“St Nicholas’ Home gave me my confidence back”

Diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 25, Kaliswari never thought she would one day end up blind. Being the only daughter in her family, she was often pampered by her parents and brothers. After her diagnosis, she started to have eye problems and her eyesight begin to deteriorate.

She went to a doctor to check her eyes and was told to just go for regular check-ups and take care of it. Following that doctor visit, she went to several other doctors who told her the same thing and was even told that even if she did undergo surgery, sooner or later; she would eventually go blind. Therefore, she finally decided that she would just accept God’s decision and wait for the inevitable.

Only after losing her sight did she find out from a Vitreoretinal (VR) surgeon that had she gone for the operation early on, her sight could have been saved! She was never told the truth of the severity of her eye problem. However, as her eyesight was already in the advance stages of Tractional Retinal Detachment (TRD), there was nothing more that could be done. She lost her sight completely in 2011.

Even though she said she was mentally prepared over losing her sight, one can never fully understand the pain and difficulty of going through that period. However, for Kaliswari, coming to St Nicholas’ Home truly changed her perspective. Coming here gave her back her life.

“St Nicholas’ Home gave me back my confidence and it has taught to learn how to accept myself. I was very fortunate to have strong support from my family and I would not have been able to get through this without their support. The friends here at St Nicholas’ Home have also become my family. We encourage each other to be better. Sometimes, it is difficult for others to understand us, so it is nice to be able to talk and socialise with people who knows and understand what I am going through,” says Kaliswari.

Before ending the interview, she gave a little advice to the families with visually impaired members. She was very fortunate to have a family that supported her 100% but she knows that there are others who are not so lucky. This is what she has to say:

“Please help us help ourselves. We want you to be our guiding hand but let us adapt to live and learn to be independent as only then can we move on. Just be there for us and support us with your love and understanding. I would also like to thank everyone here at St Nicholas, my friends and my teacher, Ms Linda Capel for everything they have done for me.”

~ D. Kaliswari ~