Junior, Akoko, and Gloria are three children with some important things in common - they live in Togo, West Africa, and they were born with crossed eyes. Togo is one of the least-developed countries in the world. Healthcare is unaffordable and often unavailable.
These three children faced something even worse than restrictions caused by poor vision. They faced the ridicule of other children in a culture that does not make accommodations for physical disabilities.
Mercy Ships eye surgeon, Dr. Glenn Strauss, performed a 15-minute operation, called a strabismus repair, for each child. The free surgery improved their sight, their appearance, their self-esteem, and their hope for the future!
Now all three children literally have a new perspective on life. Five-year-old Junior can play ball and ride his bicycle. Sweet little Akoko, also five years old, can hardly wait to show her friends her "new eyes." And nine-year-old Gloria can see more clearly to draw and do paper crafts - two of her very favorite things.
Three young lives were dramatically transformed by a simple surgery that is taken for granted in developing countries - a free surgery made possible by dedicated volunteers and compassionate donors.
Junior's father expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the Mercy Ships medical staff, saying, "I don't know how to thank them. God will bless everyone working on the Mercy Ship."
Akoko before surgery
Akoko after surgery