HOT Cares Contributes to the Gift of Sight for Widowed Pensioner

HOT Cares Contributes to the Gift of Sight for Widowed Pensioner

“There is no bigger gift you can give someone than their eyesight,” said Elise’s email when it reached Hot Cares towards the end of last year. 

She should know, because she’s witnessed first-hand the impact of declining sight on her 80-year-old mother-in-law, Nellie, who has been through a very difficult time over the past year or so. 

First, she lost her husband – who she shared a birthday with – in November of 2021, after he fell and broke his leg, and ultimately didn’t come out of hospital.

“At the same time, she’s been suffering with cataracts in both eyes and her eyesight is just getting worse,” said Elise. 

Nellie apparently only has 20% vision in the one eye and 30% in the other.

“She’s been through so much and her blood pressure is also becoming a huge problem from the stress of not being able to see and worrying that she is going to go blind, as she can’t afford the surgery,” said Elise.

Nellie is a SASSA pensioner and doesn’t have medical aid, nor the financial means to pay for the operation required – a situation that has obviously had a huge impact on her mental health, as well.

“She seems to have given up on life and is dreading the fact that she will go blind soon,” said Elise. “I just want her to be able to regain some sort of independence and be able to enjoy the beauty of life around her.” 

Elise has been a model daughter-in-law and even took out a loan of R19 000 to be able to afford the first cataract operation for Nellie.

Sadly, though, she has eyesight challenges of her own following a car accident and lost her entire pension in the Steinhoff scandal a couple of years ago. This has left her and her husband in a dire financial situation for their retirement and it also means she is not in a position to help Nellie. 

That’s why Hot Cares wants to do whatever it can to help both Nellie and Elise and ease their burden.

As a result, Hot Cares will be donating R20 000 towards covering the cost of the second cataract operation, so that Nellie can have both eyes sorted out without the financial stress.  

On top of that, we want to ease Elise’s worries as well, so we’ll be covering the repayment of the R19 000 loan she took out for the first cataract operation.  

We hope that all of this will not only help restore Nellie’s vision, but also lower her blood pressure and improve her overall health and mental wellbeing, as well as provide some sort of relief for Elise. 

If you are in a position to donate towards making a meaningful difference or have a story to alert us to, or a programme you’d like to partner with Hot Cares on, please get in touch with us by emailing