Look at the eyes of this beautiful baby! This is little Darrel. Just over 18 months old, he lives with his family in a low income community outside Nairobi, Kenya.
When Darrel was nine months old, his mother Beatrice noticed a problem with her baby’s eyes. They were always filled with tears and looked sore and red. Darrel’s irises also appeared larger than usual, and he had trouble focusing on objects.
Worried, Beatrice took her son to a local health centre. The doctor referred Darrel to a hospital near Nairobi, which in turn referred him to a pediatric eye unit. There, Beatrice learned that Darrel had glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve because of high eye pressure.
“I was shocked to learn this condition would gradually make Darrel blind,” Beatrice told our staff. “I wanted so badly to have him treated, but it was very difficult because of our financial situation.”
Beatrice also worried that if her son became blind, she would need to take care of him for the rest of his life. “My prayer was that my child could grow up and live an independent life.”
Fortunately, our Kenya team met Beatrice during the 2015 Standard Chartered Bank Nairobi Marathon. As a proud member of the bank’s Seeing is Believing funding initiative, Operation Eyesight had a booth to promote eye health awareness at the marathon.
Beatrice noticed the booth, approached our staff and asked them to examine Darrel. Her son was given an urgent referral to one of our partner eye units, and Darrel’s beautiful brown eyes were operated upon in January 2016. Luckily, the surgeries were performed at no cost to the family, thanks to the support of our funder Seeing is Believing.
Today, Beatrice is very happy! “The doctors have assured me that Darrel’s condition has been contained and will not worsen anymore. I’m sure he will grow to fulfill the dreams we have for him!” She and her family are grateful to everyone who ensured that her baby’s vision was saved.
She also has a message for our donors: “I appreciate the generosity of those who donated their money so that children like my son are treated free of charge. You know that operations are very costly and therefore unaffordable to low income earners. May God bless you abundantly!”
You can help us give the gift of sight to more children like Darrell. Please consider making a donation to help provide the medicine and supplies needed to treat causes of avoidable blindness. Thank you for your support!