Seven hours of driving on unpaved roads and then hopping on a fiberglass motor boat on Lake Volta took us to the town of Kete-Krachi. The Himalayan Cataract project, headed by Dr.Lartey along with Dr. Ampong and Ophthalmic Nurse Esther from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi arrived at Kete Krachi Hospital and within an hour began performing cataract surgeries. Optometrist, Dr. Kennedy Teiko and several volunteers spent the prior week going to villages and screening patents, not just for cataracts, but also for glasses and other correctable eye related problems. Beginning surgery at 6pm after driving all day, the amazing team was able to perform 13 surgeries before calling it a night. Because most of the nursing staff had already left or was working in the clinic performing screenings, Sarah and Denise were pulled into the process. They helped the patients to and from the operating tables, not always an easy task considering many of the patients were older and did not speak English (at least not well enough to understand an American accent).
Jonathan, our local coordinator and Ophthalmic Nurse at Kete-Krachi did an amazing job planning our meals, housing, and running a mammoth project so the surgeons could just concentrate on doing their jobs. After 3 days and one night, 90 surgeries had been successfully performed. Words cannot describe how amazing it is to watch the doctors take off the dressings and be there when someone, like David (a 50 year-old yam farmer) see for the first time in over 2 decades or more. He praised the Lord, declaring it was a miracle and hurried home to see is 16-year-old son for the first time. When he arrived, his entire village was there to celebrate the miracle of his new vision. Himalayan Cataract Project brings modern sight restoring techniques to villagers that would otherwise live a life of darkness.
Sarah and four other In-the-Field Travelers are currently in Ghana before they are making their way to Mali and Burkina Faso. They'll be visiting more than 30 GlobalGiving projects in the next month. Follow their adventures at http://itfwa.wordpress.com/.
David Before Surgery