Mission of Healing Eyes

"As you did to the least of my brethren,
 you did to me" Mt 25:40

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Spring 2015 Mission Trip Experience

Posted by anonymous on February 7, 2016 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (3)

Helping to Bring Sight to the World

 

I was very lucky to be a member of the mission of healing eyes to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo in May of 2015. It was truly a life-changing experience. I was very excited to meet the other team members and all the patients, to have my first hands-on experience with surgical procedures, and to contribute to a team that makes a real difference in the lives of so many people. We arrived on a beautiful afternoon in Zihuatanejo and started working right away to prepare for the week ahead, unloading supplies and getting everything set up for the surgeries that needed to be done at the Naval Hospital. The surgeries started the next day and every volunteer worked very hard the entire week to ensure that everything went well. My main task was to help with the pre- and post-surgical preparations in the operating room. Every task that was done by each volunteer was important, from patching and prepping patients, to getting them back to their families after the surgery. I felt very lucky to be able to contribute in any way I could to make the mission successful. It was also great to participate in the daily reflections, to spend time at the beach or in the pool speaking with all the volunteers at the end of the day, and to get to know the locals. Everyone I met was an amazing person, and I can say they have definitely made me into a better person.

 

Having direct contact with the patients was priceless. I could feel how much the surgery meant to them and to their families, what a life-changing experience it was for them, and how grateful they were for what we were doing. It was a moving experience to see two little girls who were blind going to the surgery because I could feel how much the surgery was going to change their future for the better and the lives of their families. It was particularly rewarding to see all the patients coming back for their final check-up wearing sunglasses, with their vision restored. It was such a rewarding and fulfilling moment.

 

This mission showed me that God is thoroughly working His miracles through the hands of the doctors and all the volunteers involved. It made me feel more opened to God’s calling and inspired me to focus more on the greater good. I feel truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful mission and I hope that it’s the first of many more to come.

A Week of Vision

Posted by Sydney Cohen on September 12, 2015 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo mission trip was by far one of the greatest, if not the greatest, experience of my life. Everyone from our team, to the patients, to the bar tenders at the pool and the jeweler walking up and down the beach under the hot sun made a huge impact on my life and the way I want to approach life from here on out.

On the first morning after the 2:15am wake up call to get to the airport the previous day, it was hard to roll out of bed while the sky was still pitch black and walk across the street. However, the struggles of the morning evaporated and turned into a thrilling buzz once the entire team had gathered and the preparation for the patients began. Everything we were doing…every task from running the sterilizer so the doctors could get into a rhythm, to running messages back and forth, to patching and prepping patients was important. Every little thing and every team member contributed to putting vision back into the world.

The work was hard, but we worked toward restoring someone’s sight and giving them a huge part of their life back and it was thrilling and worth every second. Not to mention, there was always a beautiful beach with sparkling blue waves and a blazing sun to return to after the day’s work.

Healing eyes, meeting amazing people, and hanging at the beach…it was the trip of a lifetime.

 

A Life Changing Experience

Posted by Marie Kloor on December 10, 2014 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The operating room of the Naval Hospital of Zihuatanejo felt like a world away from my desk in downtown Manhattan. However, the experience I left with only makes me want to go back. As I reflect on the week spent in Zihua, what really stands out is the people – both the people we served and the people that joined the Mission to serve.

The people we served traveled from towns near and far and had been waiting for their scheduled surgery for months. As they were led into the operating room for their cataracts/pterygium surgery they remained stoic and calm. I can only imagine how nervous they were not knowing almost anything about the surgery about to be performed, only knowing that afterwards they may be able to see again. After the surgery was finished, many expressed gratitude. However, that did not prepare us for the outpouring of love from both the patients and their families that we received on the last day, when the patients came back for their final check-ups. Those that received surgery had to protect their eyes with sunglasses. Looking out at the 150 sunglasses staring back at me brought tears to my eyes. I realized that not only were the lives of the patients changed, but the lives of their families were changed as well. Part of my job in the operating room was to lead the patients to the raised bed they would lay on while the surgery was performed. Sometimes this was the most difficult part, as many of the patients could not see out of one or both eyes, and stepping up onto a bed was challenging. Their families took care of them every single day in this way. Repairing the vision of one person had a tremendous impact on their family as well.

The quality of the people that joined the Mission was also inspiring. Every person was hard working and willing to help in whatever way was needed. No one complained about difficult cases or longer days; instead a common phrase was “How can I help?” I was humbled to be able to work alongside such generous and talented people willing to give their time and talents to those in need. Many, if not most, of the people we served would not have had access to any kind of eye surgery without the time and effort devoted by those on the Mission. The experience has inspired me to look at my own life and think how I can help those around me. 

Mission Trip to Ixtapa

Posted by Michael Peterson on July 2, 2014 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I was fortunate to be able to join the Mission of Healing Eyes in May 2014. I knew it was going to be a special experience, but I had no idea how much it would affect me. Our group worked so well together, coming from different parts of the country and different walks of life in order to achieve the same goal: to help others in need.

Seeing the compassion that was shown on this mission to complete strangers, in actions rather than just words, will stay with me for the rest of my life. I hope to continue the same type of service in every way that I can because of this trip. I feel like I got just as much out of the experience as the patients themselves did with their cataracts/pterygium removed. The joy that I felt when seeing the patients before and after their surgery only solidifed my desire to practice medicine in the future.

I also feel like I have grown closer to God thanks to this trip. The daily group reflections (around the pool, by the way) made an impact on me by providing a way to share the expereinces of the day and how they related to God's message and our own personal lives when we return home. 

May 2014 Mission

Posted by Bryce on July 1, 2014 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

As I am going into my senior year of college, I have done a good share of volunteer work so far but when I was offered the opportunity to serve with the Mission of Healing eyes, I knew that this experience would be a different type of journey for me.

This mission was different compared to other volunteer experiences that I had encountered mainly from the amount of love and passion that was at the center of every incision and discussion. I could not have imagined a better team to be a part of where both surgeons were more than willing to offer explanations to procedures that they were performing and the other team members who always had on smiles that you could see even from under their surgical masks.

After helping serve the people of Zihuatanejo and being able to see how expertly God works through us, I am looking forward to serve as much as I can with the Mission of Healing Eyes in the future. Although this mission does so much for the blinded poor in Zihuantanejo, it has also changed my perspective and willingness to serve for the greater good in the process.

The Most Refreshing Experience

Posted by TKahn on November 22, 2013 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I have had the honor of attending a couple of these missions over the past few years. And as a recent college student, I am fully aware of how difficult it is to decide between a vacation at South Padre Island versus a Mission Trip full of serving in an OR all day. As much as I've loved the vacations, I've always come back from the mission trips feeling so much more refreshed and renewed. There is something about serving that refreshes the heart so much more than a vacation ever could.


Matthew 24:14 says "And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." This is a simplistic practical way to proclaim God's love through actions and to serve one another in love.


It's also a tremendous blessing to see God work through the doctors to heal His people. Not only do we serve a God who heals, but also a God who loves. And there were countless of testimonies from the patients on how much they felt loved through our service. Not only will their lives be changed, but it will be testimony to all of their friends that God healed them. And to be a part of that is a tremendous blessing.

 

Juanito in the OR

Posted by Mission of Healing Eyes on April 7, 2013 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

During the April 2013 mission we were serenated by Juanito, a local musician from Zihuantanejo.  The mission team gave Juanito an eye exam, and he performed a few songs for us in the OR. What a special treat! 

Thanks the size of Texas!

Posted by Rebeca Mendizabal on October 17, 2011 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

When I walked into the naval hospital on Monday, in a way I went in blind. An online posting had asked for Spanish interpreters. Other than that I honestly knew very little about the doctors and their work.


That was Monday. That was before assisting with numerous eye exams, distributing bagfuls of glasses, and even witnessing two out of more than 200 cataract surgeries. That was also before I had the opportunity to spend five days with the Mission of Healing Eyes crew.


Now that the exhausting but triumphant week is over, I can proudly say that I have a much clearer picture of the doctors and what exactly it is that all of you do. For starters, I learned that most of you are not doctors (despite what your scrubs initially had me believing). And after my first day at the hospital, I realized that each individual was crucial to the success of this mission. Without the surgeons, hundreds of people would not have had their sight restored, but without every single volunteer over a thousand patients would not have been seen. To say that the people of Guerrero appreciated your efforts would be like saying that Ricardo only paid 900, not 9,000, pesos for a fermented bottle of grape juice. In other words, it would be a great undervaluation of their overwhelming gratitude. Or to use a real-world example, the locals valued you so much that they decided to make you one of them! (That’s the glass-half-full version.)


Finally, I’d like to say thanks for improving my own perspective. As a semi-recent college grad trying to figure out life after college, lately I’ve been concentrating most of my energy on me, myself, and guess the final first-person pronoun. So seeing all of you passionately work towards a selfless cause was inspirational and refreshing. It’s a week I will be talking about for much longer. And I hope to someday be part of a sequel because, as Molly would say, “You guys are gems!”


And unlike y’all with your fancy FM3’s, I am still just a GEM (Gringa En México). So take advantage of your dual citizenship and hopefully we will meet again here soon!


Thanks, take care, and hook ‘em!

As Bob Hope used to sing, "Thanks for the Memories"

Posted by Dick Siegert on November 3, 2010 at 5:13 PM Comments comments (1)

Dear Jim and Molly and the rest of the Mission of Healing Eyes missionaries,


What a pleasure to have just returned from the October, 2010 mission to Ixtapa !


It is a real privilege to be able to participate in the Mission, especially as a 'non-medical' person, and to see how our group is able to touch the lives of so many residents of the areas surrounding Ixtapa, Mexico.  To see the joy and amazement on the faces of the people coming to the mission is a vision to be cherished for a lifetime.


To know that their eye sight and lives are being improved while the team is volunteering time and talent for the greater good is really rewarding to all of us.


What we all comment on that is not obvious is that the patients are helping us just as much if not more than we are attempting to help them.  The positive emotions are overwhelming !!  And it really is true that by giving, you receive.


On Friday morning all the cataract patients and loved ones are asked to return to the hospital for final evaluations and post-op instructions.  At the end of the Q & A portion, many of the patients come to say Thanks and offer a hug, etc.  That farewell session is something I will always remember.


Thanks again and here's to continued success !


God bless, Dick Siegert

Hoping For the Best

Posted by Brian Conahan on November 2, 2010 at 12:19 PM Comments comments (0)

Its Hard to wake up every morning and thank God for all he has done in my life. Most days I am tried, I  don't want to go to school, or I say that I'll thank Him later. The Mission of Healing Eyes that my family and I started has changed my view on life drastically, I now see that I have things in my life that some people would not even dream of having. I feel that doing this mission has not only brought me closer to God but has helped me see the wonders He does every day. My family and I are strong faithful Catholics, and although anyone can come on the Mission you see that there is something different about our mission then any others. I feel that our group each and every time has such a strong connection and wants to help. Every time I go down there I cant help to think of this verse from Matthew "How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Every one in the mission can clearly remove the speck from their brothers eye because they see that they need help and they have no speck in their eye. My Dad the main doctor of our group has no speck in his eye and can see what many people don't know exists, he sees the face of Jesus in every patient that comes through our clinic.

Our purpose of the mission is to restore the sight of people with cataracts, they go from being blind maybe for 20 years to seeing 20/20 the next day. They see things for the first time, the joy that comes out of them no words can explain. A man 45 had a daughter 7 years old but he has been blind for 9 years, the day we removed his patch and he saw his beautiful daughter for the first time he sobbed tears of joy. This Mission that has brought sight to over 5000 people, has for sure brought true sight to me. "Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you". For most of my life I was looking out of my eyes but now I know that true sight comes from the heart. "We walk by faith, not by sight" 2 Corinthians 5-7 


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