Once in a while it’s nice to look back to one of our previous patients to see how they’re doing.
We first saw Santiago in 2003. He came to see us because his vision was failing and he hoped we might have some glasses to help him. Instead, we found that significant cataracts were limiting his vision. Santiago said, “I often fall on the steep and uneven path on the way to my farmland [parcela], because I don’t see the holes and bumps, especially in dim light of early morning and evening.”
Santiago was in his mid-60’s then and he had children still in school. He was worried that he wouldn’t be able to continue to work; to plant, grow and harvest food for his wife and children. The worry would often lead him to tears.
We arranged an appointment for Santiago at an eye clinic in Guatemala City to have his cataracts removed.
When I saw him a year later he was seeing well again. His cataract surgeries were a success and Enfoque Ixcán only had to pay less than $300 for them. He was happy to be able to work without so much risk of falling and injuring himself. His family was happy too.
In February of this year when I was examining eyes at the health post in Santiago’s village, I saw him approaching. He didn’t look much different than on our first meeting 10 year before, except that he was walking confidently. He came to see me to thank Enfoque Ixcán once again for his eye surgeries. Now, in his 70’s, Santiago is still working in his parcela growing food for sale and to feed his family.
For only $300 in donations Santiago’s life had been turned around. He’s still enjoying good vision 10 years later.
– Dr. Scott Pike
May 2, 2014