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Fiji Time: 10:44 PM on Wednesday 20 August

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Dass sees the light

Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, November 19, 2012

SIXTY-FOUR year old Raymond Dass lost his eyesight to cataract two years ago and was totally blind.

Life changed for him and the athlete who once represented Fiji in snooker tournaments held around the Pacific Islands in the 1980s had to re-program his life's activities.

"It was a difficult two years for me and my family because I couldn't see anything at all, can't watch movies or do my favourite hobby — reading," he said.

"So I had to look at other activities but it wasn't much because I couldn't farm too.

"My life totally changed and became very dull and I missed a lot of good things like seeing the faces of my family members."

Mr Dass said the world turned dark depriving him of opportunities.

But last week, his dark world turned bright again after world renowned eye surgeon Doctor Jeff Rutgard removed the cataract and restored his sight.

The visit by Dr Rutgard and his team was made possible through the Rotary Club of Taveuni that has organised the project for the past eight years.

Mr Dass who is from Lautoka now considers himself blessed saying he can farming, play a bit of snooker and see the faces of his family members again.

"When I came back home from the hospital, I couldn't believe what I saw.

"My grandchildren have all grown big and I am so glad I am able to see them again after two years of being blind," he said.

Dr Rutgard said the cataract Mr Dass had was as hard as rock.

"It takes a lot of skills remove the hard cataract. I had to scrap it off little by little because it was just as hard as rock.

"It was not easy but we removed it and I am glad my team helped restore his eyesight," Dr Rutgard said.


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