When we last caught up with him four years ago he had regained his sight and his childhood after having cataracts removed.

Hao is now 13 years old, excelling at school and serving his local village as a monk.

Today, Hao lives with seven other young monks at Namor temple in Oudomxay, northern Lao PDR. The monks play an important role in their village, taking on responsibility for special ceremonies like house blessings and funeral services.

Every day at 5am Hao wakes up and receives his daily ration of sticky rice. Eating just twice a day, monks like Hao lead a life of discipline and sacrifice.

But Hao is not just a monk. He is also a full-time 4th-grader at the local public school. In his recent midterm exams, Hao topped his class.

The surgeon who operated on Hao, Dr Phetsamone Indara, undertakes some standard vision tests and is elated with the teenager’s progress. “It's 100% good and his eyes look normal. No complications at all," he said.

Hao was left almost completely blind from cataract when he was three years old. The family was very poor and couldn't afford surgery. After sacrificing ducks and pigs to ghosts that they believed were responsible for his blindness, the family finally turned to Dr Phetsamone for help.

With support from The Fred Hollows Foundation, Hao received sight-saving surgery from Dr Phetsamone. Without the support of The Foundation and the skill of Dr Phetsamone, our A+ monk wouldn't be where he is right now.