At 57 years old, Margaret Jeffrey is stunning with her full face tattoo and wide smile. She has a large family and loves spending time with them, but for the last seven years, her failing vision has restricted her ability to work alongside them.
Her visual difficulties were a result of cataracts, which have limited her vision since 2011. Margaret loved caring for her family, but the cataracts forced her to relinquish many of those tasks. “My children had to do every work for me, like cook and feed me,” she said, “I want to get better, I want to see and help my family.”
When the YWAM training and medical ship, the MV YWAM PNG, sailed into the waters near her home in Goodenough, Milne Bay, Margaret was excited to come aboard the ship’s ophthalmology clinic. Her right eye was her strongest eye, but even with it, she could only see broad hand motions from 3 metres or less.
YWAM’s volunteer ophthalmologists approved her right eye for surgery, which went smoothly. She came back aboard the next day to have the eye patch removed. She blinked in the light as the patch was removed, and then a slow smile spread across her face.
She pointed to the YWAM logo on a volunteer’s shirt and said “I couldn’t see this yesterday…[now] I can see the name: Y, W, A, M.”
Her vision had improved to a 6/36 — and would continue to improve over the next few days — meaning she could resume many of the activities that her vision had previously made inaccessible. “I’m excited to read again,” she said, “and my children will be happy too, because they missed me a lot, for so long…I’d like to thank the Lord for doing healing on me.”
YWAM medical ships was privileged to partner with Margaret on her path to healing. It is their hope that this surgery, and the hundreds like it, will build toward Papua New Guinea’s vision of a healthy village – healthy nation.