Clinic Blog: 2011 South Africa 3 Clinic Blog
December 7, 2011
Yesterday morning Dana, Erik, Ron and I went on home visits with a hospice to see Aids patients. We went with Viola (Momma V), Elise and Billy. Besides taking bags of groceries with us, we also took readers and sunglasses with us. Every place we went Elise went in first to see if it would be okay with the families for all of us to come into the home.
At the first place we met a young man and his grandmother. Ron examined the young man’s eyes and did not find anything wrong with them. His grandmother had been to our clinic last week and was having trouble with the glasses. We swapped out her glasses with the readers we brought. She tested the glasses out by reading her Bible. She liked the new pair. We gave the young man sunglasses and left the home with smiles on everyone’s face.
Another place we visited was located in a shanty town. The homes here were made from 2x4’s and sheets of metal. They do not have indoor plumbing so most homes had outhouses. However it did look like most places had electricity. The woman we visited had her Aids under control. She had visited our clinic last week and was wearing the glasses that we had given her. To provide income for her family, she did bead work. She thanked us for the glasses that helped her to see more clearly. She said that it was easier to string the beads to make the jewelry. The glasses would help her to keep providing for her family.
Every place we went Momma V would ask the families what prayers they would like us to leave with them. Everyone just wanted to have their Aids controlled so they could work and provide for their families. They wanted to see their children grow up.
Marjory Stuart IMS Leader
Yesterday at IMS I had a gentleman in his early 60’s come through the line and I started to inquire whether he had trouble with distance or reading vision. The translator told me t man was mute and could not talk, nor could he hear. I selected two pairs of glasses for him that would be best to help him see for distance and to read up close. The volunteer wrote down on paper asking if he could read in English. He did not understand what we were trying to tell him. At that moment his 8 year old granddaughter came to the desk and listening to the volunteer she started signing to him that he would receive one pair of glasses for distance and one pair for up close. My breath was taken away that someone so young in this culture was trained in sign language. She was just amazing!!! She also had a ticket for glasses and I wanted to make sure she got a special pair of glasses that would show off how special she was. Gosia pulled 2 of the 3 choices (one was ugly she said) and we picked the pair that would fit her best. It was a red oval with fancy scroll work on the side. The frame looked simply beautiful on her. Her grandmother was next and we also selected two pair for her. Both grandparents were deaf and as they headed over to dispensing to pick up their new glasses she signed thank you to me over and over again. I simply smiled at her so she would know I was happy to help.
Jenna Morse- Sears Optical, FL & Clinic Fundraising captain
While typing my blog about my young interpreter, Jose Antonio was dispensing a pair of glasses to a young girl about 6. He was being a magician and pulling tootsie rolls from behind her ears. She smiled and laughed and gave him the biggest hug. He also took the time to pick just the right pair of sunglasses by letting her choose between red and blue and looking in the mirror to see how cool she looked in each pair. She chose blue.
Jenna Morse- Sears Optical, FL & Clinic Fundraising captain
How to save a life….
I never thought that coming to S. Africa to check people’s eyes would actually help save a patient’s life. We had a 30 year old woman come to our clinic this morning. While she was waiting in line outside to get dilated, Andy, another doctor, noticed something suspicious about her right eye. He brought her to the front of the line. We both looked at her eye and saw a large tumor growing on the front of her eye. Luckily, the local Ophthalmologist happened to be stopping by and confirmed the diagnosis and treatment. She had a squamous cell carcinoma. If left untreated, the cancer can spread to the rest of the body and ultimately lead to death. She was aware that she had the tumor and had been trying to have it removed but didn’t have enough money for the surgery. After some investigation, it was determined that she was able to qualify for a free surgery because she was a refugee from Zimbabwe. We aren’t sure if they will be able to save her eye, but at least it will save her life!
Monica Mortenson, O.D.
After looking over the last week and a half of my clinic photos one would think we only see cute kids and delightful elderly women. I can’t help it, these folks are so quick to smile/ laugh that it is impossible not to join in. Last Friday Mike Bruno and I were in dispensing when I gave an older women some really nice sun glasses. When she turned to leave she was greeted by cat calls from the three older men in line behind her. She was delighted and we all had a good laugh. Sometimes the magic can be all about a simple pair of sunglasses
LC576, Towson MD
I had the privilege of meeting a very nice young man today named Knowledge, he is 16 years old and a volunteer with me in the VA area. The first question he asked me this morning is what is my dream, what do I want to do with my life. I was both taken a back and very intrigued by his question especially for someone of his young age. I told him I have a lot of dreams and they are always changing but that my main hope for my life is to surround myself with people who love me, lead a life of integrity and do good for others. I asked him the same question and he told me he would like to attend college, work on a cruise ship as an activities director and have a family. He also told me one of his interests in life is poetry. I asked him if he would share a poem with me, little did I know he had one he had written in his pocket. He shared it with me and now I would like to share it with you.
“Tomorrow” by Knowledge
Yes, we all rush for tomorrow to come
But unfortunately we all have to wait for it to occur.
And when it comes it says
New day today meet new people
The day after today is tomorrow, planning and being
Partners with new faces, I mean
We are always ready to enter people’s hearts
And be close to them, but forget that whenever it hurts
It takes time to heal, to rise and to be renewed again. So in life
Never hurt the heart that loves you.
Jesus is my life, my joy, my peace, my all, without him
I will fall. Worry not about tomorrow for you know not
What it has for you, let us plan and think ahead of days, but not of time.
Thank you to Knowledge for sharing his wisdom with me and displaying extraordinary character throughout the day.
SGH Cincinnati, OH
One thing I’ve learned working for Luxottica was that as a leader you should Inspire a shared vision among your employees and peers.
Today I was inspired by two ladies in Mamelodi East who are both infected with HIV yet manage to give back to the community they live in. Both women have received treatment and are doing well enough to be at home and able to get around. They attend the local clinics to inspire other men and women who are too sick to exercise and seek treatment so that they too live a better and healthier life. They even went so far as to bring home with them a young boy whose mother was not around and father was away on a job. He was left alone crying and they opened their hearts to him and took him home with them in hopes that Mama V could give them some direction.
At each of the 3 home visits that Steve, Alex and I did today we were blessed by those women who invited us into their homes and hearts with blessings and prayers. We also said a prayer for each of them and rejoiced in song and the lord.
Jenna Morse- Sears Optical, FL & Clinic Fundraising Captain
Big ups to Luxottica for not only forming such a beautiful charitable organization but also employing staff that are compassionate enough to assist in giving “ sight “ to those less fortunate. So many stories and memories bring overwhelmed emotions throughout the day. Yet not enough words can express the feeling one experience when witnessing such poverty.
The biggest high-lite would be the expression of optimism on the faces of the kids we dispense. What excitement they must feel to be able to see clearer for the first time. Its breaks my heart when kids are in distress but that little bit of hope we bring makes it all the better.
This being my first clinic mission, it will always remain close to my heart and the memories will be rejoiced for years to come.
Ibteshaam Kolbe – Luxottica S.A
We have now been in South Africa for one and a half weeks, and have experienced some pretty spectacular things. It’s incredible to see what can be accomplished when you put a group of amazing people together all with the same intentions and goals. I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to travel to South Africa. Everything has been great - the local people have all been so grateful and welcoming, and the clinic atmosphere is like nothing else. Yes, things can get pretty stressful at times and a day of work is more than exhausting, but when you see the end results, it is all definitely worth it! All of us that are here have left our lives and families at home to do this, and although it’s been kind of tough, I think we are all gaining more than we could have ever imagined. OneSight is a pretty amazing organization for making all of this happen! We have one and a half days left of clinic and are hoping to help many more people before we leave this beautiful country.
Kristin Lao – 4th Year Optometry Student, University of Waterloo
In questi giorni di clinica ho vissuto moltissimi momenti emozionanti, uno che mi piace raccontare si e’ svolto oggi all’autorefrattometro. In un momento in cui avevamo poco lavoro stavo scherzando con una volontaria locale di 16 anni. Per gioco ha voluto fare anche lei l’esame e ha ottenuto un -4 per l’occhio destro e un -2 per l’occhio sinistro. Visti i valori le ho detto che ha bisogno di un occhiale da vista e a fine giornata quando l’ho trovata con il suo nuovo occhiale era veramente contenta e soddisfatta.
In these days of clinic I had lot of emotional moments, one of these that I like to tell I lived today at the autorefractor. There was a moment that we didn’t have much work so I‘m joking with a 16 years old local volunteer. For fun she stepped up to the autorefractor and was read to be a -4 per the right eye and a -2 for the left one. With these numbers I told her that she needed glasses and when we finished the day I found her with her new frames. She was very happy and satisfied.
Lorenzo Fant – Accounting Department Luxottica Srl - Agordo