Operation film: CBM Supporter Ian Darbyshire’s story

Stories | August 28, 2023

Ian Darbyshire recalls his father, who worked as a filmmaker for independent television in the 1960s. On one of his ventures, Ian’s father visited Pakistan, where Ian’s mother worked as a nurse at a mission hospital. “They were doing a cataract operation, just on the table, so my dad filmed it on his 16 mm camera.”

The film made quite an impact on Ian and his siblings, who viewed it as young children. His sister even fainted!

Notwithstanding this reaction, Ian’s family was eager to invite others in to view the film of, what they saw as, an amazing operation.

Ian spoke to CBM about seeing the film and how, when the bandages were taken off after the operation, the doctor would hold up their hand and ask; “How many fingers?”

He notes that some people in the remote mountains of Pakistan have very little. For them an operation to save their sight can change their lives.

On a later trip to Nepal, Ian remembers how they were transporting equipment for sight-saving operations.

Such an operation, Ian said, is unaffordable for many people, but once they gain sight, they can pursue their work and support their families. 

“We don’t realise that just a few dollars can change people’s lives.” Ian said, his voice warm as he spoke. “It is so good to give.”

Thank you, Ian for the memory and thanks for the gifts you have given or two fingers?”

Story by Graeme Turner, CBM Contact Centre.
Graeme Turner has worked in the contact centre at CBM for over seven years. Graeme is a keen historian, writer and poet. Graeme lives with a vision impairment. 

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