Kabir couldn’t walk, nor could he see. Polio struck Kabir’s legs when he was a child, leaving irreparable damage. When cataracts grew over his eyes stealing his vision also, his loving brothers never gave up. When they heard it might be possible for Kabir’s sight to be restored, the now-elderly brothers took turns carrying 63-year-old Kabir on their backs to the Mercy Ships free eye screening. Seeing the world again became a hope within Kabir’s reach.
So Kabir was scheduled for a surgery changed his life and he couldn’t wait to “see everything”.
In an impossibly short time for such a monumental event, Kabir had his longed for operation. A week later he joined the other ophthalmic patients ready for their eye patches to be removed.
Kabir’s chuckled. He declared, “I can see you!” as he looked around. “I can even see your eyes!” he exclaimed, giggling like a kid. “I see everybody – the landscape, everything! I’m so happy!”
Kabir is one of nine million blind living in Saharan Africa, another 27 million are visually impaired. Half of these are attributed to cataracts which can be removed with a low-cost, 10-minute operation. With only 28 ophthalmologists to serve Benin’s population of 10 million, even those who could afford the surgery struggle to have access to the life-transforming help they need.
Mercy Ships will restore the sight of around 600 patients of all ages, and treat an additional 3000-4000 patients for basic eye diseases, during this field service.
“Because brothers don’t let each other wander in the dark alone.” – Jolene Perry