Gift of sight restored

2015-10-21 06:00
ALL SMILES: From the left are, front: Dr Phillip Phatudi and Nchamane Kitime; back: Joanne Ranyane, Universitas PRO and clients service officer, Tello Kitime, Analeen Whittington and Tankiso Koekoe.  
Photo: 
Jabulani Dlamini

ALL SMILES: From the left are, front: Dr Phillip Phatudi and Nchamane Kitime; back: Joanne Ranyane, Universitas PRO and clients service officer, Tello Kitime, Analeen Whittington and Tankiso Koekoe. Photo: Jabulani Dlamini

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OVER 100 people, mostly senior citizens, visited the Universitas Academic Hospital last week to undergo an operation that helped recover their eyesight. This was as part of Eyesight Awareness Week.

The hospital held its annual Cataract Marathon, carrying out operations which entail removing the patient’s natural eye lens, which often becomes cloudy and could lead to the patient gradually becoming blind.

Dr Phillip Phatudi, the resident ophthalmologist who performed many of the surgeries, said during the operation the natural lens is replaced with an artificial one, which will then sustain the patient for the rest of his or her life.

He stated that the success rate for the cataract procedure was 100% and that it was entirely safe, except in cases of the patient being diabetic or having other medical conditions that could hinder the success of the operation.

“It is rewarding. It changes lives, and nothing can describe the gratitude that many of the patients have when they tell you that they can now see their grandchildren for the first time,’’ Phatudi said.

He said when a patient started going blind because of cataracts, this often impacted the whole family negatively. Sometimes you would even find that a child would have to stop going to school to look after the patient.

During Express’s visit to the hospital, at the invitation of Joanne Ranyane, the hospital’s public relations and client service officer, benches were packed with excited patients waiting their turn for a new lease on life.

Nchamane Kitime (79), who had just received the operation and had his sight restored, described the procedure as nothing short of a miracle.

“Ke mohlolo Ntate, ke thabile haholo feela (It’s a miracle Sir, I am overjoyed),” he said

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