56,000 people can see now thanks to Canberrans’ generosity

Photo by Michael Amendolia.

CANBERRANS have donated more than $1.4 million this year to The Fred Hollows Foundation helping to restore the sight of up to 56,000 people.

As the year comes to an end, The Fred Hollows Foundation is asking locals to dig deep and give a generous gift to help restore sight by donating this Christmas.

The Foundation’s Director of Public Affairs Nick Martin explained that without the generous support of everyday Australians, millions of people’s eyes would go unchecked; potentially leaving them to live a life of blindness.

“We thank the people of the Australian Capital Territory for their tremendous generosity and ask that they dig deep one more time as we head towards Christmas. With every dollar, they know they will be changing lives for the better,” Nick Martin said.

One such life changing case was that of seven month old identical twins Samlan and Sintham. Both boys were born with cataract in both eyes and had never been able to see more than a vague blur of colour. Without an operation, they would have been blind for life.

Located in the remote, untouched jungle of Laos, the generosity of donors meant that The Foundation was able to find and help Samlan and Sintham through one of their eye health camps.

The boys and their mother were transported to hospital, but not before a harrowing two-day journey down a perilous river and a rough mud track. Following the surgery, with the patches removed, the boys looked around, caught sight of a toy, and began to track it with their eyes.

Their sight had been restored.

“More than 32 million people worldwide are blind and it’s a shocking fact that four out of five of those people don’t need to be blind.”

In 2014 The Foundation:

  • Treated more than seven million people across the world for trachoma.
  • Trained more than 56,000 health care workers
  • Performed 728,788 eye operations and treatments.
  • Screened 16,000 people for the growing global epidemic of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Built, renovated or upgraded 36 medical facilities.
  • Delivered $3.8 million worth of medical equipment.
  • Provided services to more than 10,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You can donate online at hollows.org .

[Photo by Photo by Michael Amendolia]

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