By Paolena Comouche
Content Writer/Special Projects
In February of 2010, SEE volunteer ophthalmologist Dr. Charles Post traveled to El Progreso, Honduras for a week-long program, where he and a team of volunteer medical professionals worked relentlessly to restore sight to individuals in need. With ten years of experience traveling to third world countries for humanitarian eyecare missions, Dr. Post was fully prepared for the tireless yet fulfilling work that laid ahead.
Because of the overwhelming need for accessible eyecare in the area, the team was met by hundreds of people awaiting medical care upon their arrival. With such a full schedule of surgeries, Dr. Post struggled with being unable to help every person in need. “It’s a frustrating feeling when I can’t help everyone who asks for it,” he said.
To ensure they could provide the appropriate care to as many patients as possible, Dr. Post and his team worked around the clock performing cataract surgeries. Because of SEE’s coordination of the program, the clinic was held at a facility that provided a stable source of electricity to allow the use of an operating microscope during the surgeries.
Despite limitations of time, Dr. Post and the team were able to touch the lives of hundreds of patients with the gift of sight. The patients that received surgery were either entirely blind or could only see the subtle brightness of light coming from a certain direction. As a result, many of them were confined to their huts and unable to work or participate in daily activities on their own. “Cataract surgeries are a particularly useful operation because these people are totally disabled, and the operation is highly successful, so it has a big impact on their lives,’ said Dr. Post.
After a successful mission of transforming lives with the gift of sight, Dr. Post and his team returned home feeling grateful for the authentic and humbling experience of participating in such an impactful program. “I’m just so fortunate to have the particular skill that I have that enables me to do this,” said Dr. Post.
Since this program, SEE has organized sight restoring clinics in different areas of Honduras every year, multiple times a year, making a lasting impact on the many communities in need within the country.