Gladys Struck in the Eye with a Stick
Ten year old Gladys is the second youngest of five siblings. She lives with her family in Kitwe, a town in the Copperbelt province of Zambia. Their home is only 20kms from Kitwe Eye Annexe, which would prove to be very handy. Gladys is currently completing grade five at school. Her father Joseph is a businessman and repairs air conditioning units, whilst Gladys’s mother is a pastor at a local church.
Gladys had just turned nine in October 2014 when one morning she decided to play with her cousin in the yard. Her cousin, who was 17 at the time, grabbed a stick and struck Gladys in the right eye.
The little girl cried loudly for help and ran to the house to find her father. Her eye immediately turned red and began to swell. Joseph rushed Gladys to the nearest pharmacy to purchase eye drops to sooth and clean his daughter’s eye. After this, she felt a lot better and even went to school the next day, with the incident being quickly forgotten.
Several months later Gladys’s elder sister told her mother that she had noticed “white spots" in Gladys’s right eye, and that she was able to see the spot at night. Gladys’s parents didn’t realise there was a problem, so did not take their daughter’s concerns seriously. That was until February 2015, when both parents noticed the white spot in Gladys’s right eye.
Their first reaction was to take their daughter to church to be prayed for, but this resulted in no change. They waited four long months before they took Gladys to a clinic in their township. The clinic immediately referred her to Kitwe Eye Annexe; the one facility with the skills and expertise to manage paediatric eye conditions.
At Kitwe, Gladys was diagnosed with a traumatic cataract and booked for surgery. This was a success and improved her vision significantly. Gladys’s visual acuity pre surgery was recorded as being able to see Hand Movement (HM) in the right eye; post-surgery the vision in her right eye was much better and perfect with her glasses.
Her parents were so grateful for their daughter’s recovery and vowed to inform others about the cataract services at Kitwe Eye Annexe.