Born with congenital bilateral cataracts, Angel Lucena and his family are hoping that it is not too late to restore his vision. If he was born in the United States instead of Mexico, there is a very good chance that this would of been treated when he was three months old, and his vision would be normal.
Today, by most measures, Angel is a “normal” four-year-old boy. Although he is almost completely blind, he likes to color, loves to play the drums and dance, and occasionally bounces a ball on his baby brother’s head. He lives in a one-room house on the outskirts of Zihuatanejo with his parents and baby baby brother.
With help from SEE International, Dr. Jim Conahan, a volunteer ophthalmologist from Denver, Colorado, flew out this past week to perform surgery on Angel. Timing is critical. If this wasn’t discovered for another couple of years, there is a good chance that the surgery would not be successful.
If all goes well with the surgery this week, Angel’s vision will be to the point that he can be fully functional and able to live his dream, and attend school.
SEE International, established in 1974, is based in Goleta and helps to restore sight to disadvantaged individuals worldwide. Their yearly sight-restoring surgeries total more than 11,000 individuals across 36 countries. Jay Farbman is on the ground following this case in Zihuatanejo, and will file more reports this week.
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