A medical mission restores sight to villagers blinded by cataracts.
A 100-year-old man regains his energetic spirit and a mother gets to see her baby for the first time. For hundreds of villagers blinded by cataracts in remote parts of Ghana, surgery to restore their sight is a life-changing miracle.
John Welling, MD, an ophthalmologist with Medical Eye Center and member of the ARRMC medical staff, was among the miracle workers of Daybreak Vision Project who traveled to Ghana last spring to perform cataract surgeries on 669 people. Dr. Welling is co-founder of the nonprofit organization.
Cataracts are among the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Currently, fewer than 20,000 cataract surgeries are performed each year in Ghana, in part because ophthalmologists are concentrated in urban areas.
Two patients whose lives were changed by Dr. Welling were Daniel, who had to quit farming after losing his sight, and his wife, Monica, who was also blinded by cataracts. After undergoing a 10-minute surgery, each was able to see Dr. Welling’s hand and count his fingers. The spry 100-year-old Daniel broke into a dance, because “I’m happy, happy, happy.”
A single mother of five children, Akua was blind for six years. She had never seen her youngest child, and her 14-year-old daughter had to drop out of school to help manage the household. After recovering from surgery with Dr. Welling, Akua’s eye patches were removed. Her daughter handed Akua the baby she had never seen. Akua’s first words upon seeing her baby daughter: “She’s beautiful.”
Dr. Welling’s trip was funded by the Asante Foundation’s Fred and Margaret Snyder Humanitarian Fund. This fund is available for any Asante-affiliated medical groups, for medical mission trips outside the United States.
If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Debbie Daggett at (541) 472-7301.