Since 2003, our Mobile Eye Hospital has been traveling throughout Armenia to offer sight-saving eye care services, including surgery, to the many residents living in remote regions in the country. These beneficiaries, who are often on the country’s poverty list and do not have the means to pay for care or travel far to receive it, have had their lives changed through our fully functioning surgical suite on wheels, which brings quality eye care to them!
Largely considered the hallmark of the Armenian EyeCare Project, our Mobile Eye Hospital – equipped with an up-to-date operating room and two exam rooms – delivers eye care to tens of thousands of Armenians per year who otherwise wouldn’t have access to this care. Here are the stories of three Armenians who recently received their sight-saving surgery.
Anahit Simonyan, 69, Abovyan
Anahit is from the town of Abovyan in the Kotayk province of Armenia. There, she worked as a confectioner, preparing jam in big factories for more than 30 years. Now she lives with her only daughter, a person with disability, and the only means of income they receive is an allowance from the government.
Anahit began experiencing vision problems a few years ago. She was upset that, because of it, she could not be as active and productive as she wanted. Luckily Anahit was able to receive eye care aboard our Mobile Eye Hospital. She received both laser treatment and cataract surgery on both of her eyes. Now, Anahit’s vision has significantly improved and she can go back to leading a productive life.
“I had serious eye problems but whatever my concerns were, the Armenian EyeCare Project’s doctors always found a way to help me,” Anahit said. “The doctors are very attentive and kind. The operations they performed on my eyes helped preserve my vision. I am very grateful to them and I trust them very much.”
Petik Demirchyan, 65, Vahan
Petik is a lonely pensioner who lives in the small border village of Vahan in the Gegharkunik province of Armenia. He served in the first Artsakh War (1988-1994) and now lives in extremely poor conditions in a semi-destroyed home near the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan. With Petik’s five daughters all married, now Petik lives alone.
Petik’s vision began to deteriorate while working in the mine pits in Artsakh. He was in desperate need of cataract surgery and made sure to make an appointment to receive it when he heard our Mobile Eye Hospital would be visiting his region. “I trust the Armenian EyeCare Project’s doctors,” he said. “I will do whatever they recommend to me.” Petik received cataract surgery on his left eye and the treatment was a success. His vision has drastically improved and he can now return to a more normal life.
Zashmen Arzumanyan, 67, Etchmiadzin
Zashmen lives in Etchmiadzin and helps takes care of her 10-year-old granddaughter after her daughter-in-law tragically passed away from a heart attack. A pharmacist for 40 years, Zashmen used to prepare medicine for the entire Lori region. But following the death of her daughter-in-law, she had to quit her job to take care of her granddaughter. “Although I very much enjoyed my job, my family is most important to me,” Zashmen said.
About five years ago, Zashmen began experiencing problems with her sight. Her vision worsened over time as her cataract continued to develop. In fact, by the time Zashmen visited our Mobile Eye Hospital, she was completely blind in her right eye.
Thankfully Zashmen was able to receive the cataract surgery she needed to restore her sight. Now she can see very well with her right eye and is happy with the results of her surgery. She says that without the Armenian EyeCare Project it would have been impossible to get the treatment she needed. “Everything was perfect here,” she said.
Every patient that the AECP is able to help with restored sight is beyond meaningful and each reaction from our beneficiaries is priceless. Thank you to our donors for making this life-changing work possible! If you would like to continue to support our work, please consider making a contribution here.