“Now I have high hopes that my senior years will be spent in happiness.”
Kima has dealt with unbearable pain in her life. In 1988, a tragic earthquake in Armenia shook her world. Kima was seriously injured but she survived. Some of her family members were not as lucky. Kima’s husband and two of their four children died from the horrific quake. Kima still gets emotional when she recalls the memory.
“When the earthquake hit, our house collapsed,” Kima said. “I could hear the cries of my children and husband, but I was stranded and unable to help them. First my child’s cry stopped. By the time they rescued me on the fifth day, two of my daughters and my husband had perished.”
Kima had to deal with the incredible agony of losing her husband and two children while also learning how to care for her remaining children with a disability. Kima had lost her leg in the earthquake.
“I’ve been walking with crutches for over 30 years, but I still managed to raise my surviving children,” she says. “I took them to school and even worked for six years. Although the disability was difficult, I handled it much easier than when I lost my sight.”
Kima’s vision started to deteriorate about five years ago. “Everything was in complete darkness,” she recalls. Soon after, she lost sight in her other eye as well.
“It was very difficult for me and it impacted the entire family,” Kima says. “Not only was I missing a leg, but now I was completely immobile due to my blindness.”
Kima was devastated that she could no longer be a help to her family because of her blindness. All she needed was cataract surgery to restore her sight.
Before the Armenian EyeCare Project developed programs to provide eye care in the regions of Armenia with our Mobile Eye Hospital and Regional Eye Centers, residents could only get this care in the country’s capital, Yerevan. This was unrealistic for most people because of the long distance and high cost of travel.
Luckily Kima was able to receive the cataract surgery she needed to restore her sight right in her hometown of Gyumri. The surgery, which took place at the John Ohannes Khachigian AECP Regional Eye Center, was a success. Kima could see again.
“When the bandages came off, it was a whole new world,” Kima said. “I could see everything clearly… I can see the colors of the trees and flowers.”
With her restored vision, Kima now has a renewed outlook on life. Despite the immense difficulty she has endured over the years, she is grateful and optimistic about the future.
“I’m extremely happy and grateful,” Kima says. “I don’t feel like an extra burden anymore. I can be useful to my family again and that is a huge source of happiness for me. Now I have high hopes that my senior years will be spent in happiness.”
We hope they will too.