Sote Cheruiyot is a 68-year-old subsistence farmer who lives with her husband in Kenya. They’ve lived in the village of Kapsengwet for over 30 years, growing crops and raising livestock.
Over the past few years, Sote noticed progressive vision loss in both eyes. She could no longer help her husband on the farm. Soon, they began to worry about how they would live.
Sote became depressed. “I felt useless since I could not work on my farm or even do my household chores. I thought I would never see again, which looked like the end of life.”
Like other elders in her community, Sote assumed her loss of sight was simply part of growing old. Little did she know that her cause of blindness was reversible.
Just when Sote began to lose all hope, a team of community health workers from our partner Uasin Gishu Hospital organized an outreach program in her village. Working with the village leaders, the community health workers held a meeting in the village to educate community members on the importance of eye health. Sote learned that eye care services were being offered at a sub-district hospital 10 kilometres away. She decided to seek help.
A thorough eye examination at the hospital revealed that Sote had bilateral cataract, a condition that could be treated with surgery. She received the surgery free of charge, thanks to Operation Eyesight’s compassionate donors.
Since the operation, her vision has improved dramatically – and so has her life! She is able to tend to her crops and livestock again, and she is happy to not have to depend on others so much.
“I appreciate everyone who assisted in restoring my vision – those who informed me of the service and those who donated money so I could receive surgery for free,” she explains. “I pray that they can continue supporting others with eye problems.”
This Christmas, you can give the gift of sight to others like Sote. With a $50 gift, you can provide life-changing cataract surgery to a person living in Kenya, Ghana, Zambia or India. Click here to view our online Gift Guide. Thank you for your support!