Like most first-time parents, Esther and Paul Samson in the Chikwawa District of Malawi, were thrilled when their son Yohane Paulo arrived. They were enraptured by Yohane’s beautiful, smiling face.
When Yohane was 5 months old his parents began to notice a change. Their happy baby boy was no longer smiling at them, he was going blind. “As he got older, we began to see white spots in his eyes but we didn’t know what to do. My husband and I are farmers and we both need to work to survive but I couldn’t because I had to stay home and care for Yohane,” said Esther.
When Yohane was 2 years old, a female eye care advocate trained to find children who need care, came to their home. Upon examining Yohane, the eye care advocate suspected he was suffering from bilateral cataracts and convinced Esther and Paul to take him to a screening. There it was confirmed that Yohane needed sight-restoring cataract surgery in both eyes.
“I was nervous but hopeful that Yohane would get his sight back and that would bring change to our family,” said Esther. Yohane and his family were transported to the nearest eye hospital where he had two successful surgeries.
Recently, the eye care advocate followed up and reported that a very thankful Esther is back working alongside her husband on their farm and Yohane has gained his sight and his smile back.