Matthew is praying for a Miracle
Stories | July 17, 2022
Matthew’s future could go one of two ways.
Treatable conditions like cataracts are cruelly robbing children and adults of their sight daily. And it’s the poorest of the poor who suffer most. Nine in 10 people who are visually impaired live in developing countries.
Growing up in poverty is challenging but much more demanding for those who lose sight. Children blind from cataracts may find themselves ignored by other children and shunned by schools that are ill-equipped to support students with disabilities. And without an education, their future job prospects are diminished.
These visually impaired children can be marginalised in communities that don’t have the resources to support and encourage them. They may never marry or have families of their own. They can become trapped in a life of poverty, completely reliant on others.
This is the bleak future that could be waiting for Matthew.
Matthew was just one year old when cataracts began affecting his vision. His mum and dad had no idea why he was struggling to see. They had never heard of cataracts before. The cataracts were too small to see with the naked eye, and their little boy was too young to tell them what was happening.
As Steven, Matthew’s father, recalls: “When he started to sit at the age of one year, we found out that he could not see well. It was the way he was looking – always as if angry. Yet he only squints to see clearly,” he says.
Now he is four, and life is getting harder for him every day. As his mum, Lydia says, explains: “Other children keep asking what is wrong with him. Some of them fear Matthew because the look in his eyes is so unusual. Even adults ask, ‘Why does he look so strange’?”
Like any parent, Matthew’s mum and dad want more than anything else in the world to help their little boy, but they simply cannot afford the cost of eye surgery and glasses.
The cost of just getting to see an ophthalmologist is beyond their means, let alone the expense of the cataract surgery Matthew needs. That’s the difference CBM can make thanks to the generosity of the Australian public.
CBM works in some of the poorest places on earth and funds many thousands of sight-saving surgeries each year.
If Matthew’s sight can be saved, his future can look very different.
He can run and play, go to school and learn the vital social skills he’ll need as an adult. He can help his family with chores around the home, just like other children help theirs.
And most importantly, he can grow up to find a good job and build an independent life of his own without having to rely on other people for everything.
Let’s give Matthew the future he deserves.
This Miracles Day, Thursday, August 18, can you give the Miracle of sight to change the life of a child like Matthew? Just $33 will provide sight-saving surgery to someone living in poverty.
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