Our eye care team ended the day with five last minute walk in patients. Despite the fact that we had packed our gear up for the day, we had no hesitation in accommodating these last minute stragglers, knowing we wouldn't be back for at least one year. The last patient I examined was a young lady of 22 who had lost one eye due to a previous machete accident and reported that her remaining eye was blurred at distance and always felt scratchy and irritated. She presented with myopia in her eye which was also chronically dry. We were able to give her glasses which corrected her to 20/20 and I supplied her with sunglasses as well as 6 months worth of lubricating eyedrops ( we still had many drops left over from the week, despite having dispensed over 1000 bottles).
Our team of 3 eye doctors, 6 students and two assistants, including my son Ben examined over 700 patients over the four clinic days. We dispensed over 1400 pairs of glasses, over 1000 bottles of eyedrops, diagnosed, treated and referred numerous pathological conditions including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and mature cataracts.
Our wonderful team leader, Dr. Joe D,'Amico and Ann May will be staying on to conduct two more clinics at an orphanage and women's cooperative in the capital city of Managua.
The softly spoken thank you's, gentle hand shakes, occasional hugs and oft spoken blessings are heartfelt and humbling to say the least. . . I am leaving Nicaragua with a familiar feeling of warmth and gratitude. It has been a privilege.
Read Dr Feifke's previous posts from Nicaragua: