‘Ana | The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ

‘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. 

Before ‘Ana went blind three years ago, she sold her own weaving and handicraft to help support her family. Now though, she’s dependent on Viviena to do everything for her. If she’s pushed somewhere in her wheelchair, she has to stay put because she’s not mobile enough to move around.

'Ana told us:

Death is better than coping with blindness, knowing you are a burden on others.”

She was saddened because she only knew her grandchildren by name. If they spoke to her, she had to ask who they were.

A few days later, Foundation-trained eye surgeon Dr Mundi Qalo performed cataract surgery on ‘Ana. It was a simple twenty-minute-long operation, but it was only made possible because of the generous support of The Foundation's donors.

When the bandage came off ‘Ana’s eye, she didn’t react straight away. But slowly as she realised she could see, ‘Ana began to grin! This was the start of a life-changing process.

With her eyesight restored, ‘Ana can now begin to reclaim the life she had before she went blind. She can participate more fully in everyday life and reconnect with family and friends.

 ‘Ana’s adopted son Kaveinga was visiting Tonga when she had her surgery. He wrote to us saying:

“She was just overjoyed with happiness when she took her bandage off the first time to see properly and was able to see her grandchild. For that I thank you. May the lord bless you and [your] work colleagues to continue the great work you [are] all doing.”

If you’d like to help restore sight to more people like ‘Ana, please visit our Donate Page today. Your support means we can continue changing people’s lives with the gift of sight.

What we can do

Help keep Fred’s dream alive.

4 out of 5 people who are blind in the developing world don't need to be. Routine treatment costing as little as $25 can restore sight and hope.


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