“The sun comes up and I can see the bees fly to the flowers… It’s a joy to witness my work again!”
Raphael and his wife are beekeepers in a small village in the Kotayk province of Armenia. The couple bought their first beehive when they married, in 1957, and now own and manage over 70 hives together. They’ve been doing this work, living in the fields and cultivating honey, for over 60 years.
Raphael had not had any issues with his sight until very recently. He says his loss of vision was very sudden and it affected not only his own mental and physical state, but that of his entire family’s. “I could not see anything,” Raphael says. “I felt abandoned from this world and it started to affect my whole family.”
“When he became blind, my only prayer was for him to have sight again,” Raphael’s wife added.
Like many in Armenia, Raphael did not live near the country’s capital and could not easily travel there to receive care. Luckily, he heard about our Mobile Eye Hospital. Born out of a need to reach Armenia’s rural population and brought to the country in 2002, our Mobile Eye Hospital travels across Armenia to offer eye care including surgery to those residents who live in remote regions throughout the country.
On our Mobile Eye Hospital, Raphael was able to receive the surgery he needed for his severe cataracts. Following the surgery, Raphael’s sight was restored. “They opened my eyes and I could suddenly see,” Raphael said. “Now I’ll live my remaining years with sight.”
Now that Raphael can see again, his bees are prospering too. “The sun comes up and I can see the bees fly to the flowers,” Raphael says with a smile. “It’s a joy to witness my work not go to waste and produce results.”
Both Raphael and his wife also express deep gratitude to our doctors and donors for making Raphael’s sight-saving surgery a possibility. “I’m very grateful to this organization,” Raphael’s wife said. “I wish the donors a happy life.”
“Thank you to all, especially my doctor,” Raphael adds. “I am empowered now and can continue my work!”