“When I heard the news, I was so depressed,” Larissa said sadly. “I felt like a part of me was dying because I know sight is one of the most important things in life. I couldn’t believe this would happen to my child.”
Unable to afford surgery to remove his cataracts, Larissa felt paralyzed.
“I couldn’t think, I wasn’t eating. Every mummy wants to see her child be successful,” she said. “I wondered, will he become a burden? Will he always need to be assisted? It wasn’t easy for me to think of him that way.”
After hearing about Mercy Ships from Tresor’s school teacher, Larissa brought her son to screening, and before long he was boarding the Africa Mercy for a paediatric eye surgery. Despite any initial fears, the quick, 20-minute procedure was a huge success, which was in part due to Tresor’s age and the early stage at which he was able to receive help.
“Cataracts stop the development of pathways to the brain. The effect in kids aged 3-5 means it may take weeks for pathways to light up again after cataracts are removed. In cases where it’s been years, those kids might get improvement in quality but not in quantity. There will be continued improvement as he uses his ‘new eyes’ over the next few weeks,” said Dr Strauss.
This reality highlights the monumental importance of paediatric eye surgeries. Countless cases of blindness could be remedied, eyesight restored, and futures changed if only more people had access to the kind of medical help they need.
Because of the medical intervention he received at Mercy Ships, Tresor was able to jump back to regular life quickly. In just a matter of weeks, he was back in school writing, reading, and playing without anything holding him back.
“He can write perfectly now. It’s my joy because I want him to be successful and to be able to do better than I did. I want a better life for my child than I had,” Larissa said. “Now, I’m full of joy and comfort, and grateful that Mercy Ships came and gave healing to my child. I’m so happy.”