Whitney (8 years old) has cataracts in both of her eyes. Whitney lives with her mother Sarah (38) and her two siblings in a village North of Uganda´s capital Kampala. They rent a small house. In the past Whitney was on and off pre-school because of her poor vision. At home she plays and interacts with other children – but her participation in games is limited. Most of the chores she cannot do. The family hasn’t been able to afford treatment for Whitney so far. But the girl will now receive cataract surgery through CBM partner Mengo Eye hospital. Please refer to her story for more information.

Whitney (8 years old)  

8 year-old Whitney was born with cataracts that slowly clouded both of her eyes. Her family couldn’t afford surgery to have them removed.  Thanks to disability charity CBM, Whitney has now undergone a sight saving operation.  

Whitney lives with her mother and her two siblings in a village North of Uganda´s capital Kampala. Before the operation Whitney had not been able to see for four years, finding learning at school difficult being unable see the blackboard and longing to fully join in playing with her friends and siblings

The family were unable to afford the travel to the hospital, let alone the treatment for Whitney. The operation needed to save Whitney’s sight costs around £50. CBM are funding Whitney’s operation (as they do around the world) which will change Whitney’s life forever.

But after four years, it is almost too late.

On 20 September, Whitney had successful cataract surgery. After the bandages came off, she saw more clearly than she has in four years. Before, she could only just see light and dark. Now she can see letters on an eye-test card and walk through the hospital grounds, no longer clinging to her mother’s arm. Can you imagine the difference this will make to Whitney’s life? The video below shows Whitney having her bandages removed and her afterwards.

But after four years, it is almost too late. Whitney can see – but not as well as doctors hoped. The longer a child has cataracts, the less likely they are to regain sight fully.

CBM are delighted they were able to help improve Whitney’s life but are also devastated they couldn’t get to her sooner. For more information on the charity’s work and how they can help other children like Whitney before it is too late, please visit http://www.cbmuk.org.uk/sightforwhitney/.