Clinic Blog: 2012 San Diego Clinic Blog
March 25, 2012
We had the most wonderful week in San Diego. The total count that we ended up giving the gift of sight to was 976 deserving children. We had a really great team that had one common goal in mind and that was to make sure that each and every did recieved the one thing that they deserved-clear vision. Each of us took away great lessons and experiences from this week and we all want to go on more clinics. Many of us made great bonds and friends for life. This is an experience that all of us will not soon forget.
We had a great bunch of doctors that went above and beyond their job duties of the eye exam and helped the reset of us out at every station. Thanks to all the great doctors that we had this week!
Many thanks to the Lion's Club of National City for their unselfish and tireless work this week to ensure that we had all the great meals that we needed, their help at any station, the transportation that they provided to our hotels and all the other behind the scene things that they did for us. They are a great bunch of people. Their love and dedication for National City is inspiring so from all of us--THANK YOU!!!!
We have Dottie to thank most of all. Without her, the San Diego clinic would not be possible. She is a one woman show. I heard many things about Dottie before our trip. I heard that she was the backbone of this clinic and she did so much to make this clinic so successful. Everything I heard was right and more!! Dottie is such an amazing woman that creates such an inviting and inspiring environment. She has such a heart for One Sight and really goes beyond what she has to do to make the experience beyond amazing! Dottie says that she is going to retiring soon but she will NEVER retire from One Sight. You are amazing, Dottie! THANK YOU!!
This week not only did we have the pleasure of having the mayor and the city council of National City with us, but we had the firemen ther who so graciously filled EYEVAN with the water we needed, the police department, but we also had the state senator's assistant there as well to see what great things we were doing. In addition to all those great supporters, we also had a news reporter from WPBS there to do a story on One Sight and they followed on of the recipients through the whole process. Can't wait to see the end result!!
March 23, 2012
March 23, 2012
Thursday we saw 236 children for eye exams and eyeglasses. The day was filled with fun festivities for the kids thanks to Devin, Ricky, Torey and Joe. They made the time that the kids had to wait for the eye exam fun for all. They played “Simon Says”, danced, did a little karaoke, played music for the kids and even gave out prizes. Their enthusiasm put the kids at ease and made the time go by very quickly.
The day was filled once again with children who were in great need of corrective eyewear. I was fortunate enough to go on a home visit to dispense a pair of glasses to a 3-year-old girl named Madelyn. When she came into the clinic initially a few days ago for her exam, she was very shy and withdrawn. She had never had an eye exam before. She did not want to participate in any of the tests that we needed to perform on her and at a couple of points, she even cried. Her mom was there to comfort her. Our staff saw her through the whole process and we helped her pick out a very cute pair of glasses. She had a high rx of +7.00. Today when we arrived at her home, Madelyn was still a little withdrawn at first until I placed the glasses on her face for the first time. Her eyes lit up as she looked around and said “Everything looks so big”. Her face was beaming! It touched my heart to watch her look with amazement around the room. I told Madelyn that I needed to take the glasses off her face for just a minute so that I could fit them for her and she told me “no” at first. I had to reassure her that I would be putting the glasses back on her face in just a moment. I showed Madelyn how to take put her glasses on and off and how to clean them. I let her demonstrate to me how to clean them. She told me that she would be playing in the mud just so she could get them dirty and then clean them again. We spent a few minutes with the family talking to them and the mother’s reaction to her daughter’s rx and her new glasses. Madelyn’s mom was grateful for our services and the fact that her daughter was so happy with her new glasses. She thanked us for bringing the glasses to her house and caring so much for her child. Each and every one of these experiences holds a special place in our hearts. This one is extra special because Madelyn was only 3 years old and making such a big difference in a life of someone so young is hard to put into words. This child now has the chance to thrive in life in a way that she would not have been able to do without her vision. –Ann-Marie Weaver, Pearle Vision, #6558
I was surprised when a teenager came to the front of the line for the acuity screening wearing no glasses, but when we did the screening, she could not see ANY of the letters on the TOP row of the chart. I am very nearsighted and know how limiting it is to not be able to see clearly. There is such a vulnerability in not being able to see. She most likely cannot see the faces of people walking toward her and probably identifies them by voice before they get to her. For now . . . until she gets her glasses later this week or next week. What a difference that will make for her! -Brenda Raymond-Bell, CSC
First I have to say that if you are good at video games, you may be a good candidate to become an auto-refracting technician for an optometrist. The eye-hand coordination that is necessary for this test was a real challenge for me, but would be easy for my teenagers. . . We had a touching scene when a young girl was afraid to let us do the auto-refracting to read her prescription. She had already done the tonometer (puff of air to test for glaucoma) and probably didn’t trust us that we weren’t doing anything that she would be able to feel with this machine that looks very similar to the tonometer (she did not think this was a coincidence!). We had her friend do the test with her watching and she still shook her head no. Her friend described the barn in the machine and encouraged her to take her turn. After some persuasion, she agreed. Her friend stood beside her and kept her arm around her while she did the test and she walked away with a smile on her face. It is good to remember that we learn to be true friends at a young age . . . -Brenda Raymond-Bell, CSC
A very shy little boy of four came in today and his mother told me he doesn’t really play with the other kids, just likes to watch television; the exam revealed +4.50 Ds over each eye; we trial framed him and his face lit up; his mother said it was the first time she saw him smile and laugh so; we eye doctors know that the first seven years of life are the formative years for the brain and eye to learn to work together; and we changed the direction of this child’s life. Dr. Dave Brew
Bigger than Crumbs
I met the most beautiful boy today. His name was Adrian. He was the smallest in his class but his personality was bigger than life. He came up to me with crooked glasses on his narrow sleepy face. His right eye looked flightingly at me and his left eye turned completely inwards, towards his nose. He had a few donut crumbs around his mouth and I found out that he had a secret. “I am hungry and they gave me a donut and I am not supposed to not tell the other kids. It’s a secret.” He still looked hungry though, still so skinny. He did all the tests I asked him to with a smile…except for the eyedrops. He said, “No, not the eyedrops! I hate the eyedrops. No. No. No.” I replied, “How about if I put one drop in each eye and then I will give you a treat, anything you want?” Aidan smiled, dimples shined and he whispered, “Anything? Can I get whatever I want from the vending machine?” I said, “Yes, after the eyedrops.” And one, two, three, the eyedrops were in and we went our way to the big vending machine in the hallway hand in hand. His hand was little but the grip was firm and tight and I must say he made me feel stronger holding his little hand. There were many kids hovering over the vending machine but Aidan and I came with the magic one dollar bill. He picked the cookies and keep saying, “Strawberry cookies! Strawberry cookies! Strawberry cookies for me!” So we sat together and he devoured his strawberry cookies within seconds. I realized that he must be so thirsty with all this sweet stuff and gave him some water while trying to take the empty strawberry cookie package away. He said, “No, there are still some crumbs in there. I want to have the crumbs.” He took the bag and inverted it on top of his little face and all the crumbs fell on entire face and only about ten percent landed in his mouth. But he was happy.
The final part came where we picked his glasses and I gave him two pairs because we needed to protect his strong eye, his right eye. His left eye had so much esotropia, inward turning, that we needed to refer him to ophthalmology. Difficult but possible, surgery could be an option to straighten out his left eye. But it gets more complicated. His eyes have nystagmus. They do not stay centered and straight, they move side to side constantly and cannot hold a target for more than a few seconds. His retina had optic nerve atrophy since birth.
But nothing stopped Aidan from being Aidan, full of life and laughter and jokes. He made my heart grow bigger and made me happy to think that one day I may have a child as sweet as Aidan. He was smart and was not afraid of the world. I gave him some slip on sunglasses and he hold them rolled up and placed them in front of his right eye and exclaimed, “High, ho, I’m a pirate with a telescope!” I said, “You know what a telescope is? Why Aidan you are the smartest boy alive!” We hugged and held hands all the way to the end. Then I had to finally kiss him goodbye and he went back to his class.
Aidan changed my life. He made me realize that you are not disabled if you feel you can do anything, if you know that you will be fine anywhere you are because you have everything you need within yourself. Aidan is strength in the form of a skinny, hungry 5year old boy with one semi-good eye and one amazing outlook on life. -Dr. Thi Trieu, San Diego, CA
Oh Frankie!! The sweetest little boy ever! I kept the flow going in the back of the gym so whenever someone came out of dialation, I was the face they would see next until they made it to the doctors. It started to get a little hectic with entertaining, checking kids eyes for full dialation and making sure that everything was running smoothly. Then Mr. Frankie comes walking around the corner from dialation with the sweetest smile on his face. For the small 5 seconds, my heart melted. He and I immediately bonded. I made sure that he got through everything as quickly as possible. After Frankie made it through frame selection he had to come over and say goodbye. I got the biggest hug (that almost knocked me over) and a great picture that will melt my heart every time I look at it. -Devin Barnard, SGH Atlanta, GA
March 21, 2012
There are so many great stories about children in need and the joy it brings to help them, my story today is about how kids will be kids anyhere you go. I was helping a young man named Alexander do his tonometry screening. It's the test that puffs air at your eye...not everyone's favorite. He came up to the machine without fear and stuck his head right in. I was helping hold his head steady and I told him that it would tickle his eyelashes. We did the right eye and he laughed....now Alexander is 6 years old....I asked him why he was laughing and he said it felt like boogers in his eye. I started laughing and asked how he knew what boogers in your eyes felt like and he told me that he was fooling with me. Nice....kids will be kids!!!!!!! Barb Aspen LC 2263
March 21, 2012
This is the San Diego OneSight Cheer:
We are OneSight, yes we are
We have traveled from near and far.
We have great partners, yes we do
Thanks to Katie, her staff and the Lions too.
Thanks for helping this great city with their mission
Of helping these kids with their vision.
Enjoy your days and your nights,
But remember why we’re here and
That’s to give the gift of sight!
On 3…1,2,3 ONESIGHT!!!
Hello world…it’s day 3 of this awesome adventure!!! It’s really hard to pinpoint a special moment….all these children are special creations with their own unique personalities. The little ones are the ones I want to scoop up and take home. We have had several 3 year olds come through the clinic. The little girls make me think of my granddaughter, Lauren, who is also 3. As I watch these little “princesses” try on the frames, it brings tears to my eyes as their eyes light up as they look in the mirror. -MaryLee Beerens, SGH #1804
Today I had the opportunity to meet Elizabeth; she is an adorable sweet girl. I met her mother (Rosalba) who I had spoken with yesterday because she had brought in her older daughter to the clinic, didn’t put the two together until today.I was asked by Dottie to go with her Melanie, Greg and Jen to deliver Elizabeth’s glasses to her. We got to the home, and were immediately greeted by Elizabeth, her little sister and brother. What a great family! The mom is so humble and grateful and does everything she can for her children. She told me that she is not used to this kind of generosity and it is not everyday that people go out of their way to help other people that they do not know. I was so touched that Dottie asked me to go along and I will never forget this family, this has been an awesome experience! -Terry Quintero LensCrafters #73 El Paso, TX.
Little 5 year old Yesienda came to me at the control desk at the end of her exam and picking out her frames. As i looked at her frames and her prescription i noticed she had no vision in her left eye and her right eye was a +5.00 sph with a -4.50 cyl. She had no glasses with her so we put the order thru a hot rush to be done in a few hours. Once the job was completed I had the oppurtunity to go to her school and dispense her eyeglasses to her. When I arrived there she was very timid and not very responsive. I took the glasses out and set them on her face and she automatically lit up. She was smiling to big and so happy you could just tell the difference she noticed with her glasses on. It was so rewarding to her face the happiness come from this child. We later learned that she had a lazy eye and wasnt very coorporative at school and she did have a pair of glasses she kept at school because her home situation wasn't the best and the glasses seemed to get broke a lot and never ended coming back to school once they came home. So the teacher kept them in her desk only for classroom time. So at recess and home she wasn't seeing so her lazy eye was only being corrected half the time. Now she has a second pair she can use and wear her glasses 24/7. It was a amazing day and being able to change the lives of these kids is so inspiring and touches my heart. - Melissa Murdock Target 4004
March 20, 2012
Today a brother and sister, ages 7 and 9 came into the clinic. Neither one of them have ever worn eyeglasses or even seen an eye doctor before. The brother was very hyper and was hard to get to hold still and to pay attention to the machines. Once the doctor prescribed the prescription for him he had a very strong prescription of +7.75 with a -3.00 cylinder in both eyes. The sister had a prescription of +5.00 with a -2.00 cylinder. Once these children get their glasses, I am sure the brother's behavior will calm down. -Melissa Murdock, Target Optical #4004
I was amazed at how different the 2 days were at the tonometry station (the air puff machine). Yesterday the kids were nervous and scared. Today they walked right up to the machines and giggled when they felt the air puff! A lot of credit needs to be given to Frank! (One of our great Lion's Club partners) He makes the kids feel at ease and has such pride in National City. He is a native here and even with a difficult situation at home where his mom is elderly and he and his sister are the caregivers, he is with us every morning spreading his brand of cheer and love for the kids and One Sight! -Barb Aspen, LensCrafters, #2263
One of the best parts of seeing kids as patients is their innocence and the unscripted responses. I asked a girl around age 10 what her favorite subject/class was and she said "make up" but it was hard to see and she even said she bumps into walls. She had a +3.00 rx and -2.00 cyl! I didn't get to see her response at dispense but I hope it makes her studying of the subject "make up" better/easier! :) -Dr. Danny Ngo, LensCrafters #85/ EYEEXAM of CA 191
We helped a deaf child today who signed the letters he saw on the eyechart. I understand what he was signing because I know the manual alphabet and was able to confirm that he was able to see the chart. -Melanie McVey, LensCrafters #5388 & Mary Lee Berans, Sunglass Hut, #1804
I got to meet a little girl named Monica today whose was in great need of new glasses. The glasses she had on were broken and her parents tried to repair them. When that didn't work, Monica's parents put a cord on Monica's head to hold the glasses on her head. I had the privelege to help Monica pick out her new pair of glasses at the frame station when she was done with her eye exam. We picked out a very pretty frame for her but Monica was worried about how her "cord" would fit with her new glasses. She was so used to wearing the ill-fitting, broken glasses that I had to explain to her that with her new glasses she would not have to wear the cord with her new glasses because they would fit properly. Monica's smile on her face said it all. -Kelly Ulheim, CSC
There was a young girl named Roselle that made quite an impact on several member of our core team today. Here are three members reactions to this little girl's visit to our clinic:
I had the privilege of delivering glasses to Roselle this afternoon.She is a wonderful, quiet girl who had not had glasses before today. But she smiled often during the course of the exams at the morning clinic. When she put on her new glasses, her eyes sparkled as she looked around and saw the world in sharper focus. Her smile grew even larger, and she hugged each member of the team that brought the glasses to her house. Her mother was thankful, and Roselle was the center of attention for her and her two sisters. Still no words to express her new and improved sight, but we didn’t need to hear them: her smile said it all! -Mark McBeath, CSC, Sears Optical
Roselle had received glasses each of the last 3 years with the One Sight Program. Her last glasses were broken. She is a special needs child. She needs a +8.00 glasses. When she received her new glasses her usual smile became bigger. Her mother is very appreciative and said "If you don't have good vision, you can't see the world, you can't play, you can't be happy!" -Team member
We had the great pleasure of going to the house today of Roselle’s family to adjust her sister’s eyeglass, and the experience was phenomenal. Roselle’s mother has 4 children and two of them are special needs. They live a very short distance from the clinic site, but the mother doesn’t drive and therefore this special expedition was well worth the trip. When we got to the house, the window was open and we were able to speak through the grill and let them know that we were there to adjust Elizabeth’s glasses. She invited us in. They lived in a small house where there was a sofa, a tv, and some bedrooms back in the back. There was hardly any clutter and there were barely any toys. We were greeted by Roselle’s brother, Moises and her younger sister, Maricela. Roselle and Elizabeth were excited to have glasses, although Elizabeth’s glasses were two years old and broken. Her mother commented on how she had gotten them at the clinic two years ago, but the temple had fallen off and they had not been able to repair them. When we told the mother that we were there to fix the glasses and personally invite them to the clinic so that the other daughter could get glasses, she was overwhelmed. We asked her about the opinion she had about this program and she said that it was a great program and that she appreciated it. She broke down in tears. This family is certainly a family that touched many of us at this clinic. We invited more of the family to come tomorrow to take advantage of the One Sight program. -Melanie McVey, LensCrafters, #5388
March 19, 2012
Our first day here in San Diego was great. We saw 202 children today for eye exams while 189 of them needed glasses. Three of the students were referred out for furthur evaluation. We all worked very hard today and we wanted to share some of our stories.
Madeline, age 4, came to the clinic today. She had not worn any glasses before today. She was very scared of the experience as it was very overwhelming and did not want to get the dialation drops or the auto autorefractor. Her mother brought her to the clinic and told the volunteers that she planned to take Madeline to the eye doctor near Christmas when she would be getting insurance. Madeline's mom wanted to wait to get the dialation drops for her until her next eye exam. After Dr.'s David and Anita Brew explained the importance of a dialated eye exam, Madeline's mom decided to go along with the doctor's advice and let Madeline get her eyes dialated. Because of the exam the doctors were able to do a complete exam and found that Madeline had a very strong prescription of +7.00 diopters. Madeline's mom had no idea how badly her child needed the glasses and she was very grateful to all for the chance for her daughter to see clearly. We are all eagarly anticipating the delivery of Madeline's glasses so we can see the joy on her face when she sees clearly for the first time.
Torey, a core team member, is a regional trainer for Sunglass Hut. This is his first clinic and he was very excited to begin today but not so excited when he was told that he would be administering all the dialation drops on the kids. Torey stood up to the task and created quite a game out of it for the kids. He had all the kids sit in a row of chairs and choose a "magic tissue" from the tissue box. He proceeded to explain how he was going to place a drop into each of their eyes to dialate their eyes. The kids looked scared but only for a moment. Torey quickly dropped the eye drop into the children's eyes and let them dab their eyes with the tissue. He even did cartwheels for the kids at times to make the experience a little easier for them. Torey took what is sometimes a frightening experience for youg kids and turned it into the hightlight spot to be! Great way to think outside the box!
James, a darling little 5 year old boy, was a timid, yet well-behaved student that several of us had the privledge of working with today. When he came through the autorefractor station, I had the privledge of talking to him and was taken back when I saw the prescription that the machine read for him. I asked him if he had ever worn glasses before and he said no. Today was going to be that day. Dr. Mita Rahman had the privledge of doing his eye exam and when she place the trial frame with his prescription on his face, he was a little bit afraid. She talked to him about getting glasses and being excited about wearing them all the time. After his eye exam he picked out a pair of bright orange glasses that he must wear all the time due to his prescription of +8.50. This is another pair of glasses we are all looking forward to dispensing. -Ann-Marie Weaver
Stephanie is an 11 year old girl who bonded with Annette Ratliff one of our core team members. Stephanie was a very timid girl who was very upset about going through the whole process of getting an eye exam. When she started to cry, Annette was right there with open arms to support her. She walked her through the getting her eyes dialated, the auto refration, the eye exam and choosing her frames. Stephanie did not want to leave Annette's side. Annette also got to see Stephanie get her new glasses and Stephanie was so excited with her new glasses that she gave Annette a hug and told her thank you. Stephanie's prescription changed by almost double. That type of connection and dedication to making a difference in someone's life is what makes what we do on these clinics so wonderful.
There is definatly more tomorrow!
March 19, 2012
We are here at our first day of our clinic and the gym is filling up quickly with children. we will be posting pictures and stories later about our first day? check back to read all about it.
March 16, 2012
Well, we are only a couple of days away from our One Sight Clinic to San Diego!! We are all very excited to get there and get started giving the gift of sight to so many deserving children. It is a first clinic for quite a few of us that are on this trip and our anticipation is growing! Many of us have connected on Facebook or email already. We can't wait to share our exciting adventures and touching stories with everyone else out there. Make sure you check back with our blog and see what wonderful things we do in San Diego!!
About the Clinic
2012 San Diego Clinic Blog Clinic
A team of OneSight volunteers and doctors will provide free vision care and eyewear to local students in need.