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Meeting Vincent again

Meeting Vincent again

Vincent from Uganda is one of our representative Sponsor Children. His story – growing up with no parents and being blind – has inspired many Kiwi’s to become a cbm Child Sponsor. Tobias Pflanz, cbm's Fundraising Field Co-ordinator, visits Vincent every now and then and shares with us how he is doing now, 3 years after his cataract surgery.

Do you remember him? The boy was almost completely blind. His name: Vincent. The world surrounding him was blurred, colourless – his future not very promising. The 9-year-old’s parents had passed away. He lived with his aunt Milly and his uncle John in a village far from Uganda’s capital. Milly had small children herself, she and her brother John could hardly generate enough income and they had given up any hope that Vincent could be healed.

But one day when they listened to the radio they heard that an eye specialist of Mengo Hospital, a cbm partner, would have an outreach close by. Uncle John took his nephew there on a boda-boda, a moped taxi. He at least wanted to use this chance. The eye specialists diagnosed cataract in both of the boy’s eyes. Just a short while later Vincent underwent a successful surgery – thanks to your support, dear donors and cbm child sponsors!

Together with our rehabilitation workers I followed Vincent’s progress up for many months: He came to check-ups at the hospital or we visited him at his home. I realized that rehabilitation needs time. It was my privilege to experience how Vincent’s vision improved step by step and how he re-discovered his environment. He started to play football with the other children and made new friends.

He learned to go to school by bike; at school he was finally able to read the words written on the blackboard, also thanks to the glasses he had received from Mengo Hospital after the eye surgery. However, his newly gained freedom turned him into a little scallywag at times – several of his glasses got broken during his wild play, to the dismay of the rehabilitation workers … But one thing became very clear: The quality of his life had improved significantly.

A few days ago I met Vincent again after a long while. He came to Mengo Hospital for a follow check-up. The bad news: He needed a pair of new glasses once again.

The good news: His vision has remained stable. His left eye is still the stronger one. Unbelievable how tall the boy has become! He is 11 years old now. Vincent tells me that he visits school regularly and that he likes it a lot. Since the start of this year he has visited the school at which his uncle John teaches. His uncle has become a primary school teacher now. And Uncle John says: We are so happy and grateful for everything Mengo Hospital and cbm have done for Vincent and us.” His thank you is also meant for you, dear donors!

With warmest regards from Uganda
Tobias Pflanz

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