Genet is a 23-year-old woman from Ethiopia who has both serious heart problems as well as retinal detachment, an eye condition that will cause blindness if left untreated.
Genet was 11 when her mother died. She cannot remember her father—he died when she was very young—and she has no siblings. Life would have been hard enough as an orphaned only child, but Genet also suffered from severe mitral stenosis, a potentially life-threatening heart condition, for 13 years. Her illness forced her to quit her job as a housemaid. Paying for heart or eye surgery is absolutely impossible.
Fortunately, Genet heard about Dr. Rick Hodes from a former cardiac patient in Gurage, the area of Ethiopia where she lives. She managed to save up bus fare to come to Addis Ababa, where Dr. Hodes immediately diagnosed her heart condition and sent her to India to receive treatment.
In India, her heart surgeons discovered that she needs emergency retinal surgery to save her eyesight.
After everything she’s been through, letting Genet go blind is not an option. Staff at Dr. Hodes clinic tell us that Genet hopes to finish her education and return to work, but that she is painfully aware of the fact that these dreams depend on working eyes.
Genet deserves a break, and we can make it happen. Let’s do this!