H’Nhi’s family had to borrow money just for the journey to the eye clinic. They worried they’d never be able to afford her treatment. 

H’Nhi is the only girl in a family of boys. Her mother wanted H’Nhi to have a better life than her own, but was worried this wouldn’t happen because H’Nhi was born with cataract in both eyes.

All H’Nhi could see was a blur, and when the light from the cracks in the walls of her house hit her eyes, the pain would be excruciating.
The family had to borrow money so that H’Nhi, her grandmother and uncle could make the trip to central Vietnam to visit an eye clinic. It was here that they met Dr Phuong, a Fred Hollows Foundation-trained ophthalmologist and the only one in all of central Vietnam who could operate on children.
Dr Phuong said children were usually scared of doctors and hospitals, but H’Nhi was different: she was brave. When her patches were removed a day after her operation, H’Nhi refused to open her eyes. However, when Dr Phuong asked where her grandmother was, H’Nhi slowly opened her eyes, pointed to her grandmother for the first time and gave everyone a huge smile.  

When H’Nhi returned home, the whole village came out to greet her. H’Nhi ran to her mother and threw her arms around her, telling her how she could see so clearly. Now, say her parents, H’Nhi can run with her friends and play in the sun with no pain. While she’s always been a happy little girl, she’s even happier after her operation. 
This is the biggest happiness of our whole family. I just want to thank you so much for your help, for what you have done for our daughter.
- H'Nhi's father
In 2023, the dedicated team from Phu Yen Eye Hospital and The Fred Hollows Foundation have recently reunited with H'Nhi and her family. Over a decade ago, The Foundation supported H'Nhi in accessing life-changing cataract surgery. The precious gift of sight has meant the world to her and her family. 

H'Nhi, a member of the Ede ethnic minority, now supports her mother by tending to cows, cultivating cassava and rice, and participating in the local market.   
She reflects on her journey, "When I was very young, I didn't really remember. Now I am grown up, I can see how precious it is to have the gift of sight given to me."   
Thanks to her regained vision, H'Nhi could attend school, lead an everyday life, and blend in with the other children in her village. In keeping with Ede customs, she has plans to marry and continue supporting her family.   
"With good vision, I will have a family, work with my husband, and live together. If I do well, I can send money back to support my mother and younger sister. Without that operation, I wouldn't be able to do these kinds of things. For that, I'm very grateful." 

The Fred Hollows Foundation began its work in Phu Yen in 1999 and has since invested extensively in developing eye health services.     
The Foundation is proud to be bringing high-quality eye care to the people of Phu Yen, one of the country's poorest provinces. Increased investment means that those impacted by avoidable blindness won't have to wait long periods or travel further for care.     
Eye health is critical in allowing people to work, attend school, and lift families out of poverty—particularly in agricultural societies where life revolves around hands-on labour.    
Fred Hollows recognised that restoring sight and preventing blindness isn't just about the individual. The benefits have a ripple effect, spreading from the person to their family, community, and the economy.  
That's why, with the help of our supporters, The Foundation will continue to invest in strengthening health care systems in under-resourced communities so that more people like H'Nhi are given opportunities.   
These efforts have the potential to create positive ripple effects by improving the quality of life, promoting economic growth, and empowering individuals and groups in need.   

Donate today to help provide sight-saving surgery to more people with a one-off gift or with a monthly donation. 
$150 can restore sight
$150 can restore sight

$150 can restore sight

Help us end avoidable blindness