More than 1300 cataract operations have been carried out on people who would otherwise have gone blind thanks to The Fiji Eye Project over the past 12 years.

A 15-strong medical team has just returned from the 12th trip during which they conducted 131 operations at Lautoka Hospital, Fiji including 128 cataract operations over a 10-day period using funds raised at a garage sale at Castle Hill.

They also restored the sight of five children, the youngest was just two years old. Mike Kumar a member of Wesley Uniting Church at Castle Hill and founding member of the Fiji Eye Project thanked the medical team who took time off work to volunteer their skills.

Dr Jeremy Smith, Dr Jay Chandra, Dr KC Tang, Dr Suriya Foran, Dr Gowri Jegasothy, and Dr Ian Woodforth were accompanied by nursing staff Claire Coward, May Ng, Nadine Absalom, Grace Eh, Leah Cuento, Kay McDougall, bio medical engineer, Ravian Monteiro and Orthoptist, Katie Geering.

Wesley Uniting Church Castle Hill started supporting the Fiji Eye project in 2016. This year’s trip was made possible by numerous donations, Including a $10,000 raised by the Wesley Uniting Church Garage Sale.

Other donations came from Wesley Uniting Church members at Castle Hill and from crowd funding on the internet.

St Clair Uniting Church donated $10,000 and the Fijian community in Australia raised more than $23,000. The six doctors who volunteered their time also donated a total of $13,000. There are plans for another visit next year.

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