Coya, Peru - June, 2009

Team Type: Ophthalmology and Optometry

Campaign Summary: 267 patients were seen ranging in ages from 1 - 90 years. 58 eye surgeries were completed.


Sponsors:
Alcon Laboritories, Fort Worth, Texas
Allergan USA, Inc., Lewisville, Texas
AMO - Advanced Medical Optics, Memphis, Tennessee
Bausch and Lomb, San Dimas, California
Dr. Paul Schultz, M.D., Medford, Oregon

Team Members:
Lucky Burchett, Assistant
Char Cooke, Nurse/Triage/Translation
Violette Maureen Jespersen, OR Nurse/Pre-op and PACU
Margaret Irene Lanson, Surgical Tech
Dr. Russell Leavitt, Ophthalmologist
Dr. Douglas Merritt, Ophthalmologist
Lisa Beem Merritt, Circulator/Supplies
Paige Merritt, Vision Screening
Erica Shultz, Assistant
Lori Shultz, Assistant
Dr. Paul Schultz, Ophthalmologist
Sharon A. Stewart, Circulator in OR
Dr. Kurt Wilkening, Optometry

Narrative:
We had another wonderful trip to the Kausay Wasi Clinic in Coya, Peru!

We were amazed by the sacrifice and immense effort put forth by our Peruvian patients to get themselves to the Clinic for triage and surgery. Such effort is unparalleled in the U.S. We had a husband and wife that were both in their late 70's and both absolutely legally blind from dense cataracts. They struggled and supported each other walking for two days and riding a bus for another day to get to the Clinic.

Postoperatively the couple was ecstatic. It was the first time they had seen their grandchildren in over 15 years. To be able to bring back sight to those two elderly people who would otherwise be suffering through the rest of their lives was a joyous gift to provide them.

We performed strabismus (a condition where the eyes do not look forward in a parallel manner) surgery on two young patients who had been ostracized in their community for severe esotropia (a form of strabismus in which one of the eyes has moved toward the center of the eye socket while the other eye looks forward). Both of these patients were crying with delight in the office after their surgery was successfully completed.

It is truly amazing how little is required to live and be happy. The Peruvians we saw just continue to remind us of that.


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