Measuring a patient's eyes.
Patient happy with his new glasses.
Honduras #4, 2017
June, 2017 Mission Trip to Texiguat Honduras
Our mission trip to Texiguat, Honduras included 4 days of eye clinics in 4 remote villages. Over the 4 days we saw 400 patients and dispensed 125 prescription glasses as well as 180 readers 300 sunglasses and over 200 bottles of eye drops. We visited one village, Jinicuao, for the first time as they just completed a road to this remote village just 2 years ago. The narrow road followed switchbacks up high in the mountains. We dispensed many glasses there even though it was a small village because no one had ever been up there. We had seven high school students join us, three of whom were native Spanish speakers. Most of the youth were eager to use the autorefractometer and the computer, unlike some of our adult travelers they have no fear of technology and were eager to lean. We trained them before we left.
Once we were there we tested many difficult eyes. One story stood out amongst the many. One gentleman, Santos Garcia, 77 years old, visited our clinic on 2 different days. The first time in the aldea of Jinicuao, he was given a pair of glasses that were just OK. But he wasn't able to see as well as he wanted as he had very dense cataracts. The next day he walked 3 hours to our clinic in Vado Ancho. We figured if he had walked this far he was determined to improve his vision. So we retested him. This time I used the auto-refractometer to measure his prescription. I couldn't get any readings because his dense cataracts reflected the beam used to measure his eyes. So I took him to have his eyes tested manually with a rack of lenses of various strengths. Christine Brokaw and Suyen Salgado performed this test as it seems we really need an extra hand to coordinate the testing. As they are both fluent Spanish speakers, they were able to get him to select the strength of lens for each eye that gave him the best vision. My examiners were alarmed that the eyes were very different in prescription. I assured them that this is not uncommon. I put these values in the computer and Glasses Inventory selected several pairs that might work. Eureka! After trying on several pairs, he began to smile broadly and say how he could see well again. There were many smiles and just as many tears of joy by the volunteers in the clinic for our new friend, Santos!