William from Madagascar, like the vast majority of blind people in developing nations was very frustrated with life. He felt useless and a burden to his family who struggled daily to just survive in this island country in South Eastern Africa. He even had to rely on his 5 year old son to help him move around which meant that when the time came his son would not be able to go to school but rather have to stay home and take care of his father.
But there are now 303 fortunate Malagasy citizens like William who are no longer blind. They received a free cataract surgery on the hospital ship Africa Mercy right in their own country that restored their sight and they are now able to work and do their part to help their families survive. They no longer feel like a burden so you can imagine how happy they are.
Even though the eye surgery program in Madagascar has now finished the number of blind people who receive their site because of the program will keep growing because apart from actually performing the surgeries on board the volunteer ophthalmologists from around the world have trained 5 local ophthalmologists in the latest eye surgery techniques so that they can continue to help the blind long after the ship leaves Madagascar. And that to me is very good news!