A Volunteer Offers Much Needed Vision Clinics
Fellow Team Members: Andrew Clark, Scott Hussing, Emily Hussing
August 18, 2016 - Haiti
My husband (John Clark) and I started coming to NPH four years ago. We generally come two to three times a year and for the first two years I assisted John at St Damienís with his heart clinic. A couple years ago he decided to start bringing resident doctors from Akron Childrenís Hospital to assist him. As I was no longer going to be assisting, I started asking around to see if there were any other ways I could help.
I spoke to Gena and she mentioned that they had a need for an eye doctor. Though my undergraduate studies were in chemistry, I decided to broaden my scope to optometry. After my training, I contacted Gena and others at NPH and began running vision clinics at Kenscoff, Kay Germaine, St Damienís and FWAL. I have always brought one of my college-aged children to assist me, and continued to ask doctors I knew in the states to consider coming. This last trip I finally had a doctor agree to come, Dr Scott Hussing. During the week of the 23rd to 27th of May, we worked in Kay Germaine, Kay Ste. Simone and Ste. Helene Orphanage. Dr. Hussingís expertise and experience was extremely valuable, especially because we saw many special cases. I also appreciate the assistance of Andrew, Emily and all others who have joined me in assisting with the vision clinics. Dr. Hussing has agreed to continue to come on future trips.
Change happens slow in Haiti. The biggest changes Iíve seen are improvements at St Damienís (including staff training in the states, donated medical equipment, missionary surgeons, etc.), safety concerns and improved facilities for the missionaries at Village Francesca.
I recognize Haiti as the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere. Many Haitians lack basic needs such as health care, food and clean water, housing, education and employment. Living in the states all my life, this was a harsh reality to experience.
We have hosted several Haitian pediatric heart patients and doctors to our home in Ohio, and I have come to know and understand the people, government and culture a little better. I realize that there are many good and faithful people living with injustice and adjunct poverty.
I realize my efforts are a drop in the bucket, but if I can even make a slight difference for a few people I will keep coming. I think we are all called to love and support NPH in whatever ways we are able to.
Communication Manager at Kay Germaine