A group of local health care professionals have just returned from a medical mission trip to a remote area in Honduras where they provided essential healthcare services for a group of patients in serious need.
The group of workers were organized by Dee Clark and Randy Barnes, two Johnston Health employees who, a year and a half ago, recognized the need for healthcare in this impoverished country.
The two approached Dr. Dean Dornic, a local ophthalmologist who agreed to travel to Honduras to provide free medical and surgical care. Aided by corporate and individuals sponsors, the group transformed an abandoned dental clinic into an eye clinic and operating room and established a non-profit organization called the Sight Foundation.
This was the second year the volunteers made the trip to Honduras.
Dr. Dornic was joined this time by Dr. Chase Campbell, a general surgeon at Johnston Health and 15 other volunteers.
On his first day at the clinic, Dr. Campbell performed a potentially lifesaving operation on a man with an incarcerated hernia. Dr. Dornic performed over 80 eye surgeries on patients who walked for miles to receive vision saving surgery.
A number of patients received cataract surgery who had been blind for several years before being given the gift of sight at the mission.
One women had been blind for eight years and had never seen her grandchildren before her cataract surgery.
Another man, blind from cataracts, was brought into the clinic by a stranger when she found him begging in the streets. Immediately after leaving the operating room the man gleefully remarked how beautiful the women volunteers were in the clinic.
“To have the opportunity to offer such life changing care as a result of the generosity and dedication of so many donors and volunteers is truly gratifying and is perhaps as impactful on me as it is to my patients,” Dr. Dornic said. “My visits to Honduras are something I will always fondly remember.”
About Blindness in Honduras
Honduras has no ophthalmology residency programs and very few eye surgeons.
As a result, very few eye surgeries are performed and cataracts are the leading cause of blindness.
Most of the population of Honduras are dependent on medical mission trips such as those performed by the Sight Foundation. Because of the success of the program and the overwhelming need plans are already underway for a third mission trip and fundraising activities in 2018.