17 Nov 2018 Giving Sight is Giving Life!
My name is Elizabeth. I am 14 years-old and I have been living in United Learning Centre (ULC) located near Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. Our home is a refugee home and we are living under the care of United Nations UNHCR programme. I am so delighted to share my story with all of you here.
For the past few months, I have noticed some problems in my eyes, such as difficulty in focusing while reading and the words are often blurred. Fortunately, our home leader, Mr Julian and volunteer teachers noticed my eye problems. And I am not the only one with these issues! We realised that due to language and financial barriers, my fellow home mates and I could not even dream of having our eyes checked or getting treated as necessary.
One day in the month of April 2018, a team from International Medical University (IMU) visited us to hold a health checkup together with dental check. We were already familiar with some of the IMU doctors as they often visited us for vaccination and health checks. The doctors and specialists in the team checked our body temperatures, asked health related questions, checked blood pressure and listened to our chest and back with a device called stethoscope (the name which I tried to find in google later in the evening).
We needed to read some numbers on cards which were colored and seemingly mixed in the background. Luckily, I managed to read all correctly. But when I was asked to read some letters on a chart hung at a distance, I couldn’t read the last two rows and I couldn’t differentiate between the letters. Then, I noticed that the doctor who was filling up the form at that time, made a remark in my record.
One day, around a month later following the health checkup, our home leader Mr Julian told us that 14 of us including myself need to go for further eye checkup at a clinic. It was exciting news indeed as it gave a glimpse of hope for our problems. On one fine day in May 2018, we were brought to a clinic named Optometry Clinic of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and our eyes were checked by the optometrists. We had different levels of language barriers and were in different ages from 6 years to 30 years. The optometrists were very kind and very patient with us. After getting the results, we were given a chance to select different spectacle frame designs and that was an exciting and memorable time for all of us.
Finally, the wait was over and we received our glasses which were brought by the doctors from IMU. We were so delighted and can’t even express our happiness with words of thanks. I tried my glasses and everything is so much clearer now and I felt very motivated to learn and so did my friends. The doctors explained how to take care of the glasses and to use them regularly. Most importantly, we got not only the physical care but also the compassionate and empathetic care with warmest kindness; something what we were looking for every day! It was a truly unforgettable time indeed!
I am wearing these glasses while I am writing this!
Mr Julian told us that this contribution from eye check to testing by optometrists to finally getting the spectacle frames is all part of a programme called IMU Cares and run under the Division of Pathology, School of Medicine from IMU. It is a great surprise for us to get to know that there are also different IMU Cares programmes which are initiated and implemented by students, doctors and staff from International Medical University.
He also reminded us to be thankful to God, as well as to IMU for taking care of us!
I was silently thinking in my mind “Of course, Mr Julian, giving sight is giving life! I will always be thankful to IMU for taking care of us and caring for our future. May God bless you, IMU”