“I sat at home dreaming of the day I would be able to see my grandson’s face.”
Alone in the town of Ararat, Sonik Hovanesyan has been living with diabetes for the past ten years. As the years went by her condition worsened and her sight was affected.
“My sight slowly faded away and I became blind,” said the 64-year-old mother of six. Dependent on others for nearly everything, Sonik was unable to walk without someone by her side.
“She was no longer the active mother we knew,” said Sonik’s daughter, Marine. “We had to help her with everything and that frustrated her.”
With no surgical facilities in Ararat and without the money to travel to Yerevan for care, Sonik didn’t know what to do. She was unable to leave her house for years because of her blindness and mobility issues and fell into a depression, which complicated her diabetes. Sonik’s grandchildren had brought her great joy, but she was unable to see her four-year old grandson’s face, which deepened her depression.
“I sat at home dreaming of the day I would be able to see my grandson’s face,” she said.
Thankfully, that day finally came. The AECP’s Mobile Eye Hospital, a surgical suite-on-wheels that travels throughout Armenia to provide care for the country’s most vulnerable, was scheduled to stop in Ararat. Sonik was hopeful this would be the opportunity she needed to restore her sight.
With help from her family, Sonik climbed the stairs to the mobile clinic and received the care she needed. Following a long, two-hour surgery performed by Dr. Asatur Hovsepyan, Sonik’s vision was restored. She was able to see clearly and walk with ease. The first thing she did was ask to see her grandson.
“The best part was seeing my grandson’s red cheeks for the first time,” said Sonik with a big smile. She then remembers the people who made her surgery possible. “I’m forever grateful to the doctors and donors.”
Marine, Sonik’s daughter added, “Without the dedicated people behind the Project my mother would still be blind. Everything has changed for the better. All of our lives have changed.”
As for Sonik, she is still thinking about her grandson’s big red cheeks. “I’m so happy! I feel like a newborn!” she says. We have a feeling Sonik’s grandson is happy too.