Each year around the holidays, Dr. Peter Andrews and Dr. Elisha Tilton head to Jamaica with the Eye Health Institute, a non-profit organization that works to provide comprehensive eye care to the underserved. They provide eye exams and surgical care for hundreds of people who otherwise do not have the means to monitor their vision and eye health.
These Eye Care Center doctors spend a week and a half over the Thanksgiving holiday working tirelessly and changing people’s life by restoring their sight. Whether it is surgery, or simply a pair of glasses, the men, women, and children that are helped during this time leave the clinic with big smiles, happy hearts, and new independence. There was a young woman patient who had been legally blind for more than a decade who burst into tears when she received glasses; she had not seen her mother’s face since she was a young child. Women who had lost the ability to sew have been given the opportunity to go back to work as seamstresses all because they received a pair of reading glasses. A young boy was failing in school and was considered to be learning disabled, but was found to be highly nearsighted; glasses allow him to participate in classroom activities and resume learning alongside his classmates. Our doctors are inspired to return to Jamaica year after year because of the great impact that they are able to make in the life of each individual that they help.
Over the years, the volunteers at the Eye Health Institute have served over 7,000 people and provided more than 3,500 pairs of glasses at no charge. The Surgical Team has performed more than 60 sight restoring procedures, including cataract surgery, pterygium removal, and corneal transplants.
For more information about the Eye Health Institute visit http://eyehealthinstitute.org/