Stories of Hope: Ka Ying from Laos

Ka Ying is 7 years old and lives with his parents in Yord Yeung Village, Xamtay District, Huaphan Province.

Picture 1: Xamtay district. 

About 5 months ago Ka Ying suffered an injury to his left eye when it was hit by a stone fired from a slingshot. His parents did not take him to the hospital immediately because they did not think his vision had been seriously affected.  However, Ka Ying complained that his blurry eyesight was blurry, and he could only see things close up.  His parents also noticed notices that a white spot in his left eye which was impacting his vision. Ka Ying became very upset because he was worried that he would not be able to return to school.

In August, Ka Ying’s parents decided to take him to the health center to have his eyes checked where he was given eye drops. A few days later, when Ka Ying’s eye had not improved, his parents were very worried.  They took him to Huaphan Provincial Hospital where Ophthalmologist, Doctor Khamluemoua, tested Ka Ying’s eyes and found he had traumatic cataract with mild exotropia in his left eye which needed urgent surgery.  Unfortunately, the eye health team in Huaphan were not able to do surgery due to the lack of appropriate equipment and experience of the doctors with children.  Ka Ying was referred to Xiengkhuang Provincial Hospital where the eye health team is experienced in children’s cases.

Picture 2: He required immediate surgery for the traumatic cataract and mild exotropia in his left eye.

Early in September 2023, Ka Ying became the first young boy who had been referral from Huaphan Provincial Hospital to Xiengkhuang Provincial hospital where the Eye Care Foundation is supporting cataract and other eye surgeries for people who cannot pay themselves.  The Ophthalmologist and Ophthalmic Nurses counselled Ka Ying and his parents about eye health awareness and education as well as information about the operation.  Ophthalmologists Doctor Pakuda, and Doctor Somvang conducted cataract surgery on Ka Ying using Phacoemulsification and IOL replacement.  His parents were so delighted that their son was abelt to receive such specialized treatment and care free of charge.  Without Eye Care Foundation’s support they could not have afforded to have Ka Ying’s eyes treated.

Picture 3: Ka Ying underwent surgery at the Xiengkhuang Provincial Hospital, where the surgical team has experience with pediatric cases.

 Picture 4: Ka Ying was prepared to remove his eye pad.

Just one day after surgery Ka Ying is elated. “I am so happy because I can see with my left eye again and I have no pain in my eye” Ka Ying said.  Everyone is happy with the outcome and when Ka Ying was happily running around in the hospital, the Eye Unit team asked him to be very careful while his eye healed.

“I am so happy because I can see with my left eye again and I have no pain in my eye”

Ka Ying said.

Ka Ying’s parents state “We never knew about cataract disease because no one in our family has suffered from cataract.  Today we learned so much about eye health diseases and the impact they have on people’s lives.  We sincerely thank the doctors, nurses and especially the Eye Care Foundation for this extraordinary support to help our child who will be able to return to school and enjoy his studies. It is also important to emphasise the value of this support to poor people like us who would otherwise not able to access eye care.  The potential to renew hope and change people’s lives should not be underestimated.  We will follow the advice of the doctors and ensure we meet the doctor for Ka Ying’s appointment in Huaphan Provincial Hospital”.

Picture 6 & 7: Ka Ying with his family