For the first time ever, cataract surgery was done last week in Montrouis, Haiti at our nearby hospital in Pierre Payen. Not only was cataract surgery done, it was done with the same state-of-the-art, small incision, no-stitch procedure currently done in the US called phacoemulsification (or ‘phaco’). To our knowledge, this is the only phaco machine that “resides” in Haiti.
From two teenage type 1 diabetic girls to several patients in their sixties and seventies, Haitians who were blind or nearly blind from their cataracts were operated on by Dr. Eric Purdy from Ft. Wayne, IN during the four days of Oct. 29-Nov. 1. One of the many highlights of the week was the impact the surgeries had on the lives of two diabetic girls.
From the minute the patch came off the eye on post-op day one, one of these girls was able to see her sister for the first time in two years! Smiles and tears flowed for all in that room. In fact, both of these girls did so well with their cataract surgery on the first day that they had their other eye done on the last day of the week. All one-day post-op visits were very encouraging, and their one week post-ops are being done this week.The idea of providing cataract surgery began last February when a partner of New Vision visited one of our eye clinics and witnessed the overwhelming number of untreated cataract patients. When told that very few patients had access to affordable, quality cataract surgery, the dream was launched that would ask God to address this huge need. Dr. Purdy was consulted and gave countless hours of telephone and email time explaining how to make this happen from his many years of doing cataract surgeries in third-world countries.
Not only did he freely offer his invaluable advice, he agreed to come down the last week of October to do surgery. Then, another special friend of New Vision was moved by God to provide resources that enabled quality cataract surgery equipment to be purchased. A bus was provided that could transport the heavy, bulky operating microscope, stands, stools, examination chairs, and many other supplies that were needed. Through the prayers of many, many people, God graciously delivered the bus just in time for the scheduled week of surgery!
We stand in awe of our amazing God! He is a mighty and loving God who loves us in a way we’ll never comprehend, and has a special heart for the hurting and needy of this world. May this ‘new vision’ of our patients impact them and us in a way that ‘opens our eyes’ to the unfading beauty of Jesus! What a privilege we have to be part of His care to those around His world. May we never lose ‘SIGHT’ of that!