Opening the Eyes of the Blind

28th July 2021

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Samaritan’s Purse surgeons, serving in Jesus’ Name, restore the gift of sight in Liberia.

William remembers very clearly the day three years ago that he began to lose his sight. While he can’t tell you what kind of insects they were, he recalls the searing pain of the stinging swarm that targeted his eyes that day.

Our surgeons performed 157 cataract surgeries one week in June.

Our surgeons performed 157 cataract surgeries one week in June.

As the swelling subsided, another symptom developed—the world seemed to take on a continual haze. In a matter of months, he was completely blind in one eye and severely impaired in the other.

As a result of the eye injury, he developed traumatic cataracts—a scarring of the lens of the eyes. This was bad news for William, 36, who supported his four daughters as a fisherman—a profession he dropped out of high school to begin at age 16, alongside his grandfather.

If he couldn’t see, he couldn’t fish. And if he couldn’t fish, it would be impossible for him to provide the basics for his daughters, including their school fees.

For about three years, William and his children had to rely on his mother to help them. They were grateful for the assistance, but William’s physical struggles and inability to work left him desperate and demoralised.

Our surgical team performs post-operative checks of patients in the shade of the hospital’s chapel.

Our surgical team performs post-operative checks of patients in the shade of the hospital’s chapel.

Earlier this year, though, he heard some good news. He listened to a radio spot announcing cataract surgeries by Samaritan’s Purse in the capital city of Monrovia. Our skilled medical professionals, working in Jesus’ Name, would be receiving patients from all over the West African nation.

Praise God that in June William became one of 157 patients to be granted the gift of restored sight during our medical team’s weeklong surgical campaign at ELWA Hospital.

“Since the day I heard this, I was filled with hope for the future,” said William, whose sight was restored by a 30-minute surgery performed by our ophthalmic surgeons. ““Every day I will praise God for Samaritan’s Purse for making me brand new! I love to read the Bible so much and, now after so many years, I can read again. I can begin to fish again and send my daughters to school. Now I will bring my testimony to everyone I see and testify to the faithfulness of God.”

A New Vision in the Midst of Mourning

The majority of cataracts occur due to age-related changes, though the condition can develop in younger people from a number of causes. Some patients in Liberia develop cataracts due to complications after recovery from Ebola. Others lose their sight because of eye injury. Still others link their impaired vision to emotional trauma. Many patients’ lives have been marked by unspeakable grief.

Veronica lost her sight during an emotionally traumatic time and received sight-restoring surgery in June.

Veronica lost her sight during an emotionally traumatic time and received sight-restoring surgery in June.

Veronica’s husband abandoned her 13 years ago, leaving her to raise their six children alone. Recently, her youngest fell ill and died. Then her oldest daughter was murdered. The agony of these devastating events was made all the more catastrophic as her eyesight gave way amid the emotional pain.

“My children could no longer go to school because I couldn’t work,” said Veronica, who makes a living selling produce at local markets. When Veronica woke from surgery at ELWA a few weeks ago, the simple cataract surgery had opened her eyes and enabled her, in multiple ways, to look beyond her current situation. She could return to market and begin to rebuild their lives. She was able to envision a brighter future with her four remaining children.

Andrew, a 77-year-old fisherman, also understands grief, as he suffered through the sudden death of two of his children a few years ago. He had lived, unscathed, through the Liberian civil war, but was devastated by this loss within his family. At the same time, he began to lose his vision.

“My eyes began to itch,” Andrew recounts. “Then they became clouded over.”

Andrew received his sight again this year, as did his grandson Emmanuel.

Andrew received his sight again this year, as did his grandson Emmanuel.

The recent surgery by our doctors has now enabled him to see his 12 grandchildren again. One of those grandchildren, Emmanuel, also received a cataract surgery this summer after a farming accident caused partial blindness.

“By the grace of God, I was protected through war and famine, and now God is faithful to restore my sight by sending Samaritan’s Purse to Liberia,” Andrew said. “And you have restored grandson’s sight and the livelihood of his family. Thank you, Samaritan’s Purse, for saving the future of my family. All the glory be to God.”

Saynah, a 66-year-old teacher, was forced to live off donations from others in her community after cataracts clouded her vision in both eyes. She was overcome with sorrow until she heard about the possibility of surgery through Samaritan’s Purse.

“I was just waiting for God to help me, and He sent Samaritan’s Purse to restore my sight,” Saynah said. “I was able to see my children again. I missed them so much, and it is a miracle I can see them again.” She is also rejoicing that now she can read the Bible again, for the first time in two years.

We give God the glory for how He used our team to change lives in Liberia this summer!


Samaritan’s Purse has an ongoing cataract surgery project. We’ve conducted similar medical campaigns in Liberia, South Sudan, and Mexico over the past few years, helping hundreds of patients regain their sight.

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