8-year-old American Samoa girl may see again, thanks to medical - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

8-year-old American Samoa girl may see again, thanks to medical missionaries

An 8-year-old girl is very far from her American Samoa home as she undergoes what will be a life-altering operation. (Source: WIS) An 8-year-old girl is very far from her American Samoa home as she undergoes what will be a life-altering operation. (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

An eight-year-old girl is very far from her American Samoa home as she undergoes what will be a life-altering operation.

Lourdes Iputi is from American Samoa. She has cataracts in both her eyes and can't see.

She's getting them removed for free - thanks to the Spring Valley Rotary Club's medical charity called "Gift of Life." Eva Pele and her husband are serving as the girl's host and guardian. They first met Lourdes while on a medical mission trip.

"It's a blessing to us, my husband and I,” Pele said. “We look at it as a privilege to help a child. If she had not come to the clinic, we don't know what would have happened to her. She wouldn't have been able to see for the rest of her life."

Pediatric ophthalmologist Alexander Pogrebniak, M.D., is performing the surgery to remove Iputi’s bilateral cataracts. The first surgery was Thursday. 

“The cataracts look calcified and she has had them for a very long time,” said Pogrebniak. “Lourdes is going to have to learn to see again. The vision
centers of the brain deteriorate from lack of use. Her brain has forgotten how to see.”

Dr. Pogrebniak will perform the second operation next week.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved. 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Delta passenger fined $500 for apple

    Delta passenger fined $500 for apple

    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:01 PM EDT2018-04-21 17:01:03 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:45 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:45:42 GMT
    adlock's healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. (Source: KDVR/CNN)adlock's healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. (Source: KDVR/CNN)

    Crystal Tadlock is not happy about the fine she said

    More >>

    Crystal Tadlock is not happy about the fine she said

    More >>
  • 'Austin Powers' star Verne Troyer dies at age 49

    'Austin Powers' star Verne Troyer dies at age 49

    Saturday, April 21 2018 4:51 PM EDT2018-04-21 20:51:28 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:03 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:03:39 GMT

    Verne Troyer, an actor famous for his role as Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" trilogy, has passed away.

    More >>

    Verne Troyer, an actor famous for his role as Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" trilogy, has passed away.

    More >>
  • Teens beat, carjack pregnant elementary school teacher

    Teens beat, carjack pregnant elementary school teacher

    Saturday, April 21 2018 8:53 AM EDT2018-04-21 12:53:43 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:57 PM EDT2018-04-21 17:57:25 GMT
    Police Police are searching for four teenage girls who "smacked" the woman and drove off with her Kia Sportage.Police Police are searching for four teenage girls who "smacked" the woman and drove off with her Kia Sportage.
    Police are searching for four teenage girls 'smacked' the woman and drove off with her Kia Sportage.Police are searching for four teenage girls 'smacked' the woman and drove off with her Kia Sportage.

    Police are searching for four teenage girls who "smacked" the woman and drove off with her Kia Sportage.

    More >>

    Police are searching for four teenage girls who "smacked" the woman and drove off with her Kia Sportage.

    More >>
  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • DOJ looks into how AT&T, Verizon handle defecting customers

    DOJ looks into how AT&T, Verizon handle defecting customers

    Friday, April 20 2018 7:43 PM EDT2018-04-20 23:43:53 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:45 PM EDT2018-04-22 02:45:17 GMT
    The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)
    The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)

    The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into whether AT&T and Verizon and a standards-setting group worked together to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers.

    More >>

    The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into whether AT&T and Verizon and a standards-setting group worked together to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers.

    More >>
  • FAA orders more engine inspections after Southwest accident

    FAA orders more engine inspections after Southwest accident

    Friday, April 20 2018 4:53 PM EDT2018-04-20 20:53:41 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:45 PM EDT2018-04-22 02:45:11 GMT
    (NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...(NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...
    The manufacturer of the jet engine involved in a fatal Southwest Airlines accident Tuesday wants more jets to be inspected for potential problems.More >>
    The manufacturer of the jet engine involved in a fatal Southwest Airlines accident Tuesday wants more jets to be inspected for potential problems.More >>
  • Wells Fargo fined $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

    Wells Fargo fined $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

    Friday, April 20 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-04-20 13:33:09 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:44 PM EDT2018-04-22 02:44:35 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - This Aug. 11, 2017, file photo shows a sign at a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia. The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting Thursday, April 19, 2018, that federal regulators plan to fine Well...(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - This Aug. 11, 2017, file photo shows a sign at a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia. The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting Thursday, April 19, 2018, that federal regulators plan to fine Well...

    Wells Fargo fined a combined $1 billion by federal regulators for abuses tied to its mortgage and auto lending businesses.

    More >>

    Wells Fargo fined a combined $1 billion by federal regulators for abuses tied to its mortgage and auto lending businesses.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly