Catch up with Lin, a former patient

Meet Lin — a former Flying Eye Hospital patient whose bilateral strabismus (squint) was treated 13 years ago by our team of Volunteer Faculty in Myanmar. In 2019 during our Mandalay Flying Eye Hospital training project, we had the pleasure of catching up with a 15-year-old Lin again, to hear how surgery changed her life.

Where Lin's Orbis Journey Began

It was Lin’s father who first realised his daughter had eye problems at eight months old. Although she was correctly diagnosed with strabismus, local eye care teams did not have the confidence or skills to take on her surgery at the time. As her sight continued to deteriorate, her education began to suffer and she fell victim to bullies at school. Thanks to Orbis supporters Lin was selected for surgery during the Flying Eye Hospital’s visit to Mandalay. After a screening at our partner Mandalay Ear Eye Nose Throat Hospital, the surgery took place on board the DC-10 Flying Eye Hospital, and it was a success!

What’s more, our world-leading volunteers used the surgery to train local teams to give them the skills and confidence to deliver quality eye care long after our plane left Mandalay. A huge win-win! When Lin opened her eyes, her parents burst into happy tears. As well as regaining her vision, she was given an Orbis bear as a memento for her time on the Flying Eye Hospital. To this day, that bear has served as a token of hope and motivation.

After the Surgery

Lin and her father told us all about the incredible impact her sight-saving surgery had. She said: “I could see things clearly after surgery. I could see clearly and felt normal. Before surgery I felt sad and lonely. I had no friends. I was very young and didn’t know that many kids my age. I met a friend at the hospital that same day.” She added: ”I have many friends now and I love watching movies with them!” Her academic performance also steadily improved and now speaks English really well! Her favourite subject is maths and she’s an avid Harry Potter fan.

Lin's father

I can’t tell how hap­py I am now, my lit­tle angel is grow­ing up healthy and the gift of sight giv­en to her is so valu­able, and so meaningful”.

He also said the successful eye surgery for Lin motivated him to work harder for a better future for his whole family. He added that following from the surgery she has better eye contact and has found a lot of confidence. Like the Orbis team she met on the plane, Lin believes that she can help those in need in the future and dreams of being an eye doctor one day and joining Team Orbis! And we have our kind-hearted supporters, amazing partners and volunteers to thank for that!

Through your generosity, we can ensure more children like Lin can get the eye care they deserve and their full potential realized! As always, a huge THANKS for helping us make it happen!

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