During the 2012 Togo Field Service, Mercy Ships performed 828 eye operations on cataract and pterygium patients. After months of treatments, patients have their blue eye patches removed and come together with medical crew to celebrate the restoration of sight.
Blue eye patches after they've been removed.
Patients eyes are sensitive to light after surgery so they must wear these bulky glasses while they recover.
While the series of screenings and post follow ups is a long process, the surgical procedure takes only four minutes. Dr. Wodome, an eye doctor trained my Mercy Ships, cuts through a few layers of cells and inserts a small lens into where the cataract had been. They dilate the pupil and center the lens right on top of that.
Theresa was a refugee from the Ivory Coast. She and her family fled as rebels burned her home to the ground. She was able to flee to Togo to an UNHCR camp where she met member of Mercy Ships eye team. Shortly after she was able receive a life giving cataract surgery.
In the end, patients celebrate their restored vision. Its a joyful time of music and dancing. Day workers play drums and sing.
In the end, patients celebrate their restored vision. Its a joyful time of music and dancing. Day workers play drums and sing. A patient turned to me and said in broken english, "I can see again. Today is a happy day." Tears rolled down her checks.
A patient gives her testimony of receiving sight again. Sight is a gift that we must all be thankful for.