“This was a miracle for me.”
Larisa Zakaryan does not have an easy life. A refugee from Azerbaijan, the middle-aged Armenian woman lives in the Ararat region of Armenia and suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis. It’s difficult for her to walk and her mother has to take care of her.
In addition to the severe mobility issues Larisa experiences every day, for the past two years she has not been able to see because of the cataracts she has developed in both of her eyes. Receiving just $67 a month, Larisa knew that cataract surgery — which typically costs more than $800 — was out of the question.
“I could never afford such a surgery,” said Larisa. “I had given up on life.”
Fortunately, Larisa learned about the Armenian EyeCare Project (AECP) and heard that the Mobile Eye Hospital would soon be visiting her region. She would be able to receive the cataract surgery she desperately needed at no charge.
AECP Physician Dr. Asatur Hovsepyan performed the successful cataract surgery on both of Larisa’s eyes. She could see again.
“When they opened my eyes, I was immediately overjoyed,” said Larisa. “It was a miracle!”
Larisa says her quality of life has improved dramatically since her surgery. “My life is so much better now that I can see. I can sit here and view the nature around me, I can read, I can see all around. I’m able to see everything vividly — life is starting to get sweet again,” she said.
Larisa also shares that she’s not the only one who’s overjoyed about her recent surgery. Her loved ones — mother, sister, neighbors and friends — are also extremely happy with the results.
Finally, Larisa makes it a point to express her deepest gratitude to the doctors and donors who made her cataract surgery possible.
“I want everyone to know that there is such kindness in this world, such miraculous doctors… I’m very happy and grateful,” she says. “To sum it up, they saved my life.”