In pictures: Bold-Erdene's future looks bright | Orbis

In pictures: Bold-Erdene's future looks bright

Bold-Erdene was 10 years old when volunteer oculoplastics surgeons treated his left eyelid on our Flying Eye Hospital in Mongolia.

Without that surgery to correct his ptosis in 2014 he would have been at risk of going blind in his left eye. Read more about how his life has been transformed thanks to your support!

See How His Life Is Transformed

Orbis team in Barbados.


When Bold-Erdene was born his mother noticed his eyes were different. His left eye was smaller than his right eye but she assumed this was normal. Growing up he remembers classmates saying to him: “Hey oh my God! I see that your one eye is smaller than the other one, why is that?" He was hurt by these critical remarks. Living with potentially blinding eye condition ptosis, Bold became withdrawn and shy due to his eye disfigurement and even used to take pictures of himself showing only one side of his face.


In 2014 during a screening at the Mother's and Children's Hospital in the capital Ulaanbaatar he was referred to our Flying Eye Hospital program as one of the oculoplastics teaching cases. His ptosis (lid) surgery operation was to be performed by Dr. Yasser Khan, volunteer faculty surgeon from Canada, along with Lawrence Azavedo, a volunteer anaesthetist from the UK (pictured).


Bold-Erdene was a brave patient. Despite knowing that he was about to go into eye surgery as the last patient of the day, he sang songs from the animated hit film ‘Frozen’ while his anesthesia began to set in. Our volunteers were particularly impressed with his fine singing skills and knowing the words by heart and hitting the high notes.


When he woke up he couldn't see straight away as his left eye was covered by a patch. His mother told us that when he got off his operating bed, he felt really tired and was a little unsteady on his feet. When he walked off the plane supported by his mum and our wonderful volunteer nurse Ann-Marie, he nearly fell over.


When the bandage was removed at his doctors the next day, he saw everything very clearly with no more drooping eyelid. The operation was a success! With his new found confidence, he started taking photos of himself again. First the right side, then the left side then comparing the both eyes.


Fast forward four years! We arranged for Bold-Erdene, then 14, to return to our current MD-10 Flying Eye Hospital when we returned to Ulaanbaatar in 2018. He shared some great news with us. He had graduated eighth grade and moving forward with his studies had opted to study biology and chemistry because Orbis inspired him to become a doctor. It just goes to show that a little bit of confidence can go a long way!

The Reality of Eye Care in Mongolia

Thank you for taking the time to read Bold-Erdene's story. It's thanks to our incredible volunteers, partners and generous supporters like you that we could provide the treatment needed to pave the way for a brighter future for this ambitious young boy.

Sadly, in Mongolia access to high quality, affordable eye care services is limited in both urban and rural areas. Lack of equipment, training and infrastructure are major barriers to adequate care and there is no comprehensive framework to treat children’s eye disease.

To combat this we're advocating for better eye care services and eye health awareness, working alongside policymakers to address unmet needs and help transform more lives than ever before.

But we can't do this alone. We need your support to make this possible. Can you help?


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