When Love Is Literally Blind

If you have ever seen me present for work, you’ve probably heard this story. If you ever find yourself in the audience in the future, please don’t ruin the punch line for those around you. It’s the best part. Cool. Thanks. 

The NGO Global Charity I work for is led by an incredible volunteer team of doctors and nurses who provide life-saving and life-changing surgeries for people in dire need, mostly in West Africa. One of our major projects we call Mercy VISION. It centres around eye care, cataract surgery in particular. The number of people blind from treatable cataracts in the developing world is shocking, especially when you learn how quick and easy (for an eye surgeon) it is to treat them.
You can imagine that, within our organization, one of the most exciting places to be on any given day is in the recovery room from one of these surgeries. Witnessing people being able to see for the first time in years, even decades, well, that is the stuff viral videos are made of. There is a pretty great story that came out of one of these recovery rooms in recent years. We were able to reverse the blindness of two patients, an elderly couple who had been married over 50 years. He had been blind for more than 20 and her around 15. They remained married and in love and together throughout their blindness until one day our volunteers were able to make them not blind any more. When their bandages were removed and their eyes re-focused on one another for the first time in decades, every set of eyes in the room welled up with tears, including of course the husband. As he stared at his wife in disbelief, he was the first to break the silence, “oh my love, you are so beautiful” he half said, half sobbed. The wife stared back, also with in disbelief, until finally she replied, “And oh my love, you are so old”.

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