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Guatemalan Boy to Receive Gift of Sight

His name is Rudy Garcia Jimenez, and for the 17 years he has spent on this green planet, he has never been able to see. Not his mother's gentle smile nor the shape of his brothers' faces that distinguish one other. He knows not the color of his two sisters' hair and eyes. His is a world of voice recognition, intonation, touch.   

Two years ago, Rudy's life, changed. His mother developed and succumbed to brain cancer, and Rudy's father was unable to continue caring for the adolescent. Rudy was referred to Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos in Guatemala where he lives. The home for orphaned and abandoned children accepts newcomers unconditionally. Rudy was no exception.

Wanting to get the best care available for Rudy, Fr. William Wasson, the orphanage's founder and Phoenix native, brought him to the United States to have his case reviewed by two Phoenix eye specialists. The prognosis is promising.

At the age of two, Rudy's right eye was removed because of a tumor. He was unable to see out of his left eye, yet his mother would not return to the eye doctor in Guatemala, fearing he might remove that eye, too. Upon examination of his eye in Phoenix, it was found to be healthy and without any tumor. The retina appears to be attached. The problem is a cataract that covers the eye and blocks his vision. He is able to distinguish light from dark, and he can see certain colors in the red spectrum. There is hope that once the cataract and damaged lens are removed and a new lens implanted, some of his vision will be restored.

Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, February 10, in Phoenix. Through the aid of Friends of the Orphans, a local organization that provides financial support for children in need, a benefactor was located who will take care of the medical bills.

The possibility of Rudy regaining his sight is also opening the eyes of those around him to the plight of children like Rudy. While Rudy lacks vision, others his country, Mexico and Latin America want for food, a sheltered place to sleep, and an education to teach them to read and write. Skills that will help them break the chain of poverty into which they were born.

Rudy is one of the lucky ones. He now has a home, caretakers who are providing for him, and a chance for a new future in a seeing world. Through Friends of the Orphans, others will be given hope for bright, new future.


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