Witnessing a Miracle first-hand is one of the most powerful moments I have ever experienced.
I remember the first one vividly. It was my first overseas project visit with CBM, after I had joined the organisation inspired by the work the organisation does to end the cycle of poverty and disability and to promote inclusivity.
The recipient of the sight-saving surgery was a farmer – but more importantly he was a husband and a father. He spoke to me about how passionate he was about his work and the sense of pride he had in supporting his family.
Then, he started to weep as he told he that the presence of double cataracts caused his eyesight to start failing him. His family, trying to look out for his safety, wouldn’t let him leave the house.
“I sit on the couch all day. I cannot support my family… my wife, she has to do so much. I want to work, I want to help the family,” he told me.
Each year, Miracles Day helps tens of thousands of people like this proud farmer access sight-saving surgery which they cannot afford. Each of them has their own story to tell about how poor eyesight had impacted their ability to work and provide for their loved ones.
I was there in a tiny hospital in a remote part of the Philippines where a CBM-funded program had taken up residency to provide cataract surgeries.
The 12-minute cataract surgery is highly effective, with about 90% of people who have cataract surgery having better vision as a result.
Our farmer was happy once his operation was done, and I was there as he was warned by the ophthalmologist that his full sight may not necessarily return.
The next day, he joined more than 20 people who had also had cataract surgery in the temporary centre for the ophthalmologist to provide a follow-up assessment.
His eye patch was removed and his eyes were tested, with the ophthalmologist pleasantly surprised at how successful the surgery had been.
For the farmer, it had been a life changing experience that meant he could start resuming the things he used to.
“I will return to work tomorrow,” he proudly told me.
This Miracles Day, we have a goal to give 50,000 Miracles of sight-saving surgery to people with cataracts, living in poverty. Can you donate to change a life today?
Donate a Miracle today online or call 131 226.
Article supplied with thanks to CBM Australia. Alison is the Director of Public Engagement at CBM Australia.
Feature image: supplied / Raul, a farmer from Bacolod in the Philippines, with a group of people who now have restored sight.