The following is a summary by Emily Brown, our first participant in the EnvisionFulbright pilot collaboration with Timmy Global Health, on her trip to Chontapunta, Ecuador. Emily Brown is a member of the San Diego Chapter.
The partnership between Restoring Vision, the Fulbright Association, and Timmy Global Health got off to a great start in the Amazon Basin of Chontapunta, Ecuador. Despite being an area of extreme heat and many bugs, the joy and appreciation from the local people made it extremely rewarding.
Through its first trip, Timmy was able to offer eye care to all its patients and was received with much excitement and enthusiasm from all patients. Each day at the Timmy Global Health clinic, I would set up a station for reading glasses next to the pharmacy. The proximity to the pharmacy presented the perfect opportunity to administer eye tests while patients waited to pick up medicines. The best part of my experience was finding the right pair of reading
glasses for each patient. Many of them had lost hope due to deteriorating vision, and thought they wouldn’t be able to read again, but when they tried on the glasses and could read their smiles said it all.
One of my favorite patients I tested for reading glasses was a 96-year-old woman. She was still very active, full of life, strong and had better vision than her children who all received reading glasses as well. Dispensing reading glasses on the Timmy Global Health brigade was an incredible experience and I know that its patients will continue to benefit from eye care in clinics in future!