Surgery gives Willie his eyes back
Willie Jarparula Long thought he would never see again after he developed a blinding cataract. His vision was affected so badly he relied on his family members to help him complete even the most basic of tasks.
The 76-year-old was unable to have the surgery he needed to restore his sight because of a shortage of eye health services in his remote community at Creek Camp in the Northern Territory. But thanks to Vision 2020 Australia member The Fred Hollows Foundation, Willie has been given a second chance to see.
Willie was among 50 patients from remote Indigenous communities that underwent eye operations at Alice Springs Hospital in April during a week-long surgery blitz run by The Fred Hollows Foundation.
Ophthalmologist Tim Henderson removed a serious cataract from Willie's right eye during the surgery. If the cataract had not been removed, Willie would have eventually gone completely blind.
The Fred Hollows Foundation works with many Indigenous communities across Australia to prevent older Australians such as Willie, from going blind.
Since his surgery in April, Willie no longer needs his family members to help him manage his day-to-day activities and has regained his independence.
To find out more about the work of The Fred Hollows Foundation visit www.hollows.org.au (external link).