Patson lives on the island of Maliata, in a small village not far from Malu’u, where there is a hospital. There is no permanent eye doctor on the island, only nurses.
Surgical outreaches are the only option for patients like Patson. His eyesight had been failing as his bilateral cataracts worsened. Patson eventually went blind in 2019.
At 70-years-old, his world shrunk to almost nothing. “It was a terrible time for me. So, I just sat at home. I was sad, I was lonely, but I tried to have a positive outlook on life despite being blind,” says Patson.
Losing independence is stressful for many patients. They don’t like relying and being a burden to others. Patson knew his blindness could be reversed with surgery. He asked about surgery at his local health centre.
“The day the truck came, I could not wait to get on. I sat on the truck with the other people who had gone blind. Some were worried and afraid, but not me. I was excited. I was going to see again,” says Patson.
This operation not only gives patients back their life and their freedom, it also changes the lives of their families and friends.
“I am now at home with my nephew. I am not a problem now. And I can see my food. It tastes better because I can see it. I am so happy I have gained my independence and I want to thank you, who sponsored the eye team so I could see again. I have been given life again,” adds Patson.
Click here to find out more about the partnership between Specsavers and the Fred Hollows Foundation.
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