Aariv and Kiaan

Aariv and Kiaan

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Two brothers who can now see again. Their young lives transformed.

Aariv, 12 and Kiaan, nine, live with their Mum Sushila*, not far from Suva, Fiji. The boys weren't born blind, but both developed bilateral cataracts well before the pandemic. Their teachers had noticed that they couldn’t read the blackboard and told Sushila of their concerns.

During the Fiji lockdowns, some clinics had been repurposed for treating COVID-19, and many eye nurses and doctors found themselves on the frontline, helping to fight the virus. This meant that Aariv and Kiaan had to wait to be treated. They weren't considered as emergencies. 

Sushila was so worried, as the boys were so young and cataracts can be more damaging to younger children and can lead to permanent blindness if not treated quickly.

The first Children's Outreach.

A game changer for children in the Pacific.

Operating on children's eyes is more difficult than adults' eyes. The anaesthesia is more complex, and the surgery requires even more precision.

The introduction of a new general anaesthesia unit at Suva's main hospital has been a game changer, especially for young patients like Aariv and Kiaan. It meant they could be part of The Foundations first-ever Children's Outreach. 

Alongside 14 other children, the boys eyes would be treated at long last.

The day of the operation came.

The boys could have their operations together.

“When I took my boys to Suva by bus, they were crying. They were frightened to have surgery but were so relieved to be able to have the operation together. I said to them ‘Don’t worry, the doctors are here, Mummy is here, God is here’.”

When their bandages came off the next day, they could see their Mum clearly. For years she had been no more than a blur; now her face was fully visible, tears of joy streaming down her cheeks. Anxiety had finally turned to joy.

Aariv and Kiaan have had a second operation to remove their remaining cataracts and can now see well in both eyes. For Aariv, this brought a few surprises.

“When I had my cataracts, I thought the places we went were dirty. Even my room, I was always asking my mum to sweep it. Now I know they weren’t dirty. It was the cataracts that made everything seem cloudy. It’s so good, everything seems clean again now.”

Donations from our incredible supporters like you, make moments like this possible. For Sushila, Aariv and Kiaan, they are life-changing.

These stories, while sometimes harrowing at the outset, are exhilarating in the end. They confirm how important your donations are, for without them, there would have been no Children’s Outreach.

*While this is their story, the names of the family members have been changed to protect their identity.

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