Day 4 in Peru
After the usual 6:30 breakfast and devotional, Reilly headed to the school/clinic and I headed to the hospital. The hospital was quiet with no other patients to be found. We had it all to ourselves.
Thanks to the kindness of many ophthalmic companies we have plenty of supplies. Nothing goes to waste. The patients are so grateful. They lie still and don't move as we block their eyes for surgery. They receive numbing drops and a local anesthetic as an injection behind the eye. There is no IV sedation.
We operate out of one operating room with two microscopes and two stretchers.
Two surgeons operate simultaneously. The surgeries are difficult because the cataracts are so advanced and there are no modern machines to help with removal. It is an incredibly humbling experience even for the most experienced cataract surgeons.
Everything goes well and the patients are so grateful and appreciative.
Reilly recounts another great day in the clinic. They screen over four hundred patients. She is enjoying it, as are the other young adults. Reilly said she is even practicing her Spanish. The Peruvians are lovely people, kind and grateful for everything they receive.
Day 5 in Peru
The need is so great here. Patients stand in line overnight to see if we can help them. They are so sweet and appreciative. There are so many sad stories of patients we cannot help, but so many more that we have helped. The mission in the two weeks will see 4,000 patients and give away 2,000 pairs of glasses.
It is heart wrenching when we have to turn some away because we can't help them.
The surgeries are extremely difficult and the technique new. I am humbled more than ever before. I am trying to get better every day. I think I need to be here for a month!