SIGHT RESTORED: Fred Hollows Foundation patient, Night Baeni, with her mother Deborah. Photo: Michael Amendolia
SIGHT RESTORED: Fred Hollows Foundation patient, Night Baeni, with her mother Deborah. Photo: Michael Amendolia

Central Highlands helps restore Kenyan girl’s sight

CENTRAL Highlanders have contributed to eye care services around the world, including to the restoration of a Kenyan girl’s vision.

Twenty-two people from the Central Highlands became regular supporters of the Fred Hollows Foundation in the past year.

One of the patients helped was five-year-old Night from Kenya, whose parents, Deborah and Stephen, discovered she had cataract in both eyes.

The girl was desperate to go to school, but her condition stopped her.

“Night follows the other children to school and I have to bring her back because when she goes, she falls over,” Deborah said.

After a simple procedure at a hospital five hours away, Night was able to see again.

“Thank you so much because you have helped my daughter and she is able to see again,” Stephen said.

“I am overjoyed because deep down I knew we couldn’t afford the cost of surgery to have her eyesight restored. But because of you, my daughter is able to see and she is so happy.

“I don’t have anything to give in return, it’s just the happiness that I can portray to show you how grateful I am. Thank you.”

Fred Hollows Foundation founding director Gabi Hollows called Queenslanders’ contributions “inspiring” and an example of the “true-blue Australian spirit”, especially given widespread economic straits caused by the coronavirus.

“This certainly is our toughest year trying to restore sight to people who are needlessly blind during a global pandemic,” Ms Hollows said.

“To see the Central Highlands community’s continued generosity warms my heart and reminds me of the true, altruistic Australian spirit that has kept The Foundation alive for 27 years.

“Thank you to the people of Central Queensland for continuing The Foundation’s work and keeping Fred’s dream alive. I am truly grateful.”


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