HIMALAYAN CATARACT PROJECT: The Bravest Boy

Christopher Briscoe / HCP Cure Blindness

A father’s little boy sits in a line of cataract patients, all bearing a handwritten I.D. number taped to their foreheads. They are waiting for their turn on the operating table, already wearing blue medical gowns with dark plastic bags wrapped around their feet.

The father and the boy listen as the eye nurse explains that he will be inserting a needle behind the eye and that it will hurt, but only for a moment. “You must be very still,” he is told.

The boy listens but can’t imagine enduring a needle inserted into his eye socket. He dissolves into tears and leaves the operating room, weeping in his father’s arms. There’s only one other way to remove his congenital cataracts, by administering a general anesthetic. The boy and his father sit in the crowded hallway, pondering this option.

Something happens inside this little boy. Suddenly, he tugs at the sleeve of a passing nurse and explains that he will take the needle…as long as it doesn’t hurt for very long. Minutes later, he is back up on the operating table. The brave boy does not move during surgery.

The boy is happy to be helped off the table, holding fast to an assistant, who gently lifts him up and carries him down the long hallway, still crowded on both sides with waiting patients. The boy and his family talk about how grateful they are for the work done by HCP Cure Blindness. The bravest boy says that he can’t wait to go back to school.

Featured Client:

Himalayan Cataract Project

Thematic Areas: