Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
I have no idea what it means to be physically blind nor can I fathom what it would be like to see the beauties of this world and then lose that privilege as infection takes over my eyes.
There is a prevalent disease here called Trichiasis, which is and eye infection transmitted by flies that attacks the eyes, causing scar tissue to build up and contract the eyelid, resulting in the eyelashes growing back toward the eye, scratching the cornea or conjunctiva and causing blindness. Surgery is needed to provide longer lasting treatment that will prevent further scratching and resolve some of the symptoms. It is not a permanent cure because there is still the possibility for the eye to become infected again, but it is the best option for the people in the rural settings with limited access to medical care.
There are many patients that have come to clinic seeking this surgery (Dr. Mary used to perform these surgeries on a regular basis for the community) and we asked them to come back in three months because I was in the process of learning how to suture correctly. Dr. Mary taught me the ins and outs of suturing an eyelid, which is, in and of it self, a scary thought, let alone the act of actually doing it.
One patient returned promptly at the three-month mark and she was my first trial at being a semi-surgeon. I say semi-surgeon because Mary did a majority of the surgery and I got the privilege of placing the sutures in the second eye. It was an exhilarating experience that I will not forget and, with all hopes, will do many more times if the other patients return.
I think the most beautiful part of the whole story was the woman receiving the surgery. We had her lay down on a flat, hard bench where she held completely still for the entire procedure (which lasted a good hour if not more) and once it was complete, she sat up, praising the name of the Lord. There was never one flinch, complaint or question, but a spirit full trust, peace, and praise to God for blessing her with this surgery.
It will take a few weeks to heal and I am super curious to see how she is doing, but it is a true miracle that we are blessed with the ability, wisdom and expertise to provide someone with restored sight. It is amazing to see a small piece of heaven here on earth!
I want to share these pictures with you and I know some look pretty barbaric so if you are faint of heart, please scroll carefully. I hope you are able to see the beauty in this story of restoration and healing.