“My vision was bad, I couldn’t really see,” Yvonne remembers.
At just 52 years old, Yvonne, a devoted grandmother was going blind. She could easily have lost her sight for good because of where she lives.
Along with cataracts in both eyes, Yvonne had swelling inside her eyes from diabetes. Her independence and pleasure in life was slipping away. She could no longer work, drive or see the plants in her garden, which are normally her pride and joy. And instead of helping others as a hands-on grandmother and proud Yawuru woman, suddenly she was forced to rely on her family.
“I’d have to wait on my kids to bring me anywhere and everywhere when I needed to go to the shops… I don’t want to depend on my kids,” said Yvonne.
For the chance to see again, she needed specialist surgery.
The sad reality is there are far fewer eye specialists in rural and remote areas of Western Australia compared to urban areas. So people like Yvonne are missing out on access to sight-saving eye care.
Lions Outback Vision was Yvonne’s best hope of getting her sight and her independence back. Yvonne is just one of thousands who need the help of the Lions Outback Vision program.
Last December, through Lions Outback Vision, Yvonne was relieved and thankful to have cataract surgery on her right eye. The swelling caused by diabetes in both her eyes was also treated with injections. She is now waiting for her left cataract to be removed.
“I can see much better, I can drive,” said Yvonne. “I got back into my gardening. And I’m very excited for my surgery. I just can’t wait for the day to come. As soon as it’s done, I can get back into the workforce.”
Read more about how Lions Outback Vision brings critical eye care to thousands of people in rural and remote areas of Western Australia.
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Don't let blindness be determined by your postcode.
In this video, Yvonne shares her heartwarming story and Associate Professor Angus Turner explains the importance of providing critical eye care to people living in rural and remote areas of Western Australia.