“With the help of doctors here and abroad, Sarnai is doing well” | Orbis

“With the help of doctors here and abroad, Sarnai is doing well”

Sarnai, aged 5, lives in rural Mongolia. Last year when a swelling appeared on her eyelid Sarnai and her family travelled the 300km journey to the capital city where treatment was available. After Sarnai’s doctor consulted with an Orbis medical expert online they discovered what was wrong.

Sarnai’s grandmother, Tserendolgor, shares her story.

“Two years ago, Sarnai had a slight swelling on her eye. It appeared when she got a cold and went away by itself. But last August it came back again and this time it didn’t go.”

Sarnai and her grandmother, Tserendolgor

A 300Km Journey for Treatment

“She needed medical help. Sarnai and her mother, my daughter-in-law, travelled 60km each way to go see the doctor, twice. The second time they advised they seek a specialist doctor’s advice at the National Centre for Maternal and Child Health in Ulaanbaatar. An over 300km journey which can take at least six hours.

“To get there we can use a postal service car from our area that goes to the city. Otherwise, we have to go by private transportation.”

At this point the swelling in Sarnai’s eye was getting worse, her sight was starting to deteriorate, and she was experiencing pain in her eye socket.

Sarnai's journey to sight saving treatment

Working Together to Diagnose the Problem

When the family arrived at the hospital they met Dr Battsetseg, a paediatric ophthalmologist. She suspected the swelling was down to a tumour but doubted her diagnosis.

Dr Battsetseg immediately used Cybersight, Orbis’s e-learning platform, to contact her mentor Dr Ron Pelton. Dr Pelton is one of Orbis’s expert volunteers who lives in Colorado, USA, and has previously given Dr Battsetseg hands on surgical training.

Dr Battsetseg speaking with Dr Ron Pelton via Cybersight

After sharing photos of Sarnai’s eye with Dr Pelton he was able to help Dr Battsetseg diagnose what was wrong, and recommend the best course of action. Sarnai had a benign tumour in her eyelid which would need to be removed through surgery.

Tserendolgor and the family were nervous. “Sarnai is the apple of our eye,” she said. “We want to protect her and were scared she might lose her sight. We worried about what might happen later.

“Sarnai went into surgery and we waited in the hospital for news. Later the doctor came and told us the surgery had been successful. We were really thankful.

“We Can Finally Relax”

“Sarnai came out with a bandage on her eye, and we were given drops to help her eye recover. It has healed well which is such a beautiful thing. We recently went for a check-up and Dr Battsetseg is happy with the results.

Sarnai loves to cuddle her family's baby goat

“Sarnai is now back enjoying playing with the baby goats and lambs in the countryside at home. With the help of many good doctors, here and abroad, this was possible. My granddaughter is doing well now, and we can finally relax. I am grateful.”

To help save the sight of more children like Sarnai, please donate today.

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