Eye Expedition to Mali

Our son, Adam in Mali, helping others see their beautiful world.

Our son, Adam in Mali, helping others see their beautiful world.

Here’s from the Provo and Salt Lake papers this week.  Looks like we got a little news coverage from the Daily Herald online issue, May 2–http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/central/provo/provo-doctors-help-to-bring-eyesight-to-mali/article_ef6bf26e-b356-11e2-95eb-001a4bcf887a.html

And from the Deseret News today, May 3–online and in print:


This eye expedition was a few months ago.  I’d like to post a few photos from that experience to give you an idea of what it was like to be there and witness sight returning to many who have lived in darkness.  In one week we did 37 cataract surgeries and fit more than 800 people for glasses.

Meet Maetsata, a 13  year old born with congenital cataracts in both eyes.  She has never been able to see her mother’s face.

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Her first cataract is removed by Dr. Paul Olsen:

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This is the removed cataract.  It looks like a brown split pea.Eye Expedition  (23)

Adam and Maetsata after her first surgery.

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Taking Maetsata back to our compound for the night.  In the morning, she saw through that eye for the first time.

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We saw every imaginable eye problem.  Here is a very mature cataract.Eye Expedition  (1)

Here is a woman with a tumor above her eye and a man who also suffers from leprosy:

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With all the dust and smoke in the air (out door cooking fires), many suffer eye ailments.Eye Expedition  (5)

We took about 1500 pair of glasses with us and helped to fit them to people of all ages.   Some of them danced for joy when they were able to read again or see more clearly the faces of loved ones!

Eye Expedition  (14) Eye Expedition  (13) Eye Expedition  (12) Eye Expedition  (11) Eye Expedition  (10) Eye Expedition  (9)Eye Expedition Dec 2012 (2)Eye Expedition...  (7)Eye Expedition  (8)Eye Expedition  (2)Eye Expedition  (16)Eye Expedition  (4) Eye Expedition...  (6) Eye Expedition  (21)Eye Expedition...  (5) Eye Expedition...  (4)  Eye Expedition  (27)Eye Expedition...  (3) Eye Expedition. .  (2)Eye Expedition  (30)Eye Expedition...  (2)Eye Expedition... (1)Eye Expedition... (2)Doctor Olsen removed Maetsata’s second cataract later in the week.  Both surgeries were successful.  She rested in our compound between the surgeries.  Every day we’d come home exhausted, but excited to see her progress.  She’d usually be sitting under the mango tree, looking up into the branches, taking it all in.  When she was healed enough to return to her village, 220 miles away, we all gathered to say good bye and wish her well.  The village Iman came to thank us and help see her back to her village.  He’d come to witness the miracles.  He said the village would celebrate for an entire week at her return. Then Maetsata got on the back of her uncle’s motorcycle and drove out of our compound. I wish I could have been there to watch her see her mother’s face, her siblings, and her friends for the first time.
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It was a week filled with one miracle after the next.  Exhausting and exhilerating.   It was great to be there with John and Adam and the rest of the medical team.  We are all itching to go back as soon as the political unrest settles down a bit.  The work we did was just a drop in the bucket.  We must return.

A thank you gift from one of the villages where we did eye screenings:

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About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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