Patient Stories

Hepi’s story

Hepi’s blindness made her feel incomplete. She couldn’t fulfil her duties to her husband or her daughter.

Hepi is the pastor’s wife in a Tongan village on the remote eastern side of Tongatapu. She told us her blindness made her feel incomplete. For years she felt unable to fulfil the duties she holds as the pastor’s wife. Her husband was even considering leaving his position in order to look after her. Worst of all, she had never seen her nine-year-old adopted daughter Silivia.

“I can’t iron my daughter’s clothes or braid her hair.”

Our outreach in Tonga was a typical one. Numerous patients, each with a devoted family member, sat in near silence, anxious about the outcome. Hepi’s hands were twisting in her lap, an unspoken symbol of her feelings of helplessness.

It’s a far different atmosphere on the following day when each patient returns to have their bandages removed. Once-dim eyes sparkle with happy tears; voices are raised in excitement and joy, hugs and handshakes are common. But before the surgery, the waiting area is quiet.

The surgery was over in just 20-minutes and Hepi went home that night to her family. She tried to comfort Silivia, who cried when she saw her mother’s bandage.

The following day, all the tension and fear proved worth it. The doctor peeled Hepi’s bandage off and a brilliant smile dawned.

“I can see the light!”

Our generous supporters like you helped Hepi see again and transformed her life. With her bandage removed, Hepi went from house to house in her village, waving to old friends and rejoicing at her blessings. When her daughter came home from school and Hepi saw her for the first time, she remarked, “What a beautiful girl.”

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