Patient stories: treating Alexandre, Cameroon, for glaucoma

June 2017

Alexandre, a 77-year-old gentleman from Cameroon, had terrible luck with his eyesight. The first incident occurred 15 years ago while working as a builder, when he was struck in the left eye by a hammer.

He visited a local hospital, where they tried to save his eye, but the surgery was unsuccessful. 

As a farmer, he had his second run-in while felling a tree years later. He had carefully planned the direction in which the tree would fall, but as it toppled, the trunk made an unexpected turn. When it hit the ground, the branches swung around, hitting his face with full force.

“I thought my eye had burst!” said Alexandre. However, his vision soon returned, so he decided not to seek medical care.

However, he grew concerned when he started experiencing vision loss. At first, Alexandre attributed it to his age, but in November 2015, he decided to visit Yaoundé Central Hospital, where he was diagnosed with glaucoma.

His ophthalmologist told him about an Orbis programme that was launching at the hospital in April 2016. Alexandre returned to the hospital and met with Dr Lesk, a member of the Orbis Volunteer Faculty and a glaucoma specialist, and was selected for surgery.

Following his recovery, Alexandre will be prescribed glasses, replacing the old ones he bought when his vision first started deteriorating. He's overjoyed to retain his vision through his golden years.

In the fight against avoidable blindness, every minute counts

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