In the wake of the disaster in Haiti, I just didn’t feel like writing about food or the latest recipe I have tried. I fell in love with the people and country of Haiti and my heart goes out to them right now. I urge you to donate if you can – small or large, everything will help.
I still had one topic that I wanted to write about after my trip to Haiti – The Mission. The whole reason I was there – and the whole reason I will return.
The Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin is such a wonderful organization and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to visit Haiti with them. They take many trips a year – and this particular trip was the yearly Ophthalmology (Eye) trip. The surgeons did about 30 surgeries in the 4 days we were there, in surroundings that are a bit different than what they are used to, but a vast improvement over the operating room held in the church sanctuary in years past.
Most of the patients had walked to the clinic, some walking for days, even weeks to be seen by an Eye Doctor. This could be the only chance they have all year. We saw patients who had been hit in the eye while farming 4 years ago and never received any sort of care. It was generally too late to do anything except give them some protective glasses to protect their other eye.
They waited all day and many were turned away because there simply was not enough time in the day. With the exception of one, I did not hear or see anyone complaining about having to wait all day, or even having to come back the next day. Or worse, next year.
My heart broke and I fought to hold back tears when the Dr. told a patient that, “I’m sorry, but there is nothing we can do, you will be blind.” It would be a phrase I got used to hearing.