possible without you. Your support is vital, because every cataract surgery requires sterile equipment and an artificial lens to replace the one affected by the cataracts.
Your donation today will restore the sight of a cataract patient and give them back their life.
Any donation is welcome. We are grateful for whatever you are able to give. But in order to give you an idea of what your donation can do:
- Sight-restoring cataract surgery for one patient costs €35.
- For €70 two patients will regain their sight.
- And a generous donation of €105 allows three people to pick up their lives again.
I hope that cataract patients like Chey can count on you.
Thank you for your consideration,
Thijs van Praag
Chairman of the Eye Care Foundation
PS Doctor Sokhan can perform surgery on cataract patients with limited means and restore their sight, often under primitive circumstances and that is impressive. But people like you are equally impressive. You have the opportunity to change the life of a cataract patient and return to them what they have lost.