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Inaugural Speeches

Esther Hyman

Esther Hyman
Representing the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust


I'm going to start with my thanks.

The first one goes to the musician Nitin Sawhney whose piece, ‘Firmament’ we listened to. He very kindly allowed us to use it for this inauguration. My sister, Mim, was a great fan of his. She saw him play live long before he was well known, and she was sure that he would become famous, and she was right! So we are very grateful to him for contributing to this event.

Next I'd like to thank every one of you for coming here this evening. It's delightful to see you all here, and I know that in London my family and some of Miriam's friends are watching on a Skype connection, so welcome to them also.

Next I have to thank every member of staff at the L V Prasad Eye Institute. They have done so much for us – not only here in Bhubaneswar, but also the staff at the Hyderabad campus, which is the mother institute. They’ve done more than we could ever have imagined, and most of all they’ve made us feel like part of the team and part of the family.

It's difficult to express our feelings when it was suggested that the Children's Eye Care Centre would be named after Miriam. In this way we feel that we have created a lasting, fitting tribute to Miriam, who was such a loving, caring and generous person herself.

Something that I have learned from losing my sister in this way is that you cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can control how you respond to it. If something negative happens, you can either let it beat you, or you can move forward in as constructive and positive a way as possible and Miriam was such a positive person herself that it wouldn't have been fitting if we had allowed ourselves to become depressed and not do something in her memory that honours the way she lived. In her lifetime she sowed seeds of caring and generosity, and we feel that it is our duty to help those seeds to flourish. With this partnership between LVPEI, the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust and the newly-created Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre we feel that we are fulfilling that destiny.

Although I'm not an expert on the importance of the work here at LVPEI I would like to mention some of the aspects of their work that drew us to this particular project. First of all we were very pleased to be involved in a project that is helping children. If we can address the challenges of childhood ophthalmology, we can improve the futures of many, many people, and each and every individual who benefits from treatment at the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre or its outreach programmes in the community helps to tip the balance and counteract the negativity of the events of 7th July 2005.

We also feel that Miriam would support the fact that treatment is available to patients irrespective of the ability to pay, so that any child who presents with any eye care issue will be treated. This also reflects how Miriam was; she had a way of making every person feel valued, wanted and loved, and we hope that this will continue through the work of the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre.

To give you a little bit of background, over the last three years since we lost Miriam we have held a series of activities. There are people who were very close to Mim, people who knew her only a little and people who didn't even know her who have contributed their ideas, their time and their resources to raise over £70,000. We combined that with compensation money awarded to the family to provide the equipment for the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre. Seeing the equipment in place and knowing how many children are going to benefit from it brings us great joy.

Now we would just like to pledge the ongoing support of the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust. We will be attempting to continue our support in any way that is needed by the Centre.

Finally we would like to wish every success to the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre, to all who work there and all who benefit from treatment there.

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