Author: Lucy Holmes, 89.9 The Light
Like most parents, I will never forget the moment I first held my beautiful daughter. After battling infertility for years, finally being able to see my precious baby and snuggle her was something I had looked forward to for many years.
In the days, weeks and months that followed, I eagerly waited to see Shiloh’s first bath, her first smile, the first time she sat up and her first steps. The first time she looked into my eyes. I wanted to see every milestone.
Which is why, speaking to Man Maya in Nepal last year, my heart literally broke.
Like me, Man Maya is a mum. When we met, she had two little daughters, both under the age of 5.
A condition called cataracts had clouded Man Maya’s eyesight, stopping her from seeing her precious girls.
I was far from my own daughter, in an eye hospital in remote eastern Nepal. My breakfast show host Kel and I had spent the past few days interviewing patients and rising at 1am to broadcast our brekky show on 89.9 The Light live for CBM’s Miracles Day. My favourite day of the whole year.
The day before we had witnessed dozens of men, women and children having their cataracts removed. And now, it was the moment they would have their eye patches removed – and we would know if surgery was successful and their vision restored.
I had seen this happen before on Miracles Day trips to the the Philippines and Vietnam, but my heart was in my throat as I sat next to Man Maya. Never before had I prayed so hard that surgery would be a success for this mum. So she could see her daughters.
As the nurse removed the bandage, Man Maya blinked as light hit her eye. Moments later, she started grinning. It was the largest smile I had ever seen. She had been so quiet and reserved leading up to this moment. So shy. I hadn’t seen her smile over the whole week. But now… her grin was extraordinary. Breath taking.
The moment overwhelmed me. I had seen so many of these operations and patch removals before but this was different. I couldn’t hold back my tears. Perhaps it was because our daughters were the same age. But for some reason, I started weeping, and I could not stop. I couldn’t stop crying.
The photo above was captured unknown to me by a CBM’s photographer. Man Maya wrapped her arms around me and kissed my face. Two mums who didn’t speak the same language. Who would likely never meet again. But who both knew just how special it was to see your child for the first time. Even typing this, I’m tearing up again because it was truly one of the most significant moments in my life. To witness a miracle. To witness a life changed forever.
Man Maya’s sight was restored. For her, and her family, this was a Miracle. She said now she could try and start a small farm and sell some produce so she could afford to send her two girls to a school so they could be educated.
CBM’s Miracles Day is on Thursday 6 August. For just $33, the cost of coffee and cake with a friend, you can give someone living in poverty like Man Maya a Miracle: the gift of cataract surgery that they need, but cannot afford.
$33 to change someone’s entire future. Please join me today and give a Miracle.