“Grandma needed a caregiver and I just couldn’t leave her…”
About a year ago, Varditer dealt with a loss no mother should ever have to experience – the passing of her adult daughter to cancer. Because of Varditer’s daughter’s untimely death, Varditer also assumed the responsibility of caring for her two grandchildren. Around this time, she started to experience vision problems – glaucoma in her left eye and cataract in her right.
Varditer’s vision began to deteriorate. She would often trip while walking around the house, one time falling so hard that she broke her foot. Because of her blindness, Varditer could no longer care for herself – much less her grandkids. This meant that her grandchildren had to become the caretakers of their grandmother and as a result, had to stop focusing on their studies and enjoying the many other joys of childhood.
“Grandma needed a caregiver and I just couldn’t leave her and go to college,” Varditer’s eldest grandchild, Gayane, said.
“She would say ‘Don’t worry, grandma, everything will be fine,’” Varditer remembers, with tears in her eyes.
Varditer couldn’t afford any sort of treatment for her eyes, which she desperately needed, so she sat idle feeling helpless and alone. “I can’t do anything,” she said. “It’s like being dead but still living.”
Thankfully, soon after, Varditer learned of the Armenian EyeCare Project. Due to our emphasis on medical education and training for Armenian physicians and medical staff, local doctors in Armenia were able to perform the cataract surgery on Varditer. What’s more, the procedure was done at no cost.
Varditer’s surgery has been a great success. Her sight has improved tremendously and more importantly to the loving grandmother, she can now take care of her grandchildren once more.
“Now I can cook anything my grandkids wish for!” she says with a big smile.
Even Gayane notices the difference. “After the surgery, grandma’s sight has improved,” she says. “She doesn’t need my help anymore and she’s independent.”
Now Varditer’s grandchildren can focus again on school. Gayane is in college and studying business management at the American University in Armenia. She would like to become a business manager and eventually be able to take care of all her grandmother’s financial needs and provide for her family, including her little brother. With Varditer’s vision restored, her granddaughter’s hopes and dreams for the future are possible.