Open Whitney's Eyes
In September, you followed Whitney's journey from blindness to sight.
8 year-old Whitney was born with cataracts that slowly clouded both of her eyes making her blind. Her family couldn’t afford surgery to have them removed and after four years of blindness, it was nearly too late.
Thanks to your prayers and support, Whitney had successful surgery.
Scroll down to see her journey.
After the bandages came off, she saw more clearly than she has in years. Before, she could only just see light and dark. Now she can see letters on an eye-test card and walk through the hospital grounds, no longer clinging to her mother's arm. Can you imagine the difference this will make to Whitney’s life?
But it’s not all good news. Whitney can see – but not as well as doctors hoped. The longer a child has cataracts, the less likely they will regain sight fully. So while we’re excited to know that her life will be easier now, we’re devastated that we didn’t reach her sooner.
For just £5 a month, you could help us reach other children facing a lifetime of blindness, before it’s too late. Or you can make a single gift below.
Help reach more children like Whitney before it's too late...
8 year-old Whitney lives in a village in Uganda with her mother and 2 younger siblings. For years, she was blind with no hope of sight. She developed severe cataracts at the age of 4 and after four years, time was running out to restore her sight.
A friendly, talkative girl, she longed to be able to join in her friend’s games and see the blackboards at school. Some people in Uganda see blindness as a curse and her mother told us sadly how Whitney was bullied, taunted and even beaten at school because she can’t see. Her mother was afraid that, if she didn’t get her sight back, she would never get a proper education, have a job or get married.
Whitney’s mother couldn’t afford the operation to remove her cataracts and restore her sight. And living in a remote village, she only heard about the free treatment available thanks to CBM supporters a few weeks ago. Doctors at our partner hospital immediately scheduled surgery for 20th September.
Following surgery, Whitney will return for a follow-up appointment, regular check-ups and probably to be fitted for glasses. Once she’s back at school, our vision therapist will visit to advise teachers on how to help her learn. This brave little girl’s journey is not yet over, but thanks to supporters like you her life will be much easier and she will get the ongoing support she needs. Thank you.
Watch Whitney's journey from blindness to sight
Whitney's mother reports back:
“So much has changed about Whitney. These days she can see. She can wash utensils and I send her to the shops. Even when she plays with others, they don’t leave her like they used to before. She runs with them.”
At the end of October 2016, Whitney’s eye became painful. She was seen quickly by our eye specialist, who prescribed more eye-drops to reduce inflammation and pain.
But during the examination, the doctor also noticed that one of the membranes in Whitney’s right eye was becoming cloudy. Known as posterior capsule opacification, this is a complication that sometimes occurs after cataract surgery. For Whitney, it meant another operation. She had the follow-up surgery on 3rd November and it went well.
As soon as her eyes have healed, Whitney will be back for another appointment to check her vision and fit glasses, if she needs them. Thanks to supporters like you, all Whitney’s follow-up care is free and she’s in expert hands.