A decade of good sight and good will

For Yorkshire woman, Irene Ordoyno, a cataract procedure 10 years ago was a turning point in her life. Having suffered with poor and cloudy vision, her decision to have a cataract procedure with a local surgeon was so transformative, that she has dedicated the next decade to helping raise funds for his charity.

An ophthalmic consultant at Optegra Yorkshire Eye Hospital, Mr Oliver Backhouse first met Irene 10 years ago, when her vision was so poor she had been told she could not drive. Now 70 years old, she recalls not being able to see the black and white spaniel she was walking as it played in the snow! This month Mr Backhouse has received a 10th Anniversary thank you card from her.

Since then, Irene, from Baildon, was so delighted with her vision and her ability to look at small things so clearly, she has been making greeting cards and selling them for Mr Backhouse’s charity, the Madagascan Organisation for Saving Sight (MOSS).

When asked how it all started, Irene explains: “I was so appreciative of my own restored sight, I felt I would like to help others who have poor vision and felt that it made perfect sense to support Mr. Backhouse’s own charity MOSS.

So far, Irene has raised almost £2,000 for MOSS which helps to save sight in Madagascar.

As well as selling to friends and family, the handmade cards are sold in the reception of Optegra Yorkshire Eye Hospital, priced from just £1.00. Individual, tailored cards can also be ordered directly from Irene by emailingireneordoyno@btinternet.com.

Mr Backhouse describes his charity: “Having spent a year working in Madagascar with my wife in 1993, I set up MOSS because there were no eye charities working in this very poor country which had so much need.  In line with the World Health Organisation Vision 2020 – ‘the right to sight’ programme, our main aims are to help reduce the incidence and prevalence of blindness of which approximately 80% is treatable or preventable with uncomplicated means. Thanks to people like Irene we have been able to help thousands of adults and children over these past 20 years.”

The handmade cards feature flowers and also photography direct from Madagascar. They all have lining paper, high quality envelopes and are cellophane wrapped.

Optegra Yorkshire Eye Hospital is based in Bradford and Leeds City Centre, and is supported by consultant level ophthalmic surgeons who provide a wide range of ophthalmic procedures including: Clarivu (refractive lens exchange), laser vision correction, cataract removal, glaucoma, AMD and cosmetic procedures.

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