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Durban - A Merebank pensioner’s despairing sms to the Daily News BackChat column, about her eye surgery problems at Addington Hospital, so moved a Durban mother that she asked her son to step in.
Gorindamma Naidoo, 71, who is blind in her right eye, had sent an SMS to BackChat to ask if anyone knew what was up with the hospital. This after about a year in which she had six consultations and twice had her surgery cancelled.
Dr Mohamed Motala, a private ophthalmologist, sprang into action after his mother spoke to him.
“My mother told me to find the woman and help her,” he said.
Motala’s mother, Maryam, 66, was reluctant to comment as she felt the focus should be on Naidoo. But she said that as she wore spectacles herself, she understood the frustration Naidoo felt in her SMS.
“She’s 71 years old and at that age you need your sight, so when I saw her SMS I told Mohamed that someone needed to do something and help this woman,” she said.
Motala will be doing the cataract surgery free of charge next week.
“This is the best gift anyone could give me for Christmas and I can’t wait to get my sight back,” Naidoo said in an interview on Wednesday at Motala’s rooms at Isipingo Medical Towers, where she had gone for an examination. “It’s wonderful to know that I’ll have my sight back.”
Naidoo said she often needed help walking because
with only one functional eye, she lacked depth perception.
“I used to go out and have tea with my senior citizens club (but) I haven’t done that in a year because I have difficulty walking,” she said.
Motala said that after examining Naidoo he had found that she had a mature cataract (clouding of the lens) in her right eye and her left eye showed early stages of a cataract forming.
“Next week I will make (an) incision into her cornea and fill it with material... We will use an ultrasound to suck out the lens with the cataract.” A new lens would be fitted into Naidoo’s eye and in a week she should have her vision back, and clearer than before. “The operation takes about 15 minutes, but it depends on how comfortable she is during the operation,” he said.
Some of the causes of cataracts were diabetes, skin problems such as eczema, arthritis and in most elderly people it was over-exposure to UV rays from the sun, he said.
Isipingo Medical Towers’s public relations officer Nomfundo Nhlumayo, said the hospital ran a foundation, called In the Light, which assisted people with cataracts who did not have medical aid.
“The foundation is also run at City Hospital (in Durban) ... and patients pay R800 for the whole procedure,” Nhlumayo said. - Daily News