Meet Angella | The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ

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.

Joining her to attend the surgical outreach clinic were 416 other blind people, who had also arrived in the hope of undergoing the life-changing, yet very simple surgery. Of that number, only the most urgent 165 people were operated on in the first week. The rest were treated in the following weeks.

Our outreach programs

The Foundation’s surgical outreach programs our supporters help to fund are a major part of our efforts to end unnecessary blindness in the Pacific region. From providing accommodation to surgical equipment to training staff, they are complicated operations. Each outreach requires a major investment in time, resources and money.

Dr Qalo, our lead opthamologist on the Solomons surgical outreach program, sums it up perfectly: “People like Angella don’t need to be blind. It’s a simple equation. More money means more support, which means we can restore sight to people.” This is why we need everyone's support.

On this particular surgical outreach, Angella was one of the fortunate ones. Thanks to our base of supporters, she had her operation. It took around 20 minutes. And when the bandages were taken off a week later she raised her hands in prayer and wept, delighted finally to have her sight, her freedom, her hope restored.

“Now I can see my grandchildren,” Angella said. “Now I can walk alone.”

We need your support

However, there are still so many who are still waiting. Currently we can only send surgical outreaches to places like the Solomons around twice a year. We would love to do more to carry on the pioneering work of our founder, Fred Hollows, but at present it is just not possible. A donation today would help us do exactly that. It would also help us fund vital training for local people to learn the necessary skills to care for the blind in their own communities.

Ultimately it has always been our aim at the Foundation – just as it was Fred’s aim - to do ourselves out of a job. That aim is still a way off, but with your generosity, we get a little closer to it every year.

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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