The Fred Hollows Foundation is thanking the Bundaberg Region for its continued generosity and support during a difficult year.
In the past year, 20 people from Bundaberg have become regular supporters of The Foundation.
Founding Director Gabi Hollows said the unwavering generosity from the local community was inspiring and a reminder of the true-blue Australian spirit that Fred loved so much.
“I know that this is undoubtedly a challenging time for many of our supporters,” Ms Hollows said.
“This certainly is our toughest year; trying to restore sight to people who are needlessly blind during a global pandemic.
“To see the Bundy community’s continued generosity warms my heart and reminds me of the true, altruistic Australian spirit that has kept The Foundation alive for 27 years.
“Thank you to the people of Bundy for continuing The Foundation’s work and keeping Fred’s dream alive. I am truly grateful.”
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Fred Hollows Foundation began contributing to local responses across the world through redirecting resources to fight the pandemic.
Many health care workers who usually focus on eye care have been using their medical expertise on the frontlines, such as nurses in our eye hospitals in the Philippines and Kenya.
One of the patients that Bundaberg helped was five-year-old Night from Kenya.
Night was just five years old when her parents, Deborah and Stephen, discovered she had cataract in both eyes.
Night was desperate to go to school with the other children as she yearned to be a teacher, but her condition stopped her.
“Night follows the other children to school and I have to bring her back because when she goes, she falls over,” Deborah said.
Their lives changed the day a community health worker, trained by The Fred Hollows Foundation, visited their village and said their little girl could get help.
After a five-hour journey, Night and Stephen arrived at the Sabatia Eye Hospital.
When the quick and simple procedure was completed, Night’s eye patches were lifted and, much to her delight, she could see again.
“Thank you so much because you have helped my daughter and she is able to see again,” Stephen said.
“I am overjoyed because deep down I knew we couldn’t afford the cost of surgery to have her eyesight restored. But because of you, my daughter is able to see and she is so happy.
“I don’t have anything to give in return, it’s just the happiness that I can portray to show you how grateful I am. Thank you.”
Without better funding and access to eye care services, the number of people who are blind is set to triple from 36 million to 115 million over the next 30 years.
To combat this, The Fred Hollows Foundation is training local doctors, nurses, community workers and teachers in eye health, in the places where they are most needed.
To help The Fred Hollows Foundation continue its work, donate by clicking here, call 1800 352 352 or text your name to 0457 555 755.
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