Low Vision Unit

St John’s new Low Vision Unit gives Jana back her education

  • 29 Nov 2019

At St John, we do everything in our ability to tackle avoidable blindness – from early detection to advanced surgery and everything in between. However, for some people like eight-year-old Jana, there are simply no options for treatment.

Jana has struggled with her eyesight since she was born. Her mother noticed she was not following objects and distressingly sensitive to light at only four months of age. What followed was years of medical appointments at general clinics and hospitals in the West Bank trying to understand what was wrong with Jana’s vision, as her mother explains:

“It wasn’t until we found St John that we finally understood what was wrong with my daughter’s sight. I am very grateful that they have doctors who specialise in dystrophy and was able to understand her vision problems. It was such a relief to finally have a diagnosis – even if it was one we did not want to hear.”

Jana was diagnosed with achromatopsia, a type of condition which causes complete colour blindness, far-sightedness, light sensitivity and involuntary eye movements. It is currently incurable but there exist several tools to enable people living with this condition to live their life to the fullest. At St John, we have ensured that Jana has access to the best possible tools to enable her to grow and develop just as her able-sighted peers would. Her father is very grateful for our help:

“Jana has been working with St John’s Low Vision Rehabilitation Clinic for several months now. They have given her magnifiers for her books, telescopic glasses to see the school blackboard, red filter glasses to fix her light sensitivity, as well as advice for the school and at home such as using bold lined paper, felt tips pens, and to be seated in the front seat for the class. Altogether it has completely transformed how she lives and interacts with the world and her grades have improved too. We are very thankful for their help.”

Your support enables us to allow children like Jana to live their lives to the fullest. Every child should have equal access to education and opportunities #IDPwD