Vision of Hope: Young mother sees her kids after years of blindness!
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Khankeo / a Lao patient suffering from congenital cataracts:

I’m very happy because I am able to see now. In the past, even if the shop was right in front of me, I couldn’t see it. It was blurry, and I couldn’t see the car even it was close to me. Now I can see everything clear.


Khankeo, a 37-year-old housewife with a daughter and a son, was suffered from congenital cataracts in both eyes. Her vision was once cloudy, as if there was a veil of fog obstructing the view. As a mother, it was hard to imagine that she couldn’t even see her children clearly. Two years ago, her eye sight condition worsened, and immediate surgery was required for both eyes. However, the cost of an artificial lens would be a staggering two million Lao Kip, which was equivalent to about eight hundred Hong Kong dollars. This price might only be the cost of a meal for some people in Hong Kong, but for her, the cost was like daylight robbery. 


Khankeo / a Lao patient suffering from congenital cataracts:

My husband’s salary is just over one million Lao Kip a month. After buying groceries such as rice and milk powder, there is less than two hundred thousand Lao Kip left each month. It’s difficult for us to save two or three hundred thousand for the surgery.


Khankeo’s nine-year-old daughter is attending elementary school, and her son is almost four. Khankeo’s greatest fear was losing her sight totally and being unable to take care of her children, prompting her to borrow money from relatives and friends. Last year, she had surgery on her more severely affected left eye. Her family lives in a village about an hour’s drive from Vientiane, the capital of Laos. They didn’t even purchase a new washing machine when the old one broke down. At first, they were worried about raising not enough money for the surgery. Fortunately, one day Khankeo incidentally heard from her neighbors that GX Foundation would be performing cataract surgery for patients free of charge. In June of 2023, Khankeo’s right eye was finally restored. The restoration of her vision has brought a lot of happiness to her family, and even putting in eye drops has become an act of romance for the husband and wife.


Jiang Yanhua / Team Leader of the Guangxi Medical Team:

In fact, she has never seen her husband clearly before the surgery. When her vision was restored, she was extremely excited. We all felt happy for her.


Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, with about 70% of the labor force engaged in agriculture. Surprisingly, there are only just over 30 ophthalmologists available, and there is no official statistics on the number of cataract patients over there. Nevertheless, cataracts can develop at a younger age due to factors including eye injuries, exposure to ultraviolet rays, or congenital predispositions.


Jiang Yanhua / Team Leader of the Guangxi Medical Team:

Instead of remaining transparent, the lens in our eyes may gradually become cloudy as we are growing old. Cataracts in fact, can become a common condition that may affect everyone.


GX Foundation is a non-governmental and non-profit international charity organization based in Hong Kong, focusing on providing medical and public health humanitarian aid. Its objective is to assist Laos in eliminating the backlog of cataract-related blindness cases nationwide in five years, in conjunction with the Guangxi medical team. The project commenced in September 2022, and the first three phases have so far completed 1,834 cataract surgeries. 


Patients with cataract blindness are not able to see the faces of their family members and have to prolongedly rely on others’ assistance, losing their own sense of dignity. Once their vision is restored, they will become more optimistic towards the future.


Khankeo / a Lao patient suffering from congenital cataracts:

Thank you very much.

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