Lalise’s Story

Giving the gift of sight this Mother’s Day

Imagine it’s Mother’s Day and you can hear the voice of your child but you cannot see his face. This is what life was like for Lalise, a 23-year-old Ethiopian mother who had been blind for over a year and had never seen the face of her 4-month-old son. Sitting in her small, dirt-floored shanty, Lalise’s sister faithfully looked after both Lalise and her son while Lalise’s husband was away from home struggling to make a meager living.

When our eye team found Lalise, she was in deep depression. She felt that her life had no meaning, no hope, and no future. The following short film will show you how a five minute procedure, costing less than $50(USD) restored Lalise’s sight and gave her a bright hopeful future. With just a “click” of the donate button below, you too can bless a blind mother in Ethiopia with the gift of seeing her children this mother’s day.

The problem

Ethiopia has one of the highest percentages of blind people per capita of any country in the world.  Eighty percent of this blindness is either preventable or treatable.  Simply stated–it does not to have to happen. Ethiopians do not have seeing-eye dogs.  Instead, you will see small children slowly, quietly, and faithfully leading a blind person through the streets.  These children have no opportunity to receive an education or even play with their friends.  A $50 (USD) cataract surgery, which takes less than ten minutes to preform, can restore vision to a blind person.  However, lack of access to health care and extreme poverty are barriers to making this basic surgery possible.

How we help

THAF provides the funding needed to preform cataract surgery and restore vision to those who can not afford medical care.  This simple procedure results in the liberation of an indentured child who can then return to school, play with their friends, and live a normal happy life.  In addition, the blind person can return to an independent and productive life.  This lifts a huge economic burden from the family.  We also treat many other eye diseases as well as provide simple reading glasses for those with poor vision.

The great tragedy of blindness is that a child is often indentured to years of servitude, leading the blind person day and night.  Such “guide children” cannot play with other children or attend school.  They are robbed of their childhood.

Young girl leading blind man

Young girl leading her blind grandfather

Little boy leading his blind grandmother

Young boy leading his blind mother

Blind boy waiting to be examined

Blind man in village with goiter

Lady with dense cataract waiting for surgery

Dr. James Guzek examining patients

Patient waiting to go in for cataract surgery

Dr. Samuel doing cataract surgery

Man being led by his family from the operating room

One day post cataract surgery

One day post cataract surgery

One day post cataract surgery-waiting for eye-patch removal

One day post cataract surgery-waiting for eye-patch removal

Lady with bilateral eye-lid surgery for trachoma

One day post caracact surgery

Blind man overjoyed to see again

Blind man overjoyed to see again

“I’ve completed nearly 15,000 surgeries, and this case, Bontu, is the most satisfying case I’ve ever had.”

    -Dr. Samuel Bora Imana