Luyando was only seven years old, but cataracts were affecting her future. She was missing out at school as she struggled to see the chalkboard and was vulnerable to isolation and bullying. The possibility of lifelong sight loss was terrifying.
Her mother, Martha, knew exactly what Luyando was going through. Martha was born with cataracts too. When she was a child, the nearest hospital was several hours away, making it impossible for her to access the treatment she needed on time. She still struggles with the effects poor vision has had on her life.
Tragically, history was repeating itself. Martha knew how vital it was that Luyando received treatment before it was too late.
Did you know that more than 15% of childhood blindness is caused by cataracts?
Although it is most common for adults to develop cataracts as they age, children like Luyando can be born with them and need sight-saving surgery as soon as possible. If it’s left too long, crucial links between a child’s brain and eyes will never properly develop – leaving them with irreversible blindness.
With help from people like you, Luyando’s story took a different turn: She’s already had surgery to remove one of her cataracts, and a second operation will help ensure her sight is fully saved. The moment her bandages were removed, her life was changed forever. She won’t suffer the lifelong sight loss her mum has.
Across Zambia, 6,700 children are blind because of cataracts. Our community projects aim to find and diagnose children in the most remote communities, to treat their cataracts with a straightforward but life-changing procedure before it’s too late. With your help, we can do even more.
Because of people like you, Luyando has a world of opportunity ahead of her.
Will you change the story for more children before they lose their sight forever?