Kathy getting her new glasses.
Kathy happy with her new glasses.
Lady getting new readers.
Honduras #3 2007
Below is a testimonial from the optical team leader of this team.
From: Elaine Menke [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2007 6:54 PM
To: Holland Kendall
Subject: Testimonial of thanks
On behalf of the Washington Overseas Mission, I want to officially thank you, Dan Fox, & everyone associated with Holland Kendall Optometry Ministry for making our most recent trip to Honduras the most successful ever for eye care. Our 3 teams saw over 1500 patients and distributed approximately 1400 pairs of readers. We also provided a pair of sunglasses to each individual who visited our brigade, whether they came for medical, dental, or eye care. The biggest highlight of the trip for me, however, was the ability to use your autorefractor to test those patients needing refraction. In particular, I had 10 patients whose condition I would not have been able to diagnose had I not had the autorefractor. The Field Assembly Kit was also invaluable. While we do take lens stock for spherical correction and used it to build 39 pairs of glasses, eight additional young adults and children received correction for their astigmatism, and 2 young women received correction for severe myopia because I was able to construct their glasses from your Field Assembly Kit.
One 28 year-old woman’s story is especially poignant. Katy waited on a particularly grueling day - hot & humid, with an afternoon rain which elevated the humidity even more. Due to a lack of triage, the eye care waiting line was packed with many elderly individuals wanting glasses for distance vision. Invariably, they would be patients whom we could not help, patients with cataracts. In the late afternoon I finally got to a young woman who seemed as despondent as I felt. She had a red striped shirt draped across her shoulder. She said that she could read, but when I asked her to read the distance chart, she barely glanced toward it and said she could see nothing - ‘nada’. She flapped the red shirt as a fan, trying to cool herself. Not uncommonly patients will say they see nothing. Sometimes this reply comes when their vision is perfect, possibly because they just want an eye exam, sometimes because they want a pair of readers for a relative at home - or to sell for a small profit. Contemplating this situation, I took a reading of her right eye with the autorefractor: -14-1. A second reading yielded: -15.25-2. (I didn’t even register the axis for cylindrical correction.) Both of these readings registered an accuracy of 9. Myopia in the left eye was similar, but with less astigmatism. After some exploration with the trial frames and lenses, Katy was able to achieve a visual acuity of 20/60 using only the spherical strengths from your stock. She left with a new pair of glasses from your Field Assembly Kit. (The right lens was -15.5; the left was -13.) Her smile was radiant.
Holland, without the use of the autorefractor and Field Assembly Kit, the above story would not have been possible. Another day I was also able to recognize the considerable myopia & astigmatism (-5-5.75x22 o) of an 11year old girl and that (-7.75-3.75x20o) of her mother. While the large component of astigmatism in this mother/daughter pair restricted a corrected visual acuity to only 20/80 +-, the glasses they received did provide a marked improvement over their uncorrected sight. In addition, the fact that I could verify their problem, spurred us to provide the means (for them & Katy) to receive follow-up exams by a specialist and glasses made for their exact prescriptions.
Some highlights from our other success stories were: the security guard with a rifle slung across his shoulder who bicycled up to our camp at sundown - he wanted glasses so that he could read his Bible; the elderly lady who could not stop laughing when she discovered that she could see to read again; the tiny grandmother who delighted in her new-found ability to thread a needle; and the gracious gentleman who responded to receiving his new glasses with, “muchas thank you”. Muchas thank you, indeed! Holland Kendall Optometry Ministry has enabled us to provide many thankful Hondurans with not just the gift of sight, but also the ability to retain their employment and enjoy such basics as clearly seeing their grandchildren or reading their Bibles. I thank you most sincerely on their behalf.
I have attached a few pictures from our March 2007 trip; two are of Katy. I will send additional photos in separate emails (to reduce the size & transmission time involved). Also, I will be sending a donation tomorrow by snail mail.
Again, my heartfelt thanks.
Elaine Menke (Washington Overseas Mission)