In 2012, Gladys Pomavilla, a 15-year-old girl living in Canares, Ecuador, was accidentally shot in the face by her 9-year-old brother leaving her blind and with numerous bullet fragments lodged in her face. In March 2012, the NPDF traveled to Canares, Ecuador at the request of Ecuadorian Congresswoman Blanca Ortiz to secure an emergency medical visa for 16-year-old Gladys Pomavilla and her father. The NPDF applied for the medical visas and through the Operation Kids program transported her to the U.S. for a medical evaluation by Dr. Campolattaro, a renowned Eye Surgeon with NY Eye and Ear Hospital. During his medical evaluation, Dr. Campolattaro determined that Gladys was not a candidate for a cornea transplant.
Instead, the NPDF arranged for Gladys to participate in a training course for the blind in New York City where she learned how to deal with her disability. In addition, the NPDF returned Ms. Pomavilla to Ecuador and enrolled her in a school for the blind where she continues to learn braille. The NPDF also funded her school tuition and transportation costs to attend school. This mission resulted in Gladys and her family having medical confirmation on the extent of the damage to her eye sight. In addition, there is still future hope that with improved medical technology that Gladys will be a candidate of a cornea transplant to repair her eye sight. Through the NPDF’s efforts, Gladys also received rehabilitation services which provided her with skills to improve the quality of her life.

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