5 blind kids from one family – Cataracts

Four siblings and cousin see for the first time!

Perched on long wooden benches, many children with congenital cataracts waited to be examined at a Mercy Ships eye screening in Togo, West Africa.

As Dr. Strauss and Dr. Wodome examined each child, they reached a bench with five children sitting closely together.  The four siblings and one cousin ranged in age from 6 – 15.  None could see. An uncle stood protectively behind them.

They lived on a farm outside of Lomé, Togo. Blindness kept them out of school so they did menial tasks on the farm. Their uncle had gone to great effort to get them to the screening site. With expressionless faces they waited for a verdict.

Malaria wracked the bodies of all five children. The ship`s medical crew would have to get them healthy enough for surgery before the ship left port. It was a race against time.

Finally, their surgeries could begin. All five children had their cataracts removed in fast, efficient procedures.

A week later, the children returned to the ship for a checkup. What a different atmosphere!  The oldest boy stood to have his vision checked and could read the smallest line on the eye chart. The crew erupted into cheers! All five tested successfully.

Light and joy, laughter and wonder replaced the debilitating darkness that had clouded their lives.