Clinic Blog: 2011 India 4 Clinic Blog
November 16, 2011
The People of Priparli
From the Maharaja of Rajasthan to the Lord of Jasol, our clinic last week saw many of Jasol's "city folks". It was a complete honor to be able to help so many there last week. Our clinic this week is a completely different change of pace. Priparli is a tiny grouping (you really can't call it a town) of huts with thatched roofs, dirt roads, and farms. Our typical clients are farmers, shepherds, and field workers. Because of the remote location of Priparli, the residents have had little to no access to health and eye care. This is OneSight's first clinic here.
At first, we thought this clinic to be more slowly paced than last week's. We had no idea of the phenomenal response we would get. Yesterday and today, we saw over 2,400 people total. People from the surrounding villages were being brought in by trailers attached to farm tractors to visit the clinic. Even though the patients here are only 60 kilometers from our patients last week, the overall personalities are completely different. While our last clinic patients were boisterous and animated, our patients this week are more introverted and quiet. Perhaps it is due to the fact that a clinic such as ours is completely foreign to them.
Today, Dr. Jeff Giesert, Optometrist from the LensCrafters in Lincoln, Nebraska, saw a tiny 4-year-old girl named Rishi that was panicked from the minute she entered clinic. She cried the entire time, regardless of the amount of candy, stickers, and treats we offered her. When we finally got her in to see Dr. Jeff, he immediately discovered that she had Grade 4 Cataracts. At 4 years old, the odds of having Grade 4 Cataracts are 1 in about 1 million. Rishi most likely had been born with them and has therefore spent the entire first four years of her life with low vision. She was so scared of coming to clinic because she had never really left her home village and was in an environment where there were foreign sounds, voices, and smells that she couldn't see with her eyes. Luckily, OneSight has a team of doctors from a local Indian hospital that will have Rishi at the top of their priority list for a cataract surgery. Without coming to the OneSight clinic, Rishi may have spent her entire life in blindness.
We also had the privilege of working with Mohinder. Mohinder came to clinic with crossed eyes that he developed from having uncorrected vision for so long. Dr. Ali worked with him to find the perfect pair of glasses that would correct his vision and help retrain his eye muscles so that he could see. Tani Thomas, from the Luxottica Corporate Office, had the pleasure of dispensing Mohinder's glasses. When she first put them on, Mohinder's eyes had no reaction. Then, slowly over a few minutes, his left eye drifted to the center of the lens. Mohinder could see! He was ecstatic!
We have two more days left in the village of Priparli and we are very excited to see what stories they will bring!