Lions help two women in Sabah to regain eyesight – The Borneo Post


From the left: Lions Clubs International District 308-A2 Cabinet Secretary Alyssa Lim, Zone 15 Chairperson Rekha Notaney, Lions Club of Penampang Host Past President Datuk Melvin Disimond, Region 6 Chairperson Thomas Ting, Dr Valarmathy Vaiyavari and the two benefited patients.
KOTA KINABALU (June 16): Two women have their eyesight restored with the help of the Lions.
They received donated corneas and had successful transplant operations at Hospital Queen Elizabeth.
Dr Liew On Heong, an ophthalmologist, performed the operations on June 11 and 12.
One of the patients, aged 56 years old from Kampung Likas has had her eyesight partially restored, while the older patient, a 78-year-old lady from Lido is still under observation and would take a longer time to recover due to her age.
Dr Liew, the only doctor in Sabah who can conducts this surgery, returned to his hometown from Kuala Lumpur in 2020 to work at Hospital Queen Elizabeth.
Sadly, he discovered that many poor patients are suffering from sickness and eyesight loss just because they could not afford to pay for the imported corneas. As a result, he sought help from the Lions for his ailing patients.
“Since the cornea is not attached to blood vessels, it is less likely to be rejected as compared to other organs,” said Dr Valarmathy Vaiyavari who is also an ophthalmologist at Hospital Queen Elizabeth.
She added that patients who undertake these operations must continue to get medical treatment and be monitored in the long term. However, if there is no adverse reaction, the newly replaced cornea can be used for more than 10 years.
The main organizer, the Lions Club of Tanjung Aru, led a group of 22 other Lions Clubs in sponsoring two imported corneas for patients in need for the first time.
On June 13, representatives from 23 Lions clubs in Region 6 and 7 of Lions Clubs International District 308-A2 visited the benefiting patients.
The Lions Club of Tanjung Aru and Lions Clubs International have so far successfully sponsored six corneal transplants.
With the exception of the latest elderly patient from Lido, all the other patients have regained their vision.
The corneas are purchased from the National Eye Bank of Sri Lanka and each of them cost about RM3,300 (US$735).
Dr Liew as the organizing chairperson mentioned that although Lions wish to help as many patients as possible, there are still more than 20 patients on the waiting list due to limited funds.
Those who are interested in supporting this project, are welcome to donate and transfer any amount to Lions Club of Tanjung Aru (Alliance Bank account number: 1003-9001-0074-694) and forward the receipt to President Keaven Kong (016-8412729) for recording purposes.

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