Cataract patient gets back normal eyesight with aid from RCKK Pearl, EyeMedics Specialist Eye Centre

KOTA KINABALU: Thanks to the initiative of the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu Pearl (RCKK Pearl), cataract patient Mary Rosalia Lim’s vision is now back to normal.

She is very grateful to have been a beneficiary of the free cataract surgery programme, dubbed “Hope In Sight” project which is jointly undertaken by RCKK Pearl and EyeMedics Specialist Eye Centre.

“I consider myself lucky. One day, I happened to check the messages on my handphone. I came across information about the club’s project. I jumped at the opportunity and immediately responded as I had poor vision due to cataract in both eyes. I couldn’t do the surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) as I couldn’t afford to pay for the lenses.

“After the surgery, I began to regain my independence, and I am now able to be up and about on my own. I can take care of my grandchildren while my daughter is at work,” said the 66-year-old government pensioner.

Lim, who retired in 2010 after a 37-year service with two government hospitals, expressed her gratitude to the President of RCKK Pearl, Eliza Goh, the Club as well as Dr Terrence Soong. Dr Soong, who is the Founder of EyeMedics Specialist Eye Centre, performed the surgery for free.

The grandmother of three recalled how, prior to the surgery, she had to wear sunglasses wherever she went as she suffered from terrible sun glare. “As a result, I was unable to drive then. My daughter had to take unpaid leave to care for me and the family. We were in financial difficulties,” she said.

Meanwhile, Goh said the project partnership is in conjunction with World Sight Day which falls on Oct 8.

According to her, the Club’s involvement is in the selection of eligible candidates and sponsorship of lenses for the surgery while the surgery cost is borne by the Eyemedics Specialist Eye Centre.

“Through this partnership, women from the B40 category (low-income households bracket) will be able to get free eye treatment for cataracts, which otherwise would be too costly for them.

“This is in line with the objective of this community-based project, which is to enable such women to be back on their feet, and hopefully, to contribute to their families’ income, which has been badly affected during this pandemic period,” Goh explained.

The RCKK Pearl President assured that all candidates would undergo stringent screening for COVID-19 prior to surgery, adding that six more eligible women have been identified for eye screening and cataract surgery.