The 5-year-old carer

Unido is an adorable little five-year-old boy who we think would be much more playful and mischievous (in a nice way) if it weren’t for the enormous responsibility he carries on his shoulders. His dad William has been blind now for 2 years with bilateral cataracts caused by diabetes. Whenever his father has to go anywhere or do anything, Unido has to be there to help. In a developing nation like Madagascar nothing is adapted for the blind and there are dangers all around.

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Because Unido has to help his dad so often he misses a lot of school, which is going to make life very difficult for Unido when he is an adult, in a country where the unemployment rate is extremely high. William had found an ophthalmologist in Madagascar who could remove his cataracts but it would cost him a whole year’s wages and there was no way he could ever afford that.

Then one day a friend told Unido’s dad about a ship that had come to provide free surgeries for people who couldn’t afford them otherwise. Unido guided his dad to the screening centre and there the doctor who examined his eye told them they could operate on William’s eyes and that he should be able to see again. From that moment William was completely convinced that he would see again. The day after his surgery he arrived an hour late for his appointment because they had misunderstood where they had to go.

William sat very still while the bandages were removed and his eyes were cleaned as his wife and son looked on. At first he just sat still as everyone in the room looked on and wondered if he could see. Then all of a sudden he exclaimed “I can see my son”! The whole room erupted in applause as everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The nurse moved to the other side of the room and showed her hand asking William how many fingers she was holding up. “Two” he answered without hesitating. When his eyesight was finally checked it was found to be near perfect.

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Once William could see again he didn’t waste any time getting things back in order. He sent Unido off to school each day and when he saw with his own eyes the terrible state of the shanty shack his family had been living in he build a new house. Then he even went out and got his driver’s license so he could work and earn money to support the family.

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