Blog: How One Dad’s Job Helped Save His Twins' Sight

I’ve always known that eyesight is one of our most important senses. What I never considered was just how easy it is for one’s vision to become compromised. It wasn’t until I became a father that I realized how important vision health is, especially when it came to my children.

A Dedicated Father

Working with Orbis, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting avoidable blindness around the world, was the first interaction I had with vision health. I came on board as a Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Specialist. Not only did I learn an extensive amount about vision health, but I had the chance to visit a vision center providing eye care to a rural community in Madurai, India. It was inspiring to see eye care professionals at work. Seeing how they conducted exams and treated patients fueled my interest. I learned about strabismus, refractive errors, and eye health illnesses like cataracts and glaucoma. I became familiar with proper vision health and saw firsthand how vision has the power to transform people’s lives.

Habtamu with his kids.

Right away, we met with a pediatric ophthalmologist, who Orbis coincidently trained, and he officially diagnosed my twins with strabismus. Luckily, he said they did not need surgery and, instead, recommended that they use patches to train their eyes to become more active. Since then, they regularly use their glasses, and their eyesight has improved considerably. That same doctor also confirmed that I had myopia, and I have been wearing glasses ever since.

As a family, we now prioritize our vision health and go in regularly for eye exams – so much so that my daughter now wants to be an eye doctor when she grows up! Even during the pandemic, I was very conscious about the twins’ follow-up visits. I am incredibly grateful that I recognized the signs of abnormal vision and took my children to receive proper care.

Habtamu's children are happy with their new glasses.

Get Help Before Its Too Late

It can be daunting to realize your child might have a health issue, and it is a feeling that no parent ever wants to consider. In my case, I was extremely fortunate to have gained knowledge about eye health that led me to take immediate action and visit a local eye care clinic. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for many parents as quality eye care is not easily accessible worldwide, especially in remote regions. This leaves many children to suffer from vision loss that could be treated or prevented. As a father, I always think about my children’s health, and it motivates me to continue my work helping to end avoidable blindness and bringing us closer to a world where everyone, no matter where they live, can get the eye care they need.

Donate Today

Help train local doctors to treat children in their communities.

Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again