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Story From the Field: Fetiya Abduletif Abdula

news | Ethiopia | Jul 29, 2022

During a recent outreach in Bisidimo, Ethiopia HCP Board Member Dr. Matt Oliva helped lead a surgical outreach with fellow board member Dr. Guy Kezirian where over 1,250 patients received sight-restoring surgeries. Dr. Oliva sent the following patient story from the field:

“I wanted to tell you about one of the 1,250 patients our team performed cataract surgery on at our recent outreach in Bisidimo. She is a 15 year old named Fetiya Abduletif Abdula, who lives 75 km away from our outreach partner, Bisidimo Hospital, in the Oromia/Somali region of Ethiopia.”

“Fetiya had normal vision as a young child but became suddenly bilaterally blind and deaf when she was about 6 years old. She has two siblings who also became blind and deaf simultaneously, possibly from an infection such as pulmonary tuberculosis or a severe systemic infection related to an ear issue. She has been living indoors for the last decade. Her family has five children and three are blind and deaf.”

“Her oldest brother brought her to the hospital with the hope of having her sight restored after our screener visited their village a month ago. I loved her huge smile and tears of joy when she could see again and watching her expression when I showed her a picture of herself on my phone. Her siblings will be coming to the hospital soon for surgery as well.”

“Fetiya is one example of the over 70 children that we treated. It is always especially meaningful to help the young whose lives will be dramatically changed by our work.”

Thank you for making it possible for children like Fetiya and her siblings to regain their lives. We could not do this life changing work without our compassionate community of supporter!

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