Clinic Blog: 2012 Mexico 2 Clinic Blog
September 10, 2012
On our last day of clinic we saw 854 people. That brings our total for the clinic to 7,860! Janet Duke told us before she left after the first week of clinic that there should be no "goodbye's" at OneSight clinics. Instead it's "see you next time". So until next time please enjoy these beautifully written thoughts by Ann Rice (LensCrafter's - Glendale, AZ).....
My Onesight clinic experience has always ended on a high-note. The people you meet and the moments you share changing lives are moments in time that you will never forget. But, what is a clinic all about? After being selected there is excitement and anticipation about going to another country to help others. There is trepidation about things to come due to the uncertainty of what happens next….
We came to Mexico City 44 strangers representing 11 different countries, some of us didn’t know anyone on the clinic, and some of us could only communicate in our own language. Yet, we left as friends and a united group all working for the same cause. Some of the local volunteers couldn’t believe that we had all just met; they said we worked as a cohesive team and that we all had smiles on our faces regardless of the obstacles. And yes there were obstacles, some simple as changing a process or assigning a quality person to inspect the eyewear, or just moving chairs to improve the flow, or running low on product. No matter what we made it work.
We had food obstacles. Imagine being in another country and being told not to eat anything unless it was cooked or peeled, and do not drink the water or even brush your teeth unless you use bottled water. Even with the best precautions we had 8 people get sick on the clinic and a few others after we got home. Despite the sickness, we maintained a great clinic and were able to help just under 8000, which was our goal.
The best part of the clinic experience is the smiles on the faces of the lives you change. Some tears are shed as well. The single mother who has such poor eyesight that she has difficulty supporting her children and now may be able to provide a better life for them. The children who can’t see the blackboard due to poor vision, now have the opportunity to do better in school. The older gentleman who says he can now see the faces of his grandchildren. These are the reasons we are all a part of Onesight- our eyes are the window to the world and helping one person can actually help so many.
Our team members had recipients who gave us gifts, huge hugs and so many “god bless you’s”. One woman came back to clinic seeking out the person who dispensed her glasses so she could give her a small gift that she had made, another woman handed our translator cards to give us saying we were blessings from god. A little girl gave one of our team members a ring as a thank you, and another team member received a bracelet from a thankful recipient. There were so many hugs and gifts from a group of grateful people who were less fortunate than us but wanted to show their appreciation for the gift of sight.
We were so fortunate to have wonderful partners and volunteers, who came daily to assist with translation and to share the experience with us. We bonded and made friendships that we will hold within our hearts forever. One of our Canadian team members actually had a translators who has seriously considered moving to Canada and she offered to help with the process; yet another life that may change due to this Onesight clinic.
8 clinic days, 12 days in country, it all goes by so fast and then it’s over. It is time to pack up and go home. This is probably the hardest part of any clinic -the time to say goodbye. So we have one last hoorah, we exchange emails, phone numbers, facebook pages and business cards and we do not say “goodbye”. In Onesight we say “see you on another clinic”. So to everyone I had the pleasure of working with on this team, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for the laughter and the tears and I hope someday soon we will meet again on another clinic.
September 5, 2012
Another great day at clinic. We saw 1,110 people today and 7,016 people for the entire clinic so far. Each day of the clinic we’ve had 4-6 volunteers from the local Luoxttica office in Mexico City. I’ve posted some of their pictures below. We’ve enjoyed getting to know them and helping them experience what OneSight is all about. They’ve been a big help each day since most of them speak good English as well!
I’ve been really impressed with the high quality frames that we’ve had at this clinic…. Oakley, RayBan, Oliver Peoples, Versace, DKNY, and more. The recipients really loved the RayBan glasses and sunglasses! We are starting to run low on sunglasses so not everyone was able to receive one today. For those in North America, please remember to donate your old glasses (and sunglasses) at any LensCrafter’s, Pearle Vision, Target Optical, or Sears Optical so they can be used in future clinics.
The people of Mexico that have come through the clinic have been so warm and appreciative. People have had to wait 2-4 hours in line and to go through the clinic, but they have been so patient. There have also been a good number of children that come through the clinic each day. Their smiles and hugs have helped inspire each of us throughout the day.
There was one child today that inspired me. His name was Fernando and he was 10 years old. He spoke very good English and was so polite. He came right up to me and shook my hand and said it was a pleasure to meet me. He received new glasses that he really liked (see picture below) and a pair of sunglasses. Then he pulled out of his pocket his old glasses, but he couldn’t wear them because one of the lenses had popped out. I told him we could get that fixed so he could have them as a backup pair of glasses. This should have been a quick fix to put in a new screw, but we discovered the screw area had been stripped. Rob McCoy came to the rescue and was able to put in a new screw with a bolt at the end so the lens would stay in place. This whole process took quite awhile, but Fernando and his mother waited patiently. I had some time to talk with them when Rob was working on the glasses and uncovered that they had been waiting in line for over 3 hours and hadn’t eaten lunch (it was past 3 PM in the afternoon). Fernando told me that he enjoys reading and math in school and wants to be an Engineer (pretty impressive for a 10 year old to say) when he grows up.
Bonjour tout le monde, déjà une semaine à Mexico, et que de changement par rapport a la France. Dés le matin beaucoup de personne font la queue pour pouvoir accéder a la clinique, depuis mardi dernier 55OO personnes ont étés vue et équipé en montures optique ou solaire. Une grande majorité d'enfants et de personnes âgées se sont présentés avec de gros problèmes de vue. Le nombre de déficiences visuel les chez les enfants est impressionnant. Mais leurs sourires et le gracias font chaud au cœur quand ils partent, avec leur monture optique. Merci au team OneSight Mexico pour leur aide pendant la clinique et continuons à soutenir les prochaines cliniques, pour que la vue ne soit pas réservé a certains. Merci de votre soutien a tous. -- Olivier David, Luxottica France
September 4, 2012
We saw 1,122 people today at clinic. Over the course of the clinic we have had slips of paper in some glasses for dispensing that were made by those that were part of the Regional Manufacturing clinics in June and July. I’ll share a couple of them here.
Srini Kumar (General Manger for Pearle Vision) made a pair of glasses in July at the Regional Manufacturing Clinic in Cincinnati, OH. The recipient was Tania Sanchez. She is 15 years old and in high school. She was the niece of one of our translators. She was at the clinic last week and received a pair of glasses. After she wore them over the weekend she discovered she couldn’t see well out of them. She came back to the clinic today and was seen by Dr. Autumn Durias (LensCrafter’s – Chicago, IL). Dr. Durias cut her Rx because the original glasses she received were a little too strong for her. The glasses that Srini Kumar made matched the needed Rx. We had Tania try them on and she was able to see clearly now. The glasses looked great on her – she was so happy! She told me her favorite subject in school is English and she wants to be an English teacher when she grows up. See her picture below.
Another pair of glasses from the Manufacturing Clinic were made by Correy. Here is the story shared by Dr. Adam Hill: So today, a four-year-old boy, named Joshua, came into my line at the prescription station. He had a visibly noticeable esotropia (crossed eyes) and nystagmus (the eyes look like they're shaking). He also had Down syndrome, which frequently comes with both eye muscle problems and high prescriptions. Sure enough, we hold him still long enough to
measure, and he works out to be somewhere between a -6 and -8 myope, along with about -6 diopters of astigmatism. Which is, hands down, the worst prescription I've seen in any child under 12. We start prodding mum with questions, and she pulls out a glasses prescription written out by a doctor at the local children's hospital for glasses that they couldn't afford. The other doctor found about the same amount of nearsightedness and astigmatism, which makes me feel confident about my measurements. Clearly, this kid needs glasses! Which is fine. We have lots of glasses that are high minus
prescriptions... except this kid is four. He's got a relatively tiny head. So I do the normal thing, which is use the computer to find out what box those prescriptions are in, and then go manually digging for something that is the right prescription and small enough to fit. I find one that looks like it'll work -- it ended up being about -6.50 with -3 cyl and was small enough -- and pull it out, and lo and behold, it's got a green ticket on it.
A green ticket means somebody we know personally made those glasses. They're brand new, somebody from head office or one of the regional clinics made them, and we've got their email address so they can get a picture of the person receiving those glasses. Finding a green ticket is a bit of an event at the best of times, but add in the fact that it's a cute little kid who's never had glasses before, with such a high prescription, and you're looking at a minor media event.
So at this point, I grab the glasses, drag the boy, his mum, and my translator over to the dispensing table, and start adjusting the glasses. They are slightly too big for him, so I have to bend the temples in a fair bit so they'll stay on his place. (The best-behaved four-year-olds tend to pull their glasses off, so it needs to be nice and snug.) We put the glasses on his face and straightened them out, and let him just wear them for a minute. He looked around a little bit, saw his mother, and we watched his face light up as he cried out "mumma!"
It's one thing to know somebody needs glasses and prescribe something for them; it's quite another to watch their face light up and hear the excitement as the world snaps into focus for the first time.
Here are some other stories from team members at the Mexico clinic today: I met a 58 year old woman today in Dispensing who told me that her husband had recently passed away. She was receiving readers, a distance frame and sunglasses. She said that because of OneSight being here in Talneplantla and giving her the ability to see much better, it was the first day she has been happy since her husband died. – Guest Blogger Kathy Martin
Anche il team italiano vuole condividere la bellissima esperienza con OneSight. Ci sono molte storie che ognuno di noi ogni giorno vive in prima persona, che ci rendono orgogliosi di essere qui, felici di poter dare una mano a tanta gente che si dimostra sempre entusiasta e grata per quello che facciamo per loro. Invitiamo tutti a partecipare ad una missione, e’ di sicuro un’esperienza che vale la pena di provare!
September 3, 2012
We saw 1,110 people today at clinic. Paul Case (Clinic Manager) challenged the team this morning to find their OneSight story. This story is an interaction with a recipient or the experience as a whole that we can share with others when we return home.
Here is one story from today and others will follow in days to come. Daniel (age 7) had glasses, but he wasn’t seeing well out of them. We were able to find new glasses closer to his Rx (Right eye -5.50 -4.50; Left eye -4.75 -4.00). I noticed some hearing aids in his ears and his mother explained that he has very little hearing ability. He reads lips and has to read subtitles to watch TV or movies. The better glasses he received today are especially helpful since he also has hearing problems. His happy face after receiving the new glasses was infectious to all of us around him. See his picture below.
Tonight we hosted our silent auction. Everyone on the clinic brings something for the silent auction. Items range from jewelry, hats, shirts, or other special items from their hometowns. There were over 100 items and we raised $4,130 for OneSight! It was a lot of fun and the money goes to continue the great work OneSight does around the world.
September 3, 2012
Check out the pictures below from clinic -- this is one great team!
September 2, 2012
The team spent a nice weekend away at Valle de Bravo. It is a beautiful town on a lake. We spent time relaxing, eating, swimming, and shopping. The team is refreshed and ready for clinic tomorrow!
Enjoy some pictures below from this weekend and the clinic last week.
August 30, 2012
Rob McCoy challenged the team this morning to be in the moment during the clinic. The days go by so fast and we are already half way through our clinic days. It was a good reminder to cherish the special moments with the team and the recipients. We saw 1,096 recipients today. That is a total of 3,674 for the clinic.
I’m dedicating this post to some special moments so far in the clinic. Some are touching, some are cute, and others just plain funny.
On the first day of clinic Natasha Jadavji (LensCrafter’s – Calgary, AB) received a marriage proposal from a sweet old man. Another day, Rob McCoy (ILORI/OSA) was invited to dinner at a dear old ladies house after the kind service he provided to her. Thursday was David Howard’s (Sears Optical – New York) 20th anniversary with Luxottica! He mentioned this when speaking with a recipient at the clinic that day. The recipient was so touched by him spending his anniversary in Mexico and helping at the clinic that he was brought to tears.
There was an especially special story from today that I wanted to share. Her name was Maria. She was a -15.00 in the right eye and -15.50 in the left eye. She had glasses that were 3-4 years old and they were holding on by literally by string holding the lenses in place. I included a picture below. We were able to fit her with new glasses – they looked great (picture below with Dr. Tom Srun). She was so happy and kept looking around the room.
For our North American friends and family, have a blessed Labor Day holiday weekend. We are heading to a resort area called Valle de Bravo about 3 hours away for some relaxing and fun this weekend.
August 30, 2012
You have to read this great post below written by Ewa Zawadzki. Ewa is from store 922 -- LensCrafter's Kingston, Canada.
KISS… is not a gesture we use too often these days, especially with people we meet for the first time. That is until I’ve returned to another amazing experience, this One Sight clinic. Mexico is especially warm in this aspect. Right from day one, upon our arrival, one of our local partners/ hosts greeted some of us with a kiss, right on the cheek! What a nice warm welcome.
But the kisses I would like to mention the most are the ones that take place at our clinic soooo often. We exchange them with people we see at the clinic to improve their sight, giving them at the same time tremendous change in the quality of their lives. Very often the stories behind it all bring us to tears, the genuine ones.
Yesterday a mom with two daughters came to the clinic with hope of getting glasses. The lines were very long, the girls were waiting patiently. I kept entertaining them for a while using my very modest skills of Spanish and they, their hardly known English.
I lost them from my sight due to lines progressing towards the pick-up of their pairs. It was still a long wait for them before they could leave the place. Suddenly, in the least expected moment someone came from behind, giving me a delicate tap on my back. It was almost three and a half hours later. The little girl came to give me a kiss on my cheek and thank me for being here, with the clinic and making it happen for her and her mom. They both had strong prescriptions. The girl could see much better and she wanted to share it with me. This is what’s so rewarding in being part of OneSight and children will always have a special place in my heart.
August 30, 2012
We saw 1,064 recipients today. It was our largest day, however it felt the smoothest. We were a well oiled machine today that showcased our great teamwork. Someone mentioned today that the other local volunteers assumed we all new each other already. She had to clarify that the team just met a couple days earlier and most didn't know anyone coming to the clinic.
We’ve had some incredible Mexican food at lunch each day at clinic. Now this isn’t your Taco Bell type Mexican food, but true authentic food. I’ve posted a picture below – yum!
There have been 3-5 volunteers each day from the local Mexico Luxottica office. They have been a fantastic help each day. They ended the day with a dance to the Macarena song. Picture below!
Today we had a 40 year old woman who was a -14.00 in both eyes and did not have a pair of glasses. She had not worn glasses in a long time. Dr. Cindy and myself took her out of line and with our translator Aida’s help we hand picked a -11.00-1.00 OU which as soon as she put them on she smiled so big. We had Ana follow us over to the sun area and with Meredith’s help we selected a group of sunglasses that might fit over her new glasses. Jackie walked her over to dispensing and adjusted her new glasses and a pair of sunglasses. Guest Blogger -- Jenna Morse Sears Optical 571
Only 24 hours passed since I wrote my little story, but today a couple of clinic patients touched my heart so much I have to share it with you all.
A 4 year old girl by the name Rosio came to dispensing area, to pick up her first pair. Her prescription was high enough to celebrate a perfect match. It was a joined effort. My friend Tracy Woywitka did a major adjustment of the frame to give little Rosio a perfect fit with her first glasses. We were determined that she has a perfect fit. I dug up a pair of soft, little nose pads and voila. The sweetie could read the acuity chart flawlessly and after being asked by us how it felt to have these glasses on, she said MUY BONITO and smiled sincerely. We all clapped with joy and of course took a picture to share it with you.
Also this afternoon I had a gentleman in middle fifties. I asked him “Que tal”, which in Spanish means “how are you”. In response he opened part of his shirt and said he was a survivor of a heart attack (a huge scar run along his chest) and said that he wanted to see as much as he possibly could. The optical pair he got was a close enough match to make him smile and read the acuity chart with no problem, but what he was also very happy about was a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. He said to me that he dreamt his entire life to have one of those. His happiness was mine as well!!! Jose’s picture follows.
Thank you my family and friends for helping me in my fundraising efforts. This is a big part of why we can help it happen. Guest Blogger -- Eva Zawadzki
August 29, 2012
We saw 885 people today at the clinic. Read below from our guest bloggers today!
Loving everything I’m learning here. This is my first clinic and I can honestly say that my life will be forever changed. Guest blogger Shawn Lewis
Today I helped an older woman who was 77 years old, Maria. I gave her the new glasses she just had received with high prescription (-5,50 on both eyes). She smiled when she tried them on and was very happy that she could see things so clear – she had never had a pair of glasses before. I asked her to look around, and look at the words on a big banner on the wall across the room. I asked if she could read the words for me, but she just turned around again, smiling and said that she could see clear all the different colors. But when I asked her about the letters, she didn’t understand my question. She could not see the letters, because she does not know what the letters look like, she cannot read… But she said that “it is never too late to learn how to read…” – Maria, 77 years old.
Guest Blogger -- Camilla Nielsen.
I have two stories to share today:
This afternoon, I was at the ophthalmoscopy (eye health) station when a young man, about 35 years old, arrived. His vision was very poor - he could not see any of the letters on the eye chart, and could only see your fingers from a metre away. Through my translator, I learned that he had had an accident years ago, and his vision was very bad ever since. Looking in his eyes, the optic nerves (which connect the eyes to the brain) were badly damaged. This level of nerve damage causes permanent, irreversible vision loss, which I had to explain to him through the translator. He asked a number of questions about
treatments or cures, but there is nothing available to fix this in Mexico or anywhere else in the world. I told him we would try to see if some glasses would make some small improvements, but most of his vision was lost forever because of the accident. So of course, I'm at the prescription-writing station maybe thirty minutes later when this man comes through my line. I took a few measurements of his eyes and, rather than writing a serial number for the right pair of glasses and letting someone else find and fit them (as we usually do), I went and found them myself. I explained again that most of his vision loss was from the accident, but my measurements showed that these glasses might make things a tiny bit better. He tried them on, and he agreed -- it wasn't a big difference, but he did notice a small improvement. He was very happy that we took the time today to explain what was wrong and did everything possible to try and help him see better. He smiled and shook my hand -- not the usual reaction when we give people bad news in Canada! It just goes to show that, even though most of the big lifechanging moments we have happen when a new pair of glasses helps someone see a lot better for the first time in a long time, even the little things we do make an impact.
My second story has a happier ending. I used to be very nearsighted -- my prescription was about -6.50 in my better eye until I had laser refractive surgery a couple years ago. For one reason or another, I still had a pair of my old glasses at home, so I brought them along to the clinic. One of the other docs today had a patient whose prescription wasn't really available in the inventory, but was very close to that of my old glasses, so they came and got me. With my translator, I was able to explain that the glasses she was getting were actually mine that I didn't need anymore, and that I was glad she could see better now than with her old (very underpowered) prescription. I adjusted them to fit her face properly, we took some photos together, and now we both have a unique and happy story from the clinic!
Guest Blogger – Dr. Adam Hill
August 28, 2012
Sharing more pictures!!!
Thanks Jenn and Asset Protection team for the shout out! Tracy and I (Mere) are doing well and having lots of fun. First day over, 8 days to go.
August 28, 2012
The first day of clinic was a success! We saw 629 people. The local volunteers and translators were a huge help during the day. We also had 3 volunteers from the local Mexico City Luxottica office.
Everyone who came through the clinic received a pair of plano (non-Rx) sunglasses. However, many also needed glasses for distance or for reading. All Rx glasses were single vision only on this clinic and most of the glasses are brand new that were manufactured during the Manufacturing Clinics that happened in Cincinnati, OH earlier this summer.
Quality of care was seen throughout the clinic. It really started yesterday will a full day devoted to orientation and training. During the clinic there was a clear emphasis on taking time with the patients as they progressed through the stations. Doctors choose the eyewear that each patient will receive to ensure the final Rx matches (or they try to get as close as possible). All recipients receive a cloth case with each pair of eyewear they receive to help prolong the life of the glasses. The recipients do a post visual acuity wearing their new glasses to ensure the glasses help them see. For those of us that are clinic veterans, it’s been exciting to see the great enhancements OneSight has made to the quality of care provided.
There were many school age children who came through the clinic today and received their first pair of glasses. See some of their pictures below. These students will now be able to use their new glasses in school to help them succeed.
I want to share in detail just a couple stories of the recipients today. Amando is a 45 year old male who was only seeing 20/100 when he arrived at the clinic. He stocks shelves at a warehouse and his vision is important to the accuracy of the work he does. He received a pair of very cool Oakley glasses today that will help him in his work. See his picture below.
Another special recipient today was Annel. She was a 35 year old with an 8 year old daughter. She couldn’t even read the largest letter on the vision chart. She had lost her contacts a few months ago and had no back up glasses. She received a pair of recycled glasses today that will help her in her daily life in raising her daughter. See her picture below.
August 27, 2012
We have arrived in Mexico! Sunday was our travel day and spent time getting to know others on the team. Today (Monday) was an orientation day. Our leadership team kicked things off with a choreographed “dance”. It gave everyone a good laugh! In the morning we had a time of introduction. There were some members of the clinic that spoke no English so others translated for them. The leaders emphasized to us all that quality; not quantity should be the focus of the clinic. We are only planning on seeing 6,000 to 8,000 for this clinic.
Then, we headed over to the clinic sight. It’s just a short walk across the street from the hotel. However, we had to be careful because pedestrians don’t have the right of way here. It will be a nice each day to have the clinic so close by.
Once we arrived at the site, we were greeted by our local volunteers/translators. We were broken into groups of 5 and got an overview of the clinic flow. In the afternoon we had a deeper dive and some hands on training into all aspects of the clinic.
The site is all set up and the team is all oriented and ready for the clinic to start tomorrow.
August 20, 2012
The clinic team is less than a week away from meeting up in Mexico to begin our Onesight clinic. The clinic site will be in Tlalnepantla (yes – that’s really the name and hopefully by the end of my stay I’ll know how to pronounce it!). It’s about 8 miles north of Mexico City.
The clinic team consists of 47 people from the United States, Canada, Italy, Norway, South Africa, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Hungary, France, and Columbia.
Click on the link below to make a donation if you’d like to support OneSight and our efforts in giving the gift of sight.
About the Clinic
2012 Mexico 2 Clinic Blog Clinic
A team of OneSight volunteers and doctors will provide free vision care and eyewear to those in need.