Our eye team March 13-17 consisted of 2 students are who are almost finished with their first year of Optometry school. They had a great time helping people.
One story that stood out to me concerns an 11-year old boy named Israel.
We usually donít stock prescription glasses for children. But in the glasses you sent to replenish our kit, there was half a box of childrenís glasses. So we put all of those into our inventory.
On Wednesday a mother came in needing glasses for herself and her 11 year old son, whose glasses had been broken and they could not afford to buy more. But his vision was really not good. The students used the autorefractor to get a reading and a match came up. It was one of the pairs of glasses I distinctly remember us scanning into our inventory just a few days earlier. They were perfect for him in the prescription and also fit his face perfectly! Only God can arrange such things and we praised him for it together with this family.
Both of them were already Christians and this encouraged them in their faith.
Iím attaching a few photos of our eye team and am waiting on them to send me photos of people wearing glasses we gave out, if they have any. I will forward whatever I get to you.
This was written by the optometry student:
Thank you so much for supporting my mission trip. With a week to reflect, your support had an outstanding impact on the Dominican Republic community. On average we were able to service fifty patients a day for five clinical days, totaling 250 patients.
The majority of the patients we saw were hyperopic or far sighted caused by genetic and environmental factors. People in the villages we visited worked manual labor jobs their entire life without the opportunity for education. As they got older, their near vision suffered and now they are no longer able to read their bibles or sew clothes for their families. Providing them with readers opened up a world that they missed out on for years.
The Dominican Republic is close to the equator where the sun is unforgiving. The majority of the population has formed pterygiums (or will form them). Without access to proper healthcare, the older population had cataracts and were never educated on why they could not see. Educating patients on their vision and how to relieve their symptoms (whether pain management or surgery) was transformative for their life.
I would like to share a story of a young boy that visited the clinic. His mother explained to us that he was experiencing headaches, eye strain, and issues reading the board at school. He never had the opportunity to get his vision checked, so we performed a couple tests which concluded that the child who was around 10 years old could not even see 20/200. Fortunately, we had his exact prescription. The boy left the clinic seeing 20/20. Vision can limit your life, education, and occupation, you allowed 250 people to have access to proper eye care whether it was prescription glasses, readers, sunglasses, artificial tears, or education. I would not have been able to make a positive impact without you partnering in my missionary journey. Thank you again for your support!