Tewodros Degafe from Ethiopia traveled to India for Eye Surgery

Last Modified: September 13, 2019  |   Created on: April 8, 2019
Eyes, Patient Testimonials
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We got about 20 minutes of a tete-a-tete with Mr. Tweodros. A smiling 41-year-old man who answered our interviewer just before leaving for the airport to fly back home hearty and healthy. 


1. Please introduce yourself
I am Tewodros Degafe from Ethiopia and I have come with my sister to India for my eye treatment.

2. Which treatment did you choose to come for?
I am diabetic since 2015 with poor glycemic control. Though under medication diabetes impacted my vision, My left eye became disadvantaged by macular degeneration, where I ended up with a 90 percent loss of vision. The other eye was experiencing clouds of black spots back and forth, a very uneasy feeling. This disturbed me to the point that I became very preoccupied with my vision.

As though experiencing the world from behind a veil this vision was not conducive to perform any daily chores. Reading became very difficult, especially without strong light. My doctor at Menelik Hospital discussed my case with the board and they issued me a referral letter stating I needed to be operated urgently and would have to travel abroad for it. They advised me for the surgical procedure called a vitrectomy, where gel inside the eye is removed and replaced with a clear fluid that the eye, in turn, replaces within a few days.

3. We know it must be a tough decision with confusing options, but what made you choose Lyfboat as a facilitator?
My older brother was the one communicating on my behalf. He had inquired with multiple platforms as he wanted not only good medical care for me but good logistical service as well. That’s how he got in touch with the Lyfboat team international patient managers and found them to be very receptive. He posted the inquiry in the morning and within a few hours, we had responses from all the top hospitals in India. It was like magic. Too good to be true. The managers were following up with us on calls, WhatsApp and patiently connected us to doctors, coordinating with finesse for all our concerns.

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4. Can you tell me about some of your experiences, any specific feature with the health care system?
I came in for vitrectomy procedure by Dr. Samer Kaushal at Artemis Hospital. To my surprise, my case was very complicated. After thorough evaluations, I was diagnosed with a bad untreated Cataract as well. My entire treatment plan, stay in the country was revised. I was at this moment having mixed feelings. I thanked God for being in the best professional hands. I was never diagnosed with cataract all this while even after taking regular hospital check-ups in my hometown, at last, the ophthalmologist in India diagnosed me. The flip side was an extended stay, extended Visa and changes in flight tickets. I was worried about it. I in particular liked the transparency of the doctors and how they help us make informed decisions.

5. What is an example of how Lyfboat went “the extra mile” to serve you?
Not just once, all the time. They were on their feet. The case managers did all the running around. I marvel at their dedication. My extended stay, additional tests, rebooking flight tickets, everyday hospital follows ups, count it and they did it. I was given full attention and care. Also I am not very comfortable with the English language the translators did a fabulous job. I will recommend their services to everyone in need.

6. As you go back, any feedback for the Lyfboat Team?
Your team is doing a very good job. I want to thank my sister who took time off to be with me here and the entire staff of Lyfboat who gave us all the attention and much-needed care of a family. I have no words to express my gratitude. I will be returning to India after 4 months to get the gel replaced in my right eye, and I am relaxed already as I know Lyfboat Team will take care of me very well once again. The only regret is I wish I had known earlier about this forum and came in time, before I lost my left eye vision. But all is well that ends well.

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