World Sight Day 2022: Bahaa’s story

  • 13 Oct 2022

The first week of 2022 was the end of the rope for the Abu Taimah family, their son Baha’ – 11 years old- was happily drawing with his younger brother before he was accidentally stabbed by a pen in his right eye.

Baha’s eye had bled severely, and he had a serious corneal eye wound; the accident could have left his right eye permanently disabled!

Bahaa’s mother rushed to the European Hospital in Gaza immediately, doctors were able to deal with this emergency, but the follow up at the St. John Eye Hospital of Jerusalem was required.

“My first visit to the St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital was at the mid of January, I love to visit Jerusalem, I wish my parents could join me.” says 11 years old, Bahaa. “The Israeli Authorities allowed my grandmother Rowaida to join me this week in the SJEHG Hospital for my Vitrectomy and PHACO& IOL surgeries, I wish my mother was allowed to join me as well” he continued.

Bahaa and his grandmother Rowaida arrived at the Erez checkpoint at 6:00 am in order to arrive at the SJEHG on time for Bahaa’s Vitrectomy surgery, however, the Israeli military requested his patents’ attendance to let him pass the Beit Hanoun (Erez) checkpoint to enter Jerusalem; “We had to wait 3 hours for his parents, I was worried that they will prevent us from visiting the St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital and Bahaa will lose his sight!”

Rowaida and Bahaa crossed the border at 11:00 am, 5 hours after their arrival at the Checkpoint, they were quite late to Bahaa’s surgery appointment; “we were quite late, but the St. John family were very humble, they confirmed that they will help Bahaa restore his clear vision, they rescheduled the surgery and Bahaa was very pleased.” stated Rowaida wringing her hands.

So even though Bahaa’s accident was extremely unlucky, his grandmother Rowaida is still feeling very fortunate, it wasn’t worse. He’s such an optimistic, happy kid,” said Rowaida, Bahaa’s grandmother. “I think that’s part of what helped him push through is his positive attitude.”

Today, Bahaa is back to his home town, Khan Younis, to play again with his cousins, he promised St. John Hospital he will pay more attention while he is playing around; “I will protect my eyes, I want to be always able to see the sea, it is my favorite place, and it will be my future home when I become the best fisherman in Gaza.”