Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Jamaica cataract patient Denzil

Denzil's Cataract Surgery On Board Our Flying Eye Hospital

May 2019

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness over 1.1 million people suffer from vision loss in the Caribbean, with Cataract accounting for 50% of this.

It’s not all bad news! With access to the right type of care, blindness due to cataract is entirely reversible.

So when our Flying Eye Hospital returned to Jamaica for a 19-day ophthalmic training program, 73-year-old cataract patient Denzil Davis was one of the 110 clinical cases referred to our volunteer eye doctors for treatment.

Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Jamaica cataract patient Denzil is screened at a local partner hospital

Denzil's vision had deteriorated over the last three years

Denzil, who works at a recycle outfit in Jamaica, first started experiencing problems with his vision three years ago. His performance at work greatly deteriorated and he found driving, operating machinery and working with electrical components a huge challenge. He described it like ‘going backward.’

However for Denzil - it was difficult to get the eye care he needed. Denzil told us: “I applied to all the government programs to get my eyes looked after. I was registered and told that I would be called in the next nine months which lapsed to nearly one year. Nobody called.”

Your life depends on what you see. Because I drive, you know. And sometimes lights are bright coming at you in the dark. I'm at the mercy. You have to try and negotiate precisely where you're going without 100% vision and that’s not safe you know. So it's a handicap for me.

Denzil Davis

Cataract Patient, Jamaica

After a manual small incision cataract operation on board our aircraft Denzil left our Flying Eye Hospital beaming with joy and reaching for the sky.

His joy extended into the next morning at University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) while he waited for his post-operative exam.

Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Jamaica cataract patient Denzil leaving the plane assisted by Nurse Gloria

Leaving the Flying Eye Hospital helped by Nurse Gloria

With his sight significantly improved, Mr Davis sang Harry Belafonte’s song ‘Jamaica Farewell’ to his fellow cataract and glaucoma patients waiting in line.

Now that he has his vision back, Denzil said he looks forward to reading signs, being able to see electrical components and circuit boards. The little things we may take for granted.

Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Jamaica cataract patient Denzil happy after cataract surgery

Now Denzil can look forward to a better quality of life

He added: “Getting 100% vision, well, that’s very good. It appeals to me.

It’s all thanks to the generosity of our incredible supporters, amazing partners and volunteers who give up their valuable time that Denzil can now enjoy a better quality of life.

He hopes that more people can show kindness and help financially burdened people suffering with vision loss so they can get the care and treatment they urgently need.

Will you be one of them?

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