Ratna's story

The 70 Year Old Ace Returned

Ratna, a retired construction worker from Hansi, India, likes to spend time relaxing with his friends over a regular game of cards. Because of his passion and ability to win, a HelpMeSee staff member nicknamed him “Ace”.


Ratna (“Ace”) has nine grandchildren - five grandsons and four granddaughters. The oldest is a 26-year old granddaughter who is married,and the youngest is a 16 year old student. Ratna’s youngest son, 35-­year old Krishan, is his main caretaker, and two of Ratna’s grandchildren, grandson Deepak, 18, and granddaughter Suman, live with him. They are a close knit family living in the tight quarters of a modest home painted with a light turquoise blue.

During the summer Ratna’s vision began to blur. There was no apparent reason and it continued to decline he could no longer recognize the faces of his family or see the cards. For once in his life, “Ace” was played out.


Ratna at the Venu Eye Institute after surgery.

Not knowing what to do, he visited an optical vendor and was diagnosed with a cataract. Unsure how to proceed because of limited finances, Ratna reached out to one of his friends who as it turned out, had a successful cataract operation at Venu Eye Institute. The friend was pleased with the improvement of his sight. So when Ratna approached him with vision issues of his own, Venu was a logical conclusion.

Ratna walked two kilometers from his home in Jagdish Colony to the Venu outreach camp for screening. Ratna was approved for surgery and he joined the dozens of other cataract patients from Hansi for the five hour drive to Venu Eye Institute’s main facility in Delhi. His surgery was a success.


Ratna playing cards with friends

“I am very happy after having the operation. I can see everything and be with my grandchildren.”

Ratna looks forward to greater independence with his improved sight and longer, safer morning walks of his own. Card games were impossible when he started to lose his sight, but with his vision returned, he can play again. Less than a week after his surgery, he rejoined his friends for a round in the shade outside their homes. Once again he is the “Ace”.