Blog submitted by Krishani Ranaweera
Krishani is the Communications Manager at ORBIS UK and has been at ORBIS since February 2009.
I, on the
other hand, am not so well-travelled. But as communications manager for ORBIS
28th February I joined a
On a wooden
chair in the corner, one boy waited his turn with a stillness far beyond his
seven years. His name was Kitonsa Kasozi. His mother, Deborah, told us of his problems
seeing the school blackboard and how she decided to come to Mulago to ensure his
education. Kitonsa had a squint in each eye; his condition is common in
It was heart-warming
to know that ORBIS was funding the surgery of every patient I met that day. Whether
And when Thursday came it was Kitonsa’s turn to board.
As calm as
ever, Kitonsa greeted us with a smile and a high-five. Deborah, nervous but
pleased to finally be here, joined me in the waiting area, whilst in the
operating room volunteer ophthalmologist Dr Neely and Dr Grace from
After the anaesthetic wore off – and thanks to a donated teddy bear – Kitonsa was back to his inquisitive self. Despite what must have been a painful and disorienting experience, he didn’t once cry, and with his lollipop and teddy bear in hand he and Deborah left the plane for a night at Mulago.
When we arrived early the next morning for post-op assessments, none of us were surprised to find Kitonsa and Deborah already there. They were grateful for the care they had received and didn’t want to keep anyone waiting. Kitonsa was doing very well. He will have to return for follow-ups, but his future looks bright. He told me that his favourite school subject is science and that he wants to be a doctor. Deborah said she will support him in anything he wants to do as now everything is possible!
It was a rewarding
week in so many ways. Patients have been given back the gift of sight and have
given their neighbours the confidence to visit the hospital. Doctors have
exchanged skills, and my team from the
was a week of firsts for me, this was already the third programme of 2010 for the
meet Esther, another patient from