Blind orphan from Moldova takes long trip
around the globe for a chance to see again.
Ordinary Hero was contacted personally by Dr Wang with a request for prayer for Maria's eye surgery. Please join us...
WKRN, Nashville News, Nashville Weather and Sports
(Nashville, TN, 11/1/13) It has been a little over a year since the doctors at the Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration first learned of a young, 15-year-old blind girl named Maria, who has been living in a special needs orphanage in Balti, Moldova. In the fall of 2012, Maria’s story became the inspiration and primary focus of the foundation’s annual fundraiser, the “EyeBall”. At this gala event, over 500 attendees heard Maria’s story and were touched by her photo, which was projected across the big screen. Since then, many kindhearted citizens began a project to assist Maria in obtaining her visa so that she can come to America and be seen by the foundation, which could provide the opportunity for her to receive surgical treatments with the latest sight restoration technologies that may possibly allow her to see again!
Born prematurely, weighing only 2 pounds and having no access to proper medical care, Maria became malnourished and her physical development suffered significantly from neglect, both which affected her vision most of all. Maria’s ocular history includes an advanced, blinding cataract on her right eye, chronic inflammation of both eyes, a retinal detachment on her left eye (which has left her totally blind in that eye), and partial atrophy of both optic nerves. Even though Maria has been blind most of her life, she is kind and has befriended all the children at the orphanage. They know that if they are sad or need something, they can come to Maria for help because she will smile joyfully and do her best to help them. But Maria wants to be able to see her cherished friends. At age 15, when a teen is typically excited and looking forward to a lifetime of happiness and possibilities, Maria has been forced to live in darkness and misery, and up until now has been told that she will have to remain there for the rest of her life. This is where the Wang Foundation comes in.
Established by Ming Wang, Harvard & MIT (MD, magna cum laude); PhD (laser physics), the Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration (www.wangfoundation.com) is a 501(3) non-profit charity, which to date has helped patients from over 40 states in the U.S. and 55 countries worldwide, with all sight restoration surgeries performed free-of-charge. The foundation doctors have published 7 textbooks and a paper in the world-renowned journal “Nature”, they hold several U.S. patents for new biotechnologies to restore sight, and they performed the world’s first laser-assisted artificial cornea implantation. Upon hearing Maria’s life story, these doctors decided unanimously that Maria should be their next foundation patient.
However, the road to bring Maria to the U.S. to be seen by the foundation has been a challenging one. Maria’s biological mother had to be located, and then many attempts were made to convince her to allow Maria to come to America to receive the necessary treatments. Dr. Wang himself has written many letters to consulates and embassies, asking for help in obtaining Maria’s visa. Due to the combined efforts of many caring people throughout the course of the past 12+ months, Maria finally received her visa and came to America.
Maria arrived at the Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration on the morning of Monday, October 21, 2013, where she underwent a full eye evaluation. Dr. Wang and his team discovered that Maria has lost 100% of her sight in the left eye (due to a retinal detachment), and 99% in the right eye (she can only see light at this time). She has to use a cane and be led around if she wants to go anywhere.
Dr. Wang has planned a complicated and high-risk cataract surgery for her right eye. The reason the procedure is so risky is because she has multiple eye diseases and issues, including a small, scarred pupil, a dense cataract, uveitis, the unknown status of lens and zonular stability, and the possibility of retinal and optic nerve diseases.
Therefore, Dr. Wang and his team have 10 barriers to overcome, each which could cause the surgery to be a success or a failure. If even one step along the way is not successful, the team may not be able to continue to the next step, and all 10 barriers must be handled successfully in order to have a chance to restore even a portion of Maria's sight.
The odds of this entire process being successful would be similar to a person tossing a coin in the air 10 times, but he can only do the next toss if the previous toss resulted in “heads”, and he would have to stop tossing if the previous toss resulted in “tails”. Therefore, ten “tosses”--i.e., all of them--have to result in “heads” in order for the team to complete this surgery successfully.
So with such high risks at stake, why does Dr. Wang want to do this surgery? Because Maria is blind, and her sight has gotten progressively worse due to the continual maturing of her cataract. So if she has nothing done, she will certainly lose the 1% of sight that she currently has in that eye, and she would then be completely blind. So the foundation decided to take on this challenge, and will embark upon and travel through a very difficult journey with Maria, praying throughout the process that God will step in and bless Maria with an ultimate success and bring Maria out of darkness and into light!
This can only happen through prayer and teamwork, so Dr. Wang thanks all of you in advance for your pray and being a part of this life-changing process for Maria!
For information about Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration and Dr. Ming Wang, MD, PhD, www.wangfoundation.com, 1801 West End Ave, Ste 1150, Nashville, TN, 37203, 615-321-8881(O), firstname.lastname@example.org