Justina lost vision in both eyes in 2016. As the mother of four children, it was the saddest moment for her children and family, especially her loving husband.
The next year, Justina's husband took her to Buka Hospital for help. Unfortunately, without an in-house eye specialist, the hospital could do little; the couple must wait for the visiting eye specialist. With no specific date given, Justina and her husband took the long journey back to their village by public transport. It had cost them over K600 to look for eye care services on the island.
But Justina's husband didn’t give up. He decided to take Justina to Port Moresby General Hospital Eye Clinic for treatment, a journey that would cost K10, 000 in transport, flights, meals and hospital fees. As a subsistence farmer, this seemed like an impossible sum. But it didn't stop Justina's husband and he started raising funds. He began by exchanging pigs for cocoa beans. From the cocoa beans profits, he was able to buy and resell second-hand clothes.
Two years later in early October 2019, he returned to Buka Hospital to request a referral letter for Justina. There he was told that The Fred Hollows Foundation’s eye team would be visiting Buka that month. This was the news he had been waiting for almost four years! So, he cancelled the trip to Port Moresby to wait for The Foundation’s eye team.
Just a few weeks later, on 29th October, Justina underwent surgery on her left eye. When the pad was removed, she burst into a smile, as she saw the light for the first time after almost four years of darkness.
With one eye done, Justina could not let the opportunity pass. Before the eye team left she underwent surgery for the right eye as well.
Justina's husband stood by her side as the nurse removed the pad on her right eye. He was bursting with excitement to see his wife regain her vision. To celebrate the joy and happiness his wife brings to the family, Justina's husband decided to spend the money he raised on throwing a big party for the whole village.
“Thank you Fred Hollows Foundation eye team for restoring my vision!” - Justina