“One of the missions of Orbis is to transform lives. I am a true example of that”

In 1997 Bulgan, aged 10, was involved in a tragic car accident. It resulted in the loss of both her grandmothers. Bulgan was also left with severe trauma to her face and a broken tear duct. In Mongolia at the time, she struggled to get the surgery she badly needed until Orbis’s Flying Eye Hospital arrived a year later.

Bulgan shares her story.

Bulgan as a child

“After the accident my eyes were completely swollen. I couldn’t see. At the hospital the trauma team thought I might lose my sight.

“Unsure of how best to help me, after some time they sent me to The National Centre for Maternal and Child Health (NCMCH), the only hospital in Mongolia that deals with children’s eye care. We were told there might be a specialist there that could help.

“At the NCMCH I was given a number of tests. Luckily, they could confirm my eyesight was fine but my tear duct was broken and no longer working properly. I would need very delicate surgery to fix this and the facial trauma but at that time there were no doctors throughout Mongolia that had the skills to do it. It was terrifying. It was summertime and I was soon to be starting a new school. I had been such a social kid before the accident, but now everything had changed.

Help Was on Its Way

“The hospital told us about Orbis and their Flying Eye Hospital. It was due to arrive in Mongolia in a year’s time and I would be one of the first people they would be treating both onboard and at a hospital-based training programme. Until then, every other day I went to NCMCH to get my tear duct cleaned. A painful procedure that eventually got easier.

“The Flying Eye Hospital was huge with lots of people onboard. I needed to have a few procedures on my eye, but for me, this surgery was life changing. It was also observed by doctors from Mongolia too, enabling them to gain the skills they needed to ensure nobody else ever went through what I had.

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital

The Impact Over 20 Years On

“Now over 20 years later I can see that experience made me who I am today. It helped me to excel at whatever I needed to. After finishing school in Mongolia, I moved to Canada to study and today I am an entrepreneur living in Toronto.

“A lot of my drive is down to Orbis. I can’t imagine not receiving that surgery aged 11 and instead going through my formative years continuing to get my eye cleaned every other day at hospital. Sports, studying and even learning English would have been very difficult.

Continuing to Bridge the Gaps

“Since 2014 I have been volunteering with Orbis and have been lucky enough to help on a couple of Flying Eye Hospital trips to Mongolia as a translator. I later became a board member of Orbis Canada and continue to be an eye health ambassador.

Bulgan on the steps of The Flying Eye Hospital

“This is a cause I really care about. With many eye conditions, if diagnosed and treated early, they are preventable. Just because you live in Mongolia or another low or middle-income country you shouldn’t be going blind. Orbis is bridging these gaps and it is thanks to supporters like you, who understand the importance of this mission, that this is even possible. I am a product of this mission and a living example that it works."

To save sight and change lives this Christmas

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