Founding Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation, Gabi Hollows, has recognised the life-changing contributions of the South Burnett. Photo/Fred Hollows Foundation
Founding Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation, Gabi Hollows, has recognised the life-changing contributions of the South Burnett. Photo/Fred Hollows Foundation

South Burnett generosity restores sight to kids worldwide

THE spirit of giving is rife in the South Burnett, who’s generous donations have helped provide sight-restoring surgery to people worldwide.

Over the past year, 139 people from South Burnett have become regular donors, helping the Fred Hollows Foundation reach thousands of blind and vision impaired people, like 7-year-old Truat in rural Vietnam

Truat was blind in one eye as a result of a cataract caused by trauma when she was very young, and having limited vision, her mother worried she would not be able to continue her schooling.

“I’m very worried. I worry that I will not be able to support my family; I worry about my daughter’s eye; I worry that I will never have enough money to get her eye fixed,” Truat’s mother, Thuyen, said.

Thuyen is completely dependent on her parents, Truat’s grandparents, who earn less that $2 a day as farm labourers on nearby rice fields and paper tree plantations. The income they earn is barely enough to support the family of five, let alone to pay for surgery that could restore Truat’s sight.

“We can still work now, but we are worried about what will happen when we get older. The whole family is affected by Truat’s situation, everybody feels sad and helpless,” they said.

With the support of The Fred Hollows Foundation, Truat was able to receive her desperately needed eye surgery at Da Nang Eye Hospital. Just 24 hours after her surgery, Truat’s eye patches were taken off and she could see her mother clearly for the first time in years.

7-year-old Truat with her mother Thuyen. Photo/Fred Hollows Foundation
7-year-old Truat with her mother Thuyen. Photo/Fred Hollows Foundation

Founding Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation, Gabi Hollows, extended her heartfelt thanks to the people of South Burnett, saying Fred would be amazed by their compassion to help people who don’t need to go blind.

“Without the support of people from South Burnett, The Foundation couldn’t have helped give sight back to so many people,” Gabi Hollows said.

“Our generous donors are at the heart of our Fred Hollows family, and they help us transform the lives of those living with avoidable blindness.

“I am so grateful to everyone who has supported our work this year, and the past 28 years; I extend my heartfelt thanks and wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.”

For more information about The Fred Hollows Foundation or to help restore sight, visit www.hollows.org or call 1800 352 352.

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