Thursday, January 20

Kota Belud man, Pitas woman regain vision with Lions’ help

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The 72-year-old Irranun from Kota Belud has successfully regained his sight on his right eye.

KOTA KINABALU (Jan 14): A 72-year-old man from Kota Belud has regained his vision with the help of the Lions Club.

The Irranun lost his left eye vision since childhood and left with his right eye to see. Unfortunately, he gradually lost his right eye vision throughout the years due to corneal issues and cataract. He recovered his vision after corneal and cataract surgery at Selangor Hospital in 2019. But in 2020, the cornea began to degenerate and lose its function again.

Due to financial difficulties, he was unable to pay the cost of imported cornea and there was no local donor too, so he was unable to go for another corneal transplantation.

The situation finally changed when the Lions Club paid for the cost of his corneal transplant, which has been successfully carried out, and restored his vision.

He is the fourth patient sponsored by Lions Club of Tanjung Aru. He was originally the first on the transplant list of the project organizing chairperson Dr Liew On Heong; but when he was offered the surgery for the first time, he had to refuse due to no transport to Kota Kinabalu. Now with the restored vision after the successful surgery, he is very grateful and appreciate for the help from the Lions Club and the public.

He lives with his old wife and has no children, so his eyesight is very crucial to the couple. The Lions Club would like to take this opportunity to thank Ooi Yu Peck for her donation to purchase this cornea so that this surgery could be carried out.

The third patient donated by the Lions Club is a 64-year-old Dusun woman from Pitas who  lost her vision in the past five year, due to corneal and cataract problems. She also successfully regained her sight after the transplant.

More than 20 impoverished patients are still on Dr Liew’s list awaiting corneal transplants.
Lions want to help as many patients as possible. However, even with the grant from Lions Clubs International District 308-A2 Region 7, they are still short of funds.

If you are interested in supporting the project, you are welcome to donate and transfer any fund to Alliance Bank, Lions Club Of Tanjung Aru, account number:

1003-9001-0074-694, and then send the receipt to Dr Liew On Heong (012 -8337328) or President Keaven Kong (016-8412729) for record purpose.

The operation was performed by Dr Liew from Lions Club of Tanjung Aru.

“Kota Kinabalu has finally resumed corneal transplant surgery since 2020. Before that, there was no such specialty at the time, such surgery has not been performed for more than 15 years,” said Dr Liew, who is also the only specialist in Kota Kinabalu who can perform this surgery.

He reached to Lions for assistance to help his needy patients. Their quality of life suffers from being unable to afford cornea cost.

The corneas are bought from the National Eye Bank of Sri Lanka for about RM3,300 (USD735) a piece.