Gokul Needs a Miracle: Children With Cataracts Only Have a Small Window for Success – Hope 103.2

Gokul Needs a Miracle: Children With Cataracts Only Have a Small Window for Success

For children with cataracts, the longer they wait for treatment, the more likely it is that future surgery will not be successful.

By Hope 103.2 NetworkThursday 19 Aug 2021Sponsored

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on people with disabilities, including those with cataracts, making it even more challenging for them to access life-changing health care and the cataract surgeries that could save their sight.

Gokul was only one when his mum Aaroli noticed something was wrong with his eyesight.

“Gokul was about a year old when I realised he had a vision problem. Some months later, when he started to stand and walk, he would often hit a wall or fall down into a pit,” Aaroli explained

By the age of six, Gokul would watch longingly as his younger brother left for school each morning. He desperately wanted to join him, but his vision was so bad he wasn’t able to.

“He asks me when he will attend school and I don’t have an answer.” Aaroli said.

Instead, the intelligent little boy spends his days alone in his family’s hut, struggling to recognise objects only a few metres away.

Unbeknown to his family, when Gokul was a baby, he developed cataracts which blocked his vision in both eyes. His mum took him to a neighbouring village to see a traditional healer, but the intervention didn’t restore his vision and things continued to deteriorate.

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Cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens, are the world’s leading cause of blindness. A quick surgical intervention can restore sight for people living with the condition in around 12 minutes.

But for many people in poverty-stricken countries, inadequate access to health care means they live with untreated cataracts – and untreated cataracts can lead to permanent vision impairment or even blindness.

This was the case for Gokul, who lives in a remote Indian village which only received electricity a year ago and has no access to health centres.

Gokul’s family didn’t have the money to get his eyes checked, which meant they didn’t understand how serious cataracts could be on his future.

Children with cataracts only have a small period when they can receive treatment in the early years of their life. The longer they wait, the more likely it is that future surgery will not be successful.

“We can’t afford the transportation costs to the hospital. How can we pay for his treatment?” Aaroli said.

Gokul is just one of around 20 million people across the world who live with untreated cataracts. His family’s story of being unable to access or afford health care is, sadly, a common one.

This Miracles Day, 19 August, Australians are uniting with a goal to give 50,000 Miracles of sight-saving surgery to people with cataracts, living in poverty.

You can help change the life of someone like Gokul with a $33 gift that will provide surgery needed to remove cataracts and restore their sight – forever.

Give your Miracles today or call 131 226.


Article supplied with thanks to CBM Australia.

Feature image: supplied / Gokul and his mother