“I have many dreams for my future, but to achieve them I need good eyesight.”
Margarita Grigoryan has experienced her fair share of hardships since childhood.
Her parents fled their home in Baku, Azerbaijan during the massacre of Armenians there in 1990 and sought refuge in Armenia. In the years that followed Margarita’s father sadly passed away and her mother suffered emotional distress from years of trauma.
At eight years old, Margarita, or Margo as she is called, was placed in an orphanage because her mother did not have the emotional stability to care for her. At the orphanage, Margo rarely socialized and preferred to be alone. She closed herself off and was isolated from the world.
An additional burden for Margo was her poor vision. Ever since she was a child she experienced problems with her eyesight, which contributed to her unhappiness and her desire to be left alone.
As Margo grew older she outgrew the orphanage where she lived and struggled to find a place to call home. Fortunately, in 2013, she became a resident at Mer Doon, which helps provide a transitional home for disadvantaged young women and focuses on offering education to its residents so they can learn to live independent lives.
This appealed to Margo very much. She loved to learn and read all day long and looked forward to continuing her education. Unfortunately, Margo’s problems with her eyes caused her significant difficulties with reading and learning and as a result, considerable stress.
“I have many dreams for my future,” said Margo. “But to achieve them I need good eyesight.”
Margo’s vision continued to deteriorate. She had a detached retina and doctors told her there really was no hope — she would eventually lose her sight.
Contemplating the thought of going blind was very frightening for Margo. She said, “I was afraid of going blind — that would be the end of all my dreams.”
Fortunately, Jane Mahakian, a friend of the Armenian EyeCare Project and the president of Mer Doon, contacted the Project and explained Margo’s case.
There was hope! “I was overjoyed when I learned the EyeCare Project could restore my eyesight,” said Margo with a big smile.
Soon after Margo was referred to the Project’s Mobile Eye Hospital, where laser surgery was performed on both of her eyes for retinal detachment. The procedure, performed by the Mobile Eye Hospital’s Chief Surgeon, Dr. Asatur Hovsepyan, was very successful and was done at no cost.
“Now I can see the world that surrounds me,” said Margo. “I’m so very grateful!”
Since her eye surgery Margo is a changed person. Her mood is much lighter, which the staff at Mer Doon noticed immediately. “Now she is strong and independent,” said Mer Doon’s Executive Director, Tigranuhi Karapetyan. “The difference is enormous.” Jane Mahakian added that “Margo can now plan for her future.”
Margo would like to be a professional tour guide at a museum in Armenia one day. Thanks to her recent sight-saving surgery she now has the opportunity to transform her dream into a reality.
“The EyeCare Project is changing people’s lives,” said Mahakian. Margo’s life is changed forever.