Success Stories | The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ

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  • Love at second sight

    When Timwia and Nawere met, it was love at first sight. And when our team saw them recently in Kiribati, it was obvious how much the couple still adored one another after 50 years of marriage and raising a family. Nawere told us, “She’s the prettiest and that’s why I decided to have her as my wife.” Can you imagine how awful it was for them when cataracts robbed them both of the joy of looking into one another’s eyes?

  • Bibiane

    “I feel sorry for my family and grandchildren having to look after me. My family do things like bringing me to the toilet and staying with me until I sleep. Before, when I could still see it wasn’t like this. I think, what’s wrong with me?" 

  • Meet Sua

    There was nothing wrong with nine-year-old Sua's eyes. We first met him while working in Samoa and treating his blind father,Toese for cataracts. At just 39, Toese was completely reliant on Sua to get around, eat and go to the toilet. Sua was his dad's eyes and was forced to stay home, watching with longing as his brothers and sisters headed off to school each day. Thanks to our supporters, a simple 20-minute surgery changed everything.

  • Meet Ioane

    Meet Ioane, a 6-year-old boy in excruciating pain. He fell over near his family home in Kiribati, while playing with his friends. They were jostling by a rubbish heap and he fell over, piercing his eye on a rusty piece of abandoned wire.

  • Meet Vani

    In February, a team from The Foundation’s Pacific Eye Institute visited Rakiraki, a town on the northern coast of Viti Levu in Fiji. It was there that they met Vani Vatuwaliwali.

  • Luke

      Meet, Luke, a wonderful man in his seventies who had been blind for over 20 years until The Fred Hollows Foundation restored his sight.

  • ‘Ana

    We first met ‘Ana on outreach to Tonga, the day before Mother’s Day and her 80th birthday. A widow, she lived with her sister Viviena in their parents’ house. ‘Ana was wheelchair-bound and cataract blind in both eyes. Life was not easy. 

  • Hepi

    Hepi is the pastor’s wife in a Tongan village on the remote eastern side of Tongatapu. She told us that her blindness made her feel incomplete. For years she felt unable to fulfil the duties she holds as pastor’s wife. Her husband was even considering leaving his position in order to look after her.

  • Meet Siaosi

  • Meet Durkita

    Imagine your whole world fading to black. You know something is terribly wrong. Your eyesight is slipping away and with it your independence. You desperately need an eye doctor, but there is no one to turn to for help. You feel isolated and vulnerable, fearful of never seeing or being independent again.

  • Meet Angella

    We first met Angella on a surgical outreach to the Solomon Islands. At the time, she had been cataract blind for two years, and was being helped tentatively from a little motor boat by our team in Honiara. After two years of isolation, Angella relied heavily on her children and grandchildren to do everything for her --feed her, bring her water and take her to the bathroom. Desperate for help, Angella chose to make the daunting boat trip from her remote village.

  • Platini

    Platini was born with cataracts. His cataracts were becoming dense, stealing what little sight he had, and with it, his childhood and his future. By the age of eight he could only see as far as one metre away. He could no longer read easily or see the blackboard, and was quickly falling behind his classmates.

  • Francis

    Just one day before dangerous floodwaters rose around her home in Fiji, Francis regained her sight. For the first time in six years, she was able to move around independently.

  • Eseple

    We know how to restore sight – we just need you to make it happen. Your gift will help us take the miracle of sight to people like Eseple who live in remote communities across the Pacific.

  • Meet Adam

    Special report by volunteer photographer, James Ensing-Trussell of Topic Photography Vanuatu: James recently attended a Fred Hollows Foundation funded surgical outreach visit to Vanuatu where he met Adam, a young man who was desperately in need of sight-restoring surgery.

  • Skolastika

    18-year-old Skolastika can now live life to the full – playing basketball with her friends, going to school and helping her family on the farm – thanks to our generous supporters throughout New Zealand. Skolastika lives in an isolated village on the east coast of Makira Island, a remote island in the Solomon Islands. She lives a simple life. Her parents are subsistence farmers and Skolastika helps out when she can.

  • Satesh

    Seven-year-old Satesh lives in Labasa, Fiji. He was born with cataracts in both eyes. Sadly, the doctors diagnosed him with an eye infection and sent home with eye drops. His mother explained that his blurred vision has prevented him from attending school or making any friends.

  • Deonisia

    Deonisia lives in a little village called Tokou on the island of Ovalau, in Fiji. She is 64 years old and is completely blinded by cataract in both eyes. Cataract blindness can be easily reversed with a simple 20 minute operation that restores sight overnight.

  • H'Nhi

    Vietnam: When five-year-old H'Nhi was just a baby learning to crawl, her mother noticed something was wrong. “There was something white inside her eyes,” she remembers. H’Nhi’s mother was afraid, and heartbroken that something should be wrong with her baby, her only girl in a family of boys.