Restoring Sight and Hope!
It was an honor and privilege to host the Cataract Surgery team from Samaritan’s Purse once again. This one week mission started week’s beforehand with the IDAT team announcing the upcoming opportunity to towns and villages as far as 100 miles away. Hundreds of people responded and walked for days to reach us. Our medical team pre-screened over 1,500 prospective patients knowing the team would be able to do around 400 surgeries.
The vision for IDAT has always been to host teams that can come into Tonj and focus on what God has called them to do without worrying about team safety, transportation, sleeping arrangements, preparing food, safe drinking water, laundry etc. When Samaritan’s Purse first approached us about hosting 20 people alongside our existing team, we knew it would be a stretch but with a bit of juggling we made it happen!
We transformed our maternity delivery suite into an operating theatre, allowing for three surgeons to be operating at once.
The IDAT team’s prescreened patients were checked by the Samaritan’s Purse ophthalmologist and then added to the surgery line. This simple surgery that is readily available in Western countries, is truly a gift here in South Sudan.
Many of the patients walked for days to get this life-changing surgery and have their sight restored.
The team started early and worked non-stop to maximize the number of patients treated. The surgery only takes about 15 minutes and is done using a microscope.
After surgery the patients would spend the night and have their bandages removed the next day.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Our Hospital waiting area was transformed into a sleeping quarter for the operated patients and their caregivers. Our chaplains were available 24 hours and in the evening showed the Jesus film to the patients.
The following morning the doctors removed the eye patches and gave post-surgery information before releasing the patients to go home.
This is the best part, seeing patients rejoice and praise God for restoring their sight. In just one week 442 cataract surgeries were completed! We are grateful for the prayers and partnerships that enable us to love so many patients and open the eyes of the blind.