Salome and her son Morgan live on the outskirts of Nairobi in Kenya, East Africa. Along with Morgan’s sister, 3 year old Angel, they live in a one-room house made of flattened tin cans and cardboard. Crowded amongst other shanty huts, they have no amenities and no access to clean water.
When Morgan was a baby, Salome noticed that he couldn’t see properly. His eyes remained fixed in one direction even when a hand was flashed past his face. She would play with him but he did not respond back to her.
Life is a struggle for Salome, who is also the sole breadwinner of her young family. It is a struggle every day to earn enough money to feed and care for her children as she depends on small odd jobs. It’s hard to get better work as Morgan needs a lot of care.
“Morgan needs a lot of care now and until he is able to be independent, I have to take care of him round the clock because I am the only caregiver he knows since he was born. Because of his eye condition, he could not see and relies on my voice and scent. I cannot leave him to go out and look for work because he depends on me for everything," she explained.
The situation became desperate when Morgan needed hospital treatment for a chest infection. Unable to pay for his care, Salome was detained in hospital, sinking further into debt every day. With bed fees and food bills escalating, Salome needed to pay £330 – an amount far beyond her reach. If she was lucky, she could earn £1.50 a day from washing laundry for other families.
The turning point
A turning point came for Salome and Morgan when she heard, in hospital, about a project funded by Seeing is Believing and CBM supporters to reduce avoidable blindness amongst children.
Through this programme, Morgan could receive surgery to remove the cataracts that were causing his blindness free of charge.
Friends and well-wishers rallied round to help Morgan pay her outstanding debts. Then Morgan was transferred to a CBM-supported hospital, where he had surgery.
That marked a new beginning for Morgan, Salome, and his sister Angel. Now that he can see, Morgan is able to interact with others and no longer clings with fear to Salome. He loves to play with his sister and Salome can leave them with a friend while she goes to look for work.
When he’s a bit older, Morgan will be able to start school with children the same age, something that used to worry Salome a lot.
“Now I am a proud mother”, she told us. “I am grateful that through well-wishers he has received medical care and cataract surgery all paid for and is on the road to recovery… I wouldn’t be able to afford all that money to pay for his surgery’’.
“I cannot even express enough gratitude for what you have done for Morgan, and for my family!”