Smiling child.

Patient stories: treating Kingsley, Ghana, for cataracts

Two-year-old Kingsley developed bilateral congenital cataracts shortly after birth

His mother noticed he had difficulty opening his eyes in daylight. She didn’t realise that this was the result of a serious condition until he developed a white spot in his right eye at age one.

Kingsley’s father, Daniel, took him to a nearby health centre where Kingsley was prescribed eye drops. They didn’t clear the white spots, and so his father next took him to Bibiani Government Hospital where Kingsley was diagnosed with cataract. He was referred to the Orbis-supported Child Eye Unit at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, nearly 100km away, for surgery.

Ghanian child wearing glasses.

To afford the surgery, Kingsley’s parents delayed the operation for six months to save up enough money. By the time Kingsley was brought to KATH to see paediatric opthalmologist, Dr. Peter Osei-Bonsu, the cataract in his left eye had become very large and white, and Kingsley was unable to follow a light source with either eye.

Dr. Osei-Bonsu booked him for surgery the following month. At the end of November 2015, Dr. Osei-Bonsu operated on Kingsley alongside our Volunteer Faculty member, Dr. Travis Pollock. The surgery was successful. At follow-up, it was confirmed that Kingsley was now able to follow a light source with both eyes.

However, because the cataract in Kingsley’s left eye was denser than the one in the right, he has a condition called amblyopia, or reduced vision, in his left eye. To strengthen his left eye, he has been prescribed with a patch for his right eye to wear together with his new glasses.

No longer sensitive to light, two-year-old Kingsley can now play with other kids and run around outside. His parents hope that he will start school when he is three, something that previously would have been difficult. With his vision restored, Kingsley has a bright future ahead. 

In the fight against avoidable blindness, every minute counts

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