Five years on: Joanna’s Miracle story by her mother, Frenil

Stories | July 17, 2022

When Joanna awoke one day without sight, our lives changed. It felt as though our family fell really hard. But as a mother, I had to be strong for my family… for my daughter.

I walked her to school every day. I copied notes for her. I helped her eat, get dressed, and move around. I served as her eyes. I did it lovingly, but our family also felt the difficulty of our situation. I have three kids, and all of them were studying. My husband’s income was not enough, and I could not work because I needed to be with my daughter all the time. We were in debt. We were all stressed.

Sometimes, I still cannot believe that a surgery, which only took 12 minutes, turned things around for our family… for Joanna. God used the people who helped us as instruments to change our lives. Joanna is now 18 years old. We are five years on.

In high school, Joanna joined inter-school dance competitions and was a consistent honour student. She is now independent. For me, that means I can work and contribute to my family’s needs. As soon as she healed from surgery, I started selling food in various schools. Along the way, I met people who became my loyal customers. I saved my earnings to buy other products to sell. Eventually, I made and sold frozen food products to different communities.

We converted a part of our house into a food business. We named it “3J’s Food House”. We have a small store – it’s ours… and I am thrilled! We sell flavoured shakes, French fries, and siopao.

Because of this pandemic, we started a delivery service. Joanna was in charge of preparing the food orders while my husband and I took charge of the delivery. You see, she’s a good kid. When she went blind because of a cataract, she hid it from me in the beginning because she did not want me to worry. She did want to be a burden. Joanna always tells me, “I want to do well because I want to be a role model to my younger siblings”.

Five years ago, our lives were very different. Things looked up for us when Joanna had her surgery. We were all given the opportunity to pursue what we wanted to do. I will always be grateful to God for all the people who supported us through Miracles Day. You did not just give her sight back; you gave our family a fresh start.

Joanna has now graduated from high school and is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a businessperson.

On Miracles Day, Thursday 18 August, give the Miracle of sight-saving surgery to someone living in poverty. Your $33 donation can change a life forever. 

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