They joined hands to support a week-long series of eye care trainings and surgeries, aimed at building local capacity and providing high-quality patient care to those in need. Among the patients who benefited from this initiative was Robert Quaye, a 65-year-old man from central Ghana, who had been living in darkness for nearly 30 years due to advanced cataracts. This is the remarkable story of Robert’s journey to sight restoration and the dreams he holds for the future.
A Life Lost in Darkness
Robert’s life took an unexpected turn when he was just 25 years old. At that age, he had embarked on a career as a fisherman, spending weeks and even months at sea with his canoes, seeking to catch fish to make a living. He moved from his hometown, Bawjiase, to Elmina in the Central region of Ghana. However, his dreams of a prosperous life were soon overshadowed by the gradual onset of eye problems.
With each return from the sea, Robert noticed that it became increasingly challenging to navigate his way without bumping into people and obstacles. He found himself in an unpleasant situation, and his deteriorating sight was a harsh reality he couldn’t ignore.
Desperate to avoid embarrassment, Robert changed his daily routine. Instead of walking along the roads, he would stick to the beach to avoid collisions with pedestrians. Sadly, his condition worsened, and he was forced to abandon his career as a fisherman, a livelihood that had once brought him joy and sustenance.
Living in Darkness
Unable to support himself, Robert relied on his only brother for many years. However, when his brother passed away, Robert found himself alone and isolated, trapped in a world of darkness with no one to turn to. His life had come to a standstill, and he was at the mercy of others for his basic needs.
A Ray of Hope
Robert’s story took a remarkable turn when he attended a free eye screening organised by the partner hospital, Watborg Eye Clinic. The screening diagnosed him with advanced cataracts as the cause of his vision loss. Soon after, he was brought to the clinic for a life-changing surgery to remove both cataracts, an operation that would fully restore his sight.
A New Beginning
Following the successful surgery, Robert expressed his gratitude, saying:
“I am thankful for a smooth surgery and am confident that my sight will continue to improve as I heal. Before this surgery, I could barely see. With my walking stick, I navigated my way by groping my environment for obstacles. I have a cassava farm, and I am eager to return home to oversee work on it. Through this, I can work again and be self-sufficient.”
Dreams for the Future
With the gift of sight restored, Robert’s dreams have come back to life. He speaks of the possibility of marriage, a desire to farm once more, and an optimistic outlook on life’s endless possibilities. The future, which once seemed dark and uncertain, is now filled with hope and potential.
Robert’s journey from a life lost in darkness to a future filled with hope is a testament to the transformative power of charitable initiatives like the one undertaken by The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation and HCP Cureblindness. The story of Robert Quaye serves as a reminder of the profound impact that access to quality eye care can have on the lives of those in need. Through these efforts, individuals like Robert can regain their sight and look forward to brighter days ahead, where they can pursue their dreams and aspirations with renewed vigor and optimism.