They said I was old because I was blind and had to walk with a stick. So I began to feel old, confined to a bed or a chair as a prisoner of darkness lost in blindness.

My 12-year-old granddaughter became my caretaker, which kept her from going to school. I only knew it was daybreak when I would hear her begin to sweep. Then she would bathe me, dress me, and feed me. It became our morning regimen. If it was a sunny day outside, she would assist me to my chair under the shade of a tree. There I would sit for what seemed hours on end. I could hear my granddaughter washing clothes and doing all of the household chores while her parents were working on the farm and her other brothers and sisters went to school.

I am thankful that I had her to care for me, but I couldn’t help feeling the burden that was given to her without choice.

I hung my head in shame. Feelings of uselessness began to settle in me as my shoulders rounded with the burden I had become. My body began to wither and withdraw from a productive life.

Then one day, my granddaughter heard the village chief ring the announcement bell. People were coming in two days to help the blind.IMG_0010-2

My daughter took the day off from farming to bring me to an eye screening by Sight.org. I couldn’t see them, but I could feel the hope they brought that maybe I would see again. They saw me Wednesday, and I had surgery on Friday.

The following day, they took off the eye patches, and I knew instantly I wasn’t old!

They say I am of 90 years, but who really knows their age in Africa? Now that I can see, I am going to tell everyone that my spirit is of 40 years.

The first thing I did when the patches came off was stand up, raise my arms up to God, and start dancing. I saw my daughter jumping up and down clapping. Her eyes were filled with tears of joy. When it was time to leave after the post-op appointment, my daughter and granddaughter wanted to assist me in walking.

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I said, “I can do it myself.” They said, “Prove it and walk by yourself,”

so I lifted my head high, threw my shoulders back, tossed away my walking stick, and led the way, with my daughter and granddaughter following me from behind.

I can take care of myself now. I am now free from blindness, and my granddaughter is free to return to school. Thank you, Sight.org, for the gift of FREE surgery that brought back so much FREEDOM to our whole family!

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