Samoutou Family Blog
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About This Blog...

Family of 5 
from Gabon, Hong Kong and the UK   

Living in Impfondo,   
Republic of Congo   
Since April 2012 

Blog by Joyce the mum, 
Homeschooling novice, 
Eye Charity founding doctor / director. 
Reluctant domestic goddess 

Passionate about sashimi, 
helping people see 
physically and spiritually,   
and Jesus   


 

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11
Ultimate Make-Over: 10-years-younger and Beyond!
April 11, 2013

 

Some of you may have heard of Mama Hélène.  We wrote about her in our newsletter back in July 2012:

 

Papa Jerome used to use the wheelbarrow to take Mama Hélène everywhere.  This is them arriving at our eye centre<One day, Henri was running when he saw an old papa pushing his wife in a wheelbarrow.  He decided to stop to help him push her to their destination even though it was completely opposite to where he was going.  This was how they found out about our eye centre and came the following week.  Mama Hélène turned out to be blind from cataracts and was dependent on Papa Jerome.  We also diagnosed glaucoma and gave her treatment.  We are so glad we got her in time to stop her glaucoma causing irreversible damage so that when we operate on her cataracts, she will see again! This was a powerful lesson for us to remember to stop to care even when we are busy.>

(New Sight News July 2012 Guinness Edition)

 

               Fast forward 6 months to January 2013.  Our operating theatre was finally ready!  We operated on Mama Hélène.  The next day, we removed her eye pad.  She looked around and realised that she could now see again!  She had been blind for so long that she couldn’t even remember when the last time she could see was!  She was overjoyed!  She kept laughing as she scratched her head.  Even as she left the clinic to return to the ward, she kept on giggling as she shook her head!  Within days, she looked younger and went home.  This time, Papa Jerome did not need to push her!  (It used to take him 50-60 minutes to push her home, often under the strong equatorial sun - which would have put him at risk of developing cataracts!)


A laughing Mama Hélène as she received the Priceless Gift of Sight 1 A laughing Mama Hélène as she received the Priceless Gift of Sight 2 A laughing Mama Hélène as she received the Priceless Gift of Sight 3



No more wheelbarrowA few weeks ago, this time, I was the one running.  From a distance, I thought I saw Papa Jerome, but I wasn’t sure as I realised that I had never seen him without Mama Helene or his wheelbarrow!    ‘Docteur!  Docteur!’  He waved excitedly.   I stopped to chat and asked him where his wife was.  He gave me a broad smile and said, ‘Before the operation, I could never leave my wife alone.  I would worry too much.  Now I can go out, work on our plantations so that we can have food to eat, run errands…  It’s good, Doctor.  It’s good, Doctor!’  We said good-bye and I carried on with my run.  My legs somehow felt lighter, just as Papa Jerome’s burden was also lightened.  When sight is restored, lives are transformed - for both the patients and their families.  The transformation never ceases to amaze me!  Move over Gok and Channel 4’s TV 10-Years-Younger, the ultimate reality make-over show is all here - the very happening Impfondo, Congo! 

 

Thank you to our sponsors who had made Mama Hélène’s operation possible.  She and Papa Jerome have no family, income or any savings.  They didn’t even have any food to eat when they came to the hospital.  (Don’t worry – we fed them =) )  Her medical care is 100% paid for by our supporters. 

It was truly a priceless gift of sight!



Helene and Henri after he removed her eye pad 


 

Filed under: True Life Stories (Patients and Families), Vision 2020, Developing countries, Make a difference

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