The gift of sight- A Christmas Wish for Ben - Hot 91.9

Nominated by colleague Lorraine King, Ben Mangwane is a dedicated worker with whom Lorraine had struck up an enduring friendship since they began working together in 2004.

Lorraine details how Ben, who is 48, has been struggling with severe glaucoma in both eyes. For the work he does as a spray painter in the paint shop, assisting with the preparation and sanding down of vehicles, Ben requires keen sight. Sadly, the glaucoma has already developed to the point of blindness in one eye. To save his sight and his ability to earn a living, an operation is required to insert a drain in his eye to relieve the high pressure which is damaging his one remaining retina.

Lorraine recounts: “I took Ben to Spec Savers in Silverton where Justin (fabulous optometrist) referred Ben to a specialist who diagnosed the problem. The normal pressure in a healthy eye is in the region of 20 but Ben’s was 68.  The specialist also said that they could operate but only on the one eye as the other eye was too far gone and Ben was going blind in that eye.”

Without the operation, Ben would be blind within the year and the cost is just too great for Ben or Lorraine to bear alone.

With 2 school going children, a wife and other relatives who rely on his salary, going blind would mean no job, no money and as Ben says life would not be worth living. As a safety precaution, Ben has also given up driving because he said he does not want to cause an accident and let someone lose their life because of his problem.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, who decided to spend her 50th birthday party funds on Hot Cares rather than splurge on herself, Ben will have his much-needed surgery and not lose his sight. With the hefty price tag of R33 000 for the surgery and additional costs for the drainage devices, Ben can look forward to a truly festive season.