For the past three years I’ve been travelling with CBM & 89.9 LightFM overseas for Miracles Day. Although my role is focused around ensuring that LightFM & other stations can go on air (five stations + a nationally syndicated program), I also have the wonderful honour of witnessing the Miracle Gift of Sight.
I’ve gone to Tanzania, Nepal and now Vietnam. These are only a small snapshot of countries where people are in need of clear eyesight, caused by cataract.
Unlike in Australia where cataract blindness generally affects the elderly and is easily treatable, around 20 million people worldwide live with cataracts. Those who suffer from cataracts are aged from early childhood to the elderly, and in countries like Vietnam it is not always detected.
Thanks to the work of CBM though, lives are being changed. Children who have cataract such as nine-year-old Quin, who injured his eye while playing with sticks, have had their lives restored (read more about Quin),
On all three trips I’ve witnessed what it’s like before the operation for the eye hospital patients, what it’s like to go through the surgery and the joy once the patch is removed the next day.
If you’ve never witnessed a cataract surgery before (watch the Facebook Live video from CBM), it is an experience which still amazes me. The surgeries are in hot, humid conditions with the doctors and the radio station groups wearing scrubs & face masks. The eye patient is lying on the operating table, as still as possible, while the doctors remove the cataract (either by dissolving the damaged lens or carefully removing it from the eye). It takes about 12 minutes to complete the operation and the patient gets up, goes back to the ward, and the next patient is brought in for their operation.
The end result, when the patch is removed is a beautiful experience. Although different cultures have different reactions, the joy in the patients face and the families that surround them is amazing to witness. The patients have clear eyesight again, which allows them to return to work or school, care for their family, have a future and be part of their community.
Seeing the wonderful work of CBM first hand has really opened my eyes to how important it is to support these people who are living with disabilities in the poorest of countries. This Miracles Day, I ask you to get behind supporting the wonderful work of CBM to invest in the Miracle Gift of Sight. It’s only $32, but that $32 creates an incredible impact that seriously is changing lives.
Also spread the word by sharing about Miracles Day, and fine out more by reading this fabulous blog post by my wonderful colleague at LightFM – Lucy Holmes