An Unlucky Eye Injury

Vy Le

     Five years ago, I lost sight in my left eye in an accident when I was 24 years old. That afternoon, I went to church after I had gone back home from work. On my way, there was a group of men and women who were fighting. They ran by me and suddenly my eyes started burning from scalding water. I did not know what was going on until I opened my eyes. I could not see anything. I was so scared and called my Mom. She drove me to the nearest hospital.

     That day was the beginning of several problems. I was hospitalized for more than three weeks. The doctors trieddesperately to save my left eye. However, my eye became worse because the hospital did not have enough high-tech facilities and the doctors were overly confident when they were treating me. Eventually, the doctor said that the scalding water might have had a chemical base which destroyed my left cornea. I faced permanently losing my eyesight in that eye at anytime. Therefore, I had to go to Singapore to have emergency surgery to save the eye. Luckily, my friend in the United States helped me gather enough money to go. I had only three days to prepare everything for my trip. It was the very first time I would travel to another country by myself.

      At that time, I knew nothing about Singapore and my English was very limited. Once there, I had several problems with money, food and language. First, I had a very difficult time finding my hotel. Then, I tried to buy a phone card and looked for an internet cafe in order to contact my family in Vietnam and my friend in the United States. The next morning, I went to the hospital with a translator. I had to pay 15 USD for every hour of translation. It was too expensive for me because Vietnamese currency is worth very little compared to American currency. The hospital bills were very expensive, and I was very weak after the eyesurgery, which lasted seven hours. I had to eat in order to gain strength, even through I did not like the flavor of the food in Singapore. I had to take care of all arrangements by myself while in Singapore. It was difficult for me to communicate with people in English. However, the doctors and nurses were very kind. They were willing to help me whenever Ineeded them. When I felt lonely, I talked to my mom and my friend by phone. That helped me feel more confident and comfortable. Finally, I went back home after a month, and I was very lucky that my eye had gotten better.

     In short, going to a foreign country for an emergency eye surgery had never crossed my mind. I could not believe that I had survived in Singapore for a month by myself, but I had. I realized the spirit of a human being is very strong. I was able to do many difficult things which I never thought I could. For the rest of my life, I will never forget that terrible trip during which I enduredseveral problems, but the whole experience helped me become more mature.