Features: ‘I Honestly Did Not Believe There Was Any Hope’

Mom With Eye Growth Gets Help


KAR KAR ISLAND, Papua New Guinea — Before traveling to Wadau Bay for a potentially life-altering surgery, Luweng Maor tended to business that was even more important to her. She walked hand-in-hand with two of her grandchildren, dropping them off at school before heading over to the public transportation station. From there, she would be driven to the bay where the m/v PACIFIC LINK  was anchored. On board, Dr. Sunu Dulal was scheduled to perform the first eye surgeries in the history of the island.

Maor, 42, suffered from a condition known as Pterygium (pronounced terr – idge – ee – uhm) a tissue growth on the white part of the eye which causes blurred vision and watering. It was likely caused by prolonged exposure to the sun and smoke from the fire when she cooked.

Her husband, who worked as a security guard, had been urging Maor to seek medical attention for the condition which had hampered her for five years. But she was conscious of the financial burden that travel to an urban, more specialized hospital, and an operation would be on her family. She decided to settle for the minimal treatment of ointment, hoping it would help her cope.

“I honestly did not believe there was any hope for me before I heard of the PACIFIC LINK” Maor said. 

The ointment gave her some relief, but not enough to stem the fear that she carried in her heart. As a rural resident, she knew that there were hazards all around. She worried about tripping on fallen tree branches or — worse — stepping on a snake and being bitten. Yet she tried, as much as possible, to maintain her routine of gardening and cooking to take care of her children and grandchildren. 

In March, Moar learned that an eye doctor would be on Kar Kar Island performing surgeries. After years of believing her condition would only deteriorate — and possibly blind her — hope sprang up in her heart. 

“When I heard that the doctor was coming, I was determined that my vision problem would be resolved once and for all,” she said. 

After walking for one hour along the jungly, palm-tree lined road during a rainy day on Kar Kar, she arrived at the transport station where she would be driven to the PACIFIC LINK. After reaching the ship and waiting her turn for several hours, she underwent a 30-minute operation to remove the pterygium and a graft to replace the tissue that had to be removed during the surgery.

Returning one day after the surgery for a post-operation checkup, Maor was thrilled with the results. All she could do at that point was express gratitude. 

“I want to thank YWAM and Dr. Dulal for serving me and the people of Kar Kar Island,” she said.

If you would like to contribute funds to fuel for the m/v PACIFIC LINK to make these kinds of medical-relief missions possible, click below.


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