For the last year, since her husband and son stopped caring for her, 70-year-old Shailabai has been living as a beggar at the Akoli Kund temple near Vajreshwari.
During the lockdown, Shailabai took advantage of the free hot food provided locally by PRASAD Chikitsa. There, an outreach worker learned that she had blurred vision in her left eye, so they recommended she be examined by PRASAD’s Cataract Surgery Program and signed her up. But, due to the pandemic, the Eye Clinic was temporarily closed.
In October, Shailabai’s eyes were assessed by PRASAD Chikitsa’s ophthalmologist; she had an operable cataract in her left eye. She then went through pre-operative screenings and was given a good bill of health to have cataract surgery. She was admitted immediately, and the surgery was performed the next day.
A day later, when her eye bandage was removed, she was elated. She could see clearly for the first time in years. Her face lit up with a bright smile. During her follow-up visit Shailabai told the doctor, “I am extremely grateful to all the PRASAD Chikitsa staff and doctors who helped me regain my vision. The treatment and care I got makes me feel blessed. Many thanks for the love and care extended to underprivileged patients like me.”
Blindness due to cataracts is an enormous problem in India. It adversely affects health, economic stability, and social interaction. There are more than 12 million blind people, and 80.1% of these are blind due to cataracts that can be cured with surgery. The incidence is higher in women and in rural areas, like the Tansa Valley, where there is less access to quality health care and less understanding about medical options.
A gift of $70 provides one eye surgery. Please help us continue to restore vision and improve life quality with our wide range of programs. Your gift today will make a difference that keeps on giving.
Dr. M. Cecilia Escarra