Needy get cataract ops for free

2014-10-13 00:00

A HOWICK woman who had a sight-restoring cataract procedure at St Anne’s Hospital on Friday said she’s grateful to be given a new lease of life.

Tholwa Sikhakhane was among six patients to have their sight restored for free on World Sight Day, an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.

The 63-year-old said she developed a cataract in the crystalline lens of her left eye last December and by January she could barely see.

The Witness was in the theatre during the her operation on Friday. “Yes I can see you clearly,” Sikhakhane said excitedly when ophthalmologist Dr Enslin Uys asked if she could see him.

“Initially I was scared. It was pain free. I had always had to have someone accompanying me because I would fall because of my eyes but I’m grateful I now can see with both eyes again,” said a visibly happy Sikhakhane.

Dr Uys said there is nothing quite as rewarding as being able to restore an individual’s sight.

“A patient’s excitement at having his or her vision restored after surgery to remove a cataract and replace the lens of the eye with an artificial one, is truly uplifting to see,” he said.

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

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