Dr. Derek Feifke will never forget shedding tears of joy when he witnessed a young boy in Nicaragua seeing the world for the first time.
“A 12-year old boy came into the clinic holding his grandmother’s hand,” said Dr. Feifke, while participating in a mission for Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity of New England (VOSH-ONE). “The story we were told was that he was considered too stupid to go to school, but the fact was that he could not see.”
Once he was examined and prescribed the correct lenses and glasses were provided to him, tears started streaming from his eyes, and he was smiling from ear to ear. “Then all of us in the clinic started crying. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.” Dr. Feifke said.
Make-shift clinics are set up in a small church or school, and people from the area begin to line up at dawn to be seen. A typical day may have the team of Optometrists and Ophthalmologist and staff see over 1000 patients.
Dr. Feifke has participated in a number of mission trips but this one left an indelible mark on him. He says, “I’ll never forget it, and that’s why we keep doing this.”
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