New Orbis Kids Sight Ambassador Esther Kwan’s sight-saving trip to Linyi
Having spent the past few years raising her family rather than acting in TV dramas, Esther recently joined our four-day sight-saving trip to Linyi in Shandong, China. Her first time as an Orbis Kids Sight Ambassador, the experience left her overwhelmed at the extent of our and our donors’ sight-saving efforts. While in Linyi, Esther not only traveled to impoverished mountainous areas, but also visited and heard the heart-breaking stories of visually impaired kids and their parents. To better understand sufferers’ urgent need to see again, she even sat in on a 30-minute live strabismus surgery. While in the operating theatre Esther became a surrogate Mum for a four-year-old patient called Ningxin. Having held her new friend’s hand tightly and stayed with her all through surgery, Esther now believes more firmly in the power of love than she ever did before.
‘Ningxin trusted me wholeheartedly, I am responsible for taking her out of the operation room safely!’
Ningxin’s operation was the first live surgery Esther had ever witnessed. Initially in the operation theatre as an observer, she was so moved she felt she had to look after the tiny girl while surgeons battled to heal her squint. “While I was calm before I saw the doctors and nurses scrubbing up, I began to get nervous when the anaesthetist decided to divide his medication into several stages due to Ningxin’s being chubbier than other girls her age. As pediatric ophthalmological surgeries generally only start when patients are fully-anesthetized, I began clasping Ningxin’s tiny hand tightly and an idea began flashing through my mind. Throughout the surgery, I couldn’t stop thinking that I must repay Ningxin’s wholehearted faith in me by bringing her out of the operation theatre safely!” When Ningxin’s surgery proved successful, Esther delivered on an another promise by lovingly placing a box of chocolates next to the girl’s bed for her to enjoy when she woke up.
‘We should all help one another! If I help you today, you might help someone else tomorrow!’
There are few feelings in life more heart-rending than being a parent and realizing how powerless you are to relieve your sick child’s pain! When Esther visited two-year-old Han Xianglin, the toddler’s family’s poor living conditions distressed her greatly. “Whilst aware Xianglin had been born with a cataract and nystagmus, I never imagined his family could be so poor! Knowing that he had to receive several surgical treatments at an early age to stand any chance of seeing again, I felt his Mum’s desperation and helplessness like it was my own! When I gave her some toys and clothes from Hong Kong, she burst into tears and wanted to kneel down to thank us. Such humility genuinely made my heart ache! I know now that that people are born to help one another. If I help you today, maybe you can help someone else tomorrow!”
While in China, Esther also helped her daughter send her own love and blessings to China by donating some of her most treasured old toys and dolls to kids less fortunate than herself. Esther also plans to share her memories of her trip with her daughter. “Whenever any of us face challenges, let’s never forget that persistence brings hope and that the power of love is sufficiently strong to break down the most imposing barriers!” she concluded.