At 3 years old, cataracts caused Monique’s world to fade. Now 10, she is shy & timid, staying at home with her grandmother instead of going to school.

Monique, eye patient, at her home before surgery.

At 6 years old, she had almost lost her sight completely. She never disclosed that the world around her was disappearing. Realizing the extent of her blindness, her family withdrew her from school.

Following surgery on board the Africa Mercy, the first signs of a smile crept across Monique’s face. Her gaze quickly darted in every direction as if she couldn’t take it all in fast enough, scouring the room for all the things she’d missed.

Evelien van Weelden, Pediatric Ward Nurse, working with Monique.

Less than 2 weeks later Monique excitedly packed her bag and donned her uniform ready for her first day back at school. Thanks to surgery, Monique now has the chance to see and be seen as she steps out to become the fearless little girl she is inside.

Monique, eye patient, in her home before her first day back at school after surgery.

Thanks to her grandmother’s homeschooling, Monique boldly approached the front of the class to proudly read and write in front of her peers – showing them that she had not given up the fight.

Monique, eye patient, during her first day back at school after surgery.
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