South African paediatric patient Braveman undergoes an examination

Patient stories: treating Braveman, South Africa, for squint

Braveman was diagnosed with a squint when he was only one year old, and although his road to recovery has been long, it hasn’t affected the lively little boy's sense of humour.

Braveman is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his parents and grandmother in KwaNyuswa, a semi-rural area just outside Pinetown in South Africa.

When he was just a few months old, Braveman began to suffer from epileptic fits, which caused him to develop a squint just before his first birthday. When his mother took him to a nearby hospital, she was told that it was best to wait until her son was two before they would consider surgery to repair it.

50% of childhood blindness can be prevented through early detection and swift treatment. His mother, Thandiswa, took him to the same hospital numerous times - despite this, he was only ever admitted for observation overnight, and given medicine to treat his fever and pain.

South African paediatric patient Braveman, who has a squint, wearing glasses

As a result of the squint, Braveman was unable to play with his toys as he struggled to see to pick them up. Not being able to play and learn about the world around him made development harder for this little boy, and he only learned to walk when he was two years old. Thandiswa couldn’t bear to see her son suffer and eventually, she took him to see a private doctor. 

Finally, Thandiswa received the answer she’d been waiting for. Braveman’s squint needed to be rectified as soon as possible, and he would be referred to a facility that had the specialist skills required to help him. After two referrals, Braveman eventually reached the Paediatric Eye Care Centre at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban, funded by Orbis.

At the hospital, Braveman received successful treatment for both eyes. He still visits the eye care centre regularly for check-ups, to ensure that he has no further issues with his eyes, and that he doesn’t need any more treatment.

Despite a rocky start in life, Braveman is now thriving since having his sight restored. He loves to play football and tennis. When asked what he would like to be when he grows up, he replied, laughing, that he wants to be the Football World Cup - not an athlete, but the actual cup!

What a little character.

In the fight against avoidable blindness, every minute counts

Donate today
Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again