Prince’s Story: Next Stop, The Premier League

We meet Prince on the screening day of Orbis’s Flying Eye Hospital programme in Accra, Ghana. He attends the Right to Dream Academy – a non-profit school for children from Ghana who excel at football. At first, Prince comes across as shy. But on the pitch, it’s a different story.

Twelve-year-old Prince has a noticeable case of strabismus in both eyes. His eye issues don’t seem to hold him back on the pitch, and he grins shyly as he tells us: “I was still the best penalty kicker”. But when he speaks, it’s clear that he’s not comfortable looking people in the eyes – and he often looks away during conversations.

Shane, a physiotherapist at Prince's school, explains that they had been trying to work out how to help Prince for a while. Then one day, a friend of Shane's mentioned that Orbis would be coming to Accra, and suggested they brought Prince in.

After being screened by the Orbis team, he’s told that he can be treated, and he’s chosen for surgery on board the Flying Eye Hospital!

On the day of his surgery, the Flying Eye Hospital is a hive of activity, with staff, volunteers and local medical professionals preparing for the operation and getting settled to watch lectures. Prince is patient while he is prepped for his operation.

His surgery is not only being used as a teaching case, but it is being broadcast via our Cybersight platform, so that medical professionals from all over the world can log on and learn from the volunteers leading the surgery.

The surgery goes well, and an understandably relieved Prince is led off the plane, cool new sunglasses in place, to recover at the local hospital overnight.

We get the opportunity to visit Prince at his school a couple of days after the surgery. It’s a three-hour drive outside of Accra, on the banks of the Volta river. The school is set in lush, green grounds, with multiple immaculate football pitches. Around the dormitories, dozens of football jerseys and shorts in different colours hang out to dry.

When we meet Prince this time, while he is still quiet, he is clearly more relaxed. He is a boy of few words, but he isn’t so shy in front of a camera. It’s clear that he loves his school, and football – and the staff we meet seem passionate about creating a better life for Prince, and all of the other students.

It seems that Prince has a very bright future ahead, and is surrounded by family, teachers and peers that are invested in him realising that future. Perhaps Orbis, and the Orbis supporters who made his surgery possible, will be part of making this special young man’s dream of being a professional footballer come true.

Help another child like Prince realise their dreams

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