Neema was just 4 years old when she attended the SeeKenya clinic in October 2018. Her parents had driven over 500km from the Ethiopian border in a desperate attempt to help their daughter. Neema has a condition called sclerocornea, which means that when her eyes formed as a baby they remained opaque rather than having a clear window to allow light inside. Because of this, she is unable to focus clearly on anything and is functionally blind.
The family had visited 17 different hospitals or opticians both in Kenya and in Ethiopia as they sought to find a solution to their little girl’s condition. Each time they were told that she was blind and nothing could be done.
Then they heard about the clinics run by SeeKenya in Meru and knew that, as any parent would, they had to pursue the possibility that this time it could be different.
Pete Marson, founder of SeeKenya, examined Neema and he was quickly able to establish that she was extremely short sighted and that her vision could possibly be helped with a strong pair of glasses.
A frame was chosen and within an hour the glasses were made. This was not a perfect solution and has not resolved the underlying problem of the opaque corneas but Neema could now see movement across the room and was able to give High Fives to those around. We later heard that on the journey back home she was laughing and giggling and pointing to cartoon characters on a TV screen in the back of the seat in front.
Pete also promised to investigate whether there are any surgical treatment options available in the UK.
After a number of the SeeKenya team had gathered around Neema and prayed for her and her family a very tearful father could only say “You are the first people who have given us hope”.