Good Morning Angels: Saving a young mother’s eyesight

Good Morning Angels: Saving a young mother’s eyesight

Saving a young mother’s eyesight - so she can be her blind mother’s hope.

Mondekazi Sidlayiya Good Morning Angels
Jacaranda FM

BACKGROUND: In October last year, Operation Healing Hands hosted an eye clinic, where more than 100 people in need received free eye tests and glasses. Mondekazi Sidlayiya, 32, was one of the people who arrived for assistance. She has always had poor vision and only recently discovered that the cause of her problems was glaucomaan eye condition she was born with. She was blind in her left eye, which caused her constant pain and discomfort, to the point that it was removed to relieve her pain.

Glaucoma has caused the sight in her remaining right eye to deteriorate over time, leaving her virtually blind and getting worse. After her test and screening at the OHH Eye Clinic, she was put on their list as a candidate for a cornea transplant - which would restore the vision in her remaining eye! Mondekazi is a single mother of a 15-year-old son and is now unable to work. Her own mother, who is blind, only receives a disability grant, which means as a family they have no means of paying for the surgery she needs. Operation Healing Hands will assist Mondekazi with free surgery and treatment at their upcoming Eye Surgery Clinic, however, they need R50,000 to import a cornea to implant and help Mondekazi see!

Operation Healing Hands reached out to Good Morning Angels to find assistance for Mondekazi Sidlayiya as well as for 42-year-old Lula Nkohla from Sunnyside. Lula was born with brittle bone disease. The disease also causes the corneas in her eyes to become “rigid”. She started wearing glasses as a child. When she was nine-years-old, she fell while playing and a shard of glass damaged her left eye. Over the years, her vision in her right eye deteriorated. She has had many operations on her eye and then in April this year, she bumped into something and the cornea in her right eye tore.  She is facing complete blindness - but, with a cornea transplant, her sight can be restored. She too is due to receive the operation and treatment for free from Operation Healing Hands - that’s if they can raise the funds to import her new cornea - at a cost of R50,000.  

REQUEST FOR: Mondekazi Sidlayiya from Vosloorus and Lula Nkohla from Sunnyside.

REQUEST FROM: Operation Healing Hands represented by Dr. Leanie Leeson.

ANGEL 1: Allan Pennel, Vice-captain of the Northern Nomads Golf Club .

SPONSORING: The Northern Nomads is a registered non-profit organization and the club is as passionate about community as they are about golf. The Northern Nomads, through their Andrew Mentis charity initiative, will contribute R50,000 to secure a cornea for Mondekazi, to enable her to regain her sight in her only eye.

ANGEL 2: Good Morning Angels Fund NCP

SPONSORING: The GMA Fund will assist Lula with the R50,000 needed to import a cornea to be implanted for her by Operation Healing Hands, which would restore the sight in her only eye.


Mondekazi Sidlayiya

My name is Mondekazi Sidlayiya. I am a 32-year-old residing in Vosloorus.

I was born totally blind, the doctors only managed to save the right eye and the left one remained totally blind. I honestly do not have much information about what went wrong. My grandma only told me that the doctors said I inherited the condition from my parents (they are totally blind). I guess they used that simple language for my grandmother. I only found out two years ago that I was born with glaucoma.

Since my left eye was giving me problems, it was always teary and really painful, a doctor from Nelson Mandela hospital suggested that I take it out and replace it with an artificial eye. I did just that and life has been better since. I no longer experience any pain from my left eye.

Around 2013 I started noticing that my eyesight was deteriorating, because I grew up with blind people (at school) I did not pay much attention because I have seen people going totally blind and they never got help because there was nothing anyone could do. Or maybe there was but growing up in a special school makes you just accept the situation and not think of anything that could help, so I thought that my vision going low is what happens to every partially sighted individual.

In 2017 I started seeking help because I was getting older and wiser, I guess, I could now think outside the box. I went to Dr George Mukhari Hospital, and they kept giving me dates. I then went to Pretoria Eye Institute and that's where I was told what is going on. I got more depressed when I was told the amount I have to pay because I am not working, my mother would also never be able to help as she is not working, she is getting a disability grant. My father is working, but he has another family and I don't have a relationship with him.

I am asking for help because if I could go totally blind my life would stop. I am my mother's hope. I know there's life after going blind, but I am so scared. I don't even sleep with lights off because I get a panic attack when I wake up at night and it's dark, I just think the sight is gone already.

2. Lula Nkohla: 

I am 42-years old and live in Sunnyside. I am unemployed and loosing my eye-sight.  

I was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta (the ‘brittle bone’ disease). One of the symptoms is rigid corneas. I started wearing glasses as a child, because my eyesight was always bad. At age 9, my glasses broke during play. A shard of glass ended up in my eye and I lost the sight in my left eye.

Since then, the sight in my right eye also deteriorated. In 2018 I had to have surgery in my eye for an infection. This led to more surgeries, because of a complication. My cornea is calcifying, and the calcification grows back, even after surgical removal.

Because I can only see very poorly with my remaining eye, on 3 April, I bumped into something unidentified and ruptured my remaining right eye. The doctors managed to save my eye, but now the sight is now so bad that I can only see ‘mist’. 

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