But a ray of light entered Lucas Avia’s life when Augustine Koroma from Naka Optical carried out some outreach work in Bundi. Augustine saw that Joe was not blind but had bilateral cataract and his heart went out to Mr Avia and knew that a simple operation could restore his sight. So he decided to bring Lucas to the Fred Hollows eye clinic in Madang for treatment.
First with the help of some of Lucas’s children they built a stretcher to carry Joe on the 9hr bush walk from Bundi to Brahman. From Brahman, Lucas was put on a canoe and paddled across the Ramu river to the main road. From the main road Lucas and Augustine where able to catch a PMV bus and come to the Madang Fred Hollows Eye Clinic.
Lucas came to the Fred Hollows Eye clinic on the 14th of June 2012 and Dr. Sameer examined his eyes and booked him for cataract surgery on the following day. His right eye was operated on the very next day, after two nights in the ward, Dr Sameer operated on Lucas' left eye. After 3 days, his visual acquity was 6/12 & 6/9, a truly remarkable transformation. The full recovery took 6 weeks. Lucas was overjoyed to have his vision back and will definitely inspire others with cataract from his village to come to the Eye Clinic for the life changing operation.
Story compiled by Fred Hollows PNG nurses.