Eye surgery gives woman new hope in lifeChyomaya Chepang from Raksirang has regained her eyesight after two years of going completely blind.
Chyomaya Chepang lost her eyesight two years ago. For the 55-year-old, it was the end of the world. For the next several months, she tried to adjust to her new way of life but it proved difficult.
Five months ago, Chepang attempted suicide.
“I wanted to die because my life was meaningless after I went completely blind,” she said.
But on Wednesday, she got a new lease of life, she says.
Dr Sanduk Ruit, the famed surgeon who pioneered a revolutionary and inexpensive method of cataract surgery, removed her blindfolds to experience her full vision again.
“I can now see clearly. Both my eyes are working perfectly,” said Chepang. “I thought I would never see again but the doctor changed that. I was worried about my survival but now I can go back to working as a daily wage earner.”
Chepang is a permanent resident of Lairang settlement in Raksirang, a remote rural municipality in Makawanpur district. Until her vision was restored, she needed help even to move in and out of the house.
“My husband passed away last year, leaving our 15-year-old daughter and me behind. It was difficult to survive without vision and a job,” she said.
Chepang jumped into a local river in June. But the passers-by rescued her.
According to Ruit, Chepang’s eyes were rendered useless by cataracts. “We performed cataract surgeries on both her eyes. It’s wonderful to see her loving her life again,” Ruit told the Post.
Ruit conducted the surgery on Chepang on Tuesday and removed the bandages on Wednesday.
Hetauda Community Eye Hospital organised an eye camp in the Chepang village last week. Her neighbour Sumita Chepang brought her to the camp. The doctors at the camp referred her for cataract surgery and brought her to the hospital in Hetauda, the district headquarters of Makawanpur.
Hetauda Community Eye Hospital provides free treatment to eye patients who are referred for surgery. The health institution manages food, stay and transportation for them to return home.
The eye hospital conducts eye camps in the remote villages of Makawanpur, Bara, Sindhuli, Rautahat and Parsa districts on a regular basis to find cataract patients. According to Sudhir Bhadra Shrestha, the administrative officer at the hospital, the latest health camps organised in various places identified 300 cataract patients and brought them to the hospital in Hetauda for surgery.
Ruit was involved in the surgeries for three days from Tuesday.
Hetauda Community Eye Hospital was established in 2008 as a branch of the Kathmandu-based Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology. As per the hospital’s records, it conducted surgeries on 44,350 eye patients over the past 14 years.
Around 300 patients visit the hospital every day. Patients from Makawanpur, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Sindhuli and even those from India visit the hospital for its quality health services. A team of 40 health workers, including three ophthalmologists, and other staff run the hospital.