Vietnamese boy visits Australia to thank the foundation that restored his sight, by Andrea Booth, SBS, 1 March 2017.

[Note: The Fred Hollows Foundation is a member of AusCham.]

An edited extract of the original article is reproduced below.

The poster boy for the Fred Hollows Foundation arrived in Australia this week from Vietnam to express gratitude to the organisation that helped restore his sight twenty five years ago.

Vietnamese man, Tran Van Giáp was just seven when a glass shard hit him in his right eye in 1992…

“I felt a lot of pain and I couldn’t see anything,” he told SBS News.

His father took him to doctors at several hospitals in the region who all said they couldn’t help him…

“We were about to go home but we saw a crowd in the hospital courtyard with some foreign doctors,” he said.

“My father kept pushing me forward to Fred (Hollows), and he grabbed me and looked at my eyes. At first I felt really scared but later I felt happy because the doctor paid attention to me.”

Several days later, Dr Hollows organised Nepalese ophthalmologist Dr Sanduk Ruit to perform a complicated operation on Giáp’s injury and finally restored his sight…

Twenty five years later, Giáp has come to Australia for the 25th anniversary of the Fred Hollows Foundation, a charity set up by Dr Hollows and his wife, orthoptist Gabi, in 1992 – before Dr Hollows passed away from metastatic renal cancer in February the following year.

Giáp said the sight-restoring surgery motivated him to contribute to society and he became the first in his family to graduate from Hong Duc University in Thanh Hoa, about 150 kilometres south of Hanoi, where he studied to become a mathematics schoolteacher.

“The operation opened up many opportunities for me. I tried my best to study and make use of those opportunities [to become a teacher],” he said.

He now teaches in Ho Chi Minh…

 

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