Infant Josue sits in his high chair being fed by his parents after undergoing treatment for ROP

Little Josue defies the odds and now has hope in sight!

Little Josue was born prematurely at just 26 weeks which put him at risk of a sight-stealing eye condition that is the leading cause of childhood blindness worldwide.

With retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) it’s crucial that care is delivered within days of birth to prevent a lifetime of vision loss. With your support, we’re working with partners in Peru to provide urgent sight-saving care – and hope for babies and their families.

Josue’s mom, Rosa, had a traumatic pregnancy and birth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Describing it as a “nightmare experience”, Josue’s doctors and her family wondered if the tiny premature baby would pull through.

The little boy, described as a “warrior” and “survivor” by his mom, spent three months fighting for his life in an incubator at our partner Trujillo Regional Hospital, with his parents unable to see him in his earliest days. But we’re pleased to report, thanks to advances in neonatal care, that Josue pulled through.

Baby Josue is held by his parents outside their home in Peru

Josue has a future of healthy sight.

While this young boy faces other life-changing challenges caused by his premature birth, Josue will be able to grow up seeing his parents, sisters, and the world around him.

Premature babies are at risk of going blind from the oxygen treatment they often need to save their lives. His mom says: “They told me that he was going to be blind because of the time with medicinal oxygen, because a lot of time with artificial oxygen, there was the possibility of staying blind but that is what they told me, and he was born with retinopathy in second degree.”

After careful monitoring, regular check-ups and treatment, Josue was discharged in June this year with healthy sight.

You Can Give Premature Babies a Lifetime of Healthy Sight

ROP is particularly prevalent in Latin America and Southeast Asia – but few hospitals there have the training and resources needed to deliver the highly time-sensitive care. That’s why our efforts in these regions have focused heavily on training pediatric doctors and nurses to screen and treat newborns.

When a child is born prematurely, the blood vessels at the back of their eyes sometimes grow abnormally, permanently damaging the retina and causing vision loss or blindness.

Baby Josue is fed by his mom after undergoing treatment for retinopathy of prematurity

Thanks to our supporters, Josue was able to receive sight-saving care.

But there is good news. With the right awareness, knowledge and equipment, ROP is entirely preventable. It can cost less than $5 to examine a premature infant for ROP – and less than $250 to provide sight-saving treatment to a newborn in need.

That’s why a limited-time matching gift opportunity – made possible by long-time supporter, Mrs. Leslys Vedder – is so impactful. Make your gift by 8/31 to help provide premature babies with the vision care they need.

Make a donation today and x2 your impact

Premature babies like Josue need you now more than ever!

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