Two Bequia women seeing more clearly since Cuba operation
January 27, 2006

Two Bequia women seeing more clearly since Cuba operation

by Jonathan Ashby

Two Bequia women are celebrating successful eye operations in Cuba this week.

The two, who returned home after being given priceless surgery under the Vision Now programme before Christmas, exclusively revealed to Searchlight last weekend how they are enjoying the miracle of 20/20 vision after years of suffering.{{more}}

Nokirsha Bardo, 19, from Paget Farm, was offered the opportunity to fly to Cuba after Cuban doctors visiting Bequia last year suggested that her sight could be greatly improved through a process involving surgically scraping her eye to remove a micro-thin layer of tissue, which caused Nokisha to suffer blurred vision in her left eye.

But Nokirsha, a student at the Spring Academy, was a little disappointed with her operation at first. It didn’t seem to have made any difference.

Then, last week her eyesight suddenly and miraculously improved.

“My reading is much better now, and I can see things far away more clearly,” a jubilant Nokirsha told Searchlight.

“I am so happy – and grateful to the Cuban doctors and nurses.”

Mother of six, Uriel Patterson, 54, of Hamilton, Bequia, is another delighted recipient of Cuban eye surgery.

Her memories of her stay and her treatment in Cuba are ones she will treasure for a long time to come.

“All the people we met, the people at Los Americas Hotel where we stayed in Santiago and the doctors and nurses, were so kind and friendly, “Uriel told Searchlight.

“The hotel was very comfortable and we had really good Caribbean food throughout our stay.

“I had a small piece of skin cut away from my right eye. The surgery was quite painless – and my eyesight has improved by 100% .”

Nokirsha and Uriel are among more than 10,800 Vincentians who have been given free eye screening tests by Cuban eye doctors since the Vision Now programme was launched in July, 2005

More than 827 Vincentians have

travelled to Cuba for successful operations as part of the programme, which has another three to five months to run, according to Minister of Health, Dr. Douglas Slater.