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On a Quest to Find Eye Patients Who Eagerly Await Help

Swazis who have vision troubles come to rural mobile hospital outreaches throughout the country throughout the year.

 
If their eye problems cannot be resolved that day with prescription or reading eyeglasses, the patients’ names, contact and medical information are carefully recorded into The Luke Commission’s database for “future assistance.”
 
Locating those patients, again, when the next CARES session begins is an ongoing lesson in perseverance and dedication by TLC staff. Indeed, “every last one” must be found. We consider these “findings” often nothing short of miracles.

Sabelo, the conductor for this day, points across the valley to the second mountain peak in the distance, and says: “Friday, we picked up 15 patients way over there.”

 
The following photos pose a preview – a peek, if you will, told in the photos’ captions – of where and how the staff travels in just one day to bring patients back to the Miracle Campus for vision testing and treatment, for cataract and other surgeries.
 
On this same day, three more TLC buses and staff ventured into other rural areas searching for those who need help the most and are least likely to receive it. 

by Janet Tuinstra

More patients than ever come to the Miracle Campus gate. On this day, 200 people come seeking help for their poor eyesight.

 

“If you wait, Mommy will go with you.” Not sure who will finish the family washing,
but the children will “make a plan.”

 

The TLC bus elicits many smiles and much curiosity about who’s coming up the road…


 

This lady (left) checks with TLC staff to see if she should come today. When they say yes, she hurries off to get her blanket, ID, and medical papers. Notice the green TLC medications’ bag, which she is still using.

This lady (right) is one of 5 caregivers scheduled to board the TLC bus this day, along with 24 patients. Usually, about 60% of those actually contacted get on the buses. Maybe the others will come the next CARES eye session…

 

"I’ll be right back. Please don’t leave.”


 

Sabelo explains in SiSwati: “Please plan to stay 4 or 5 days, so we can treat your eyes, maybe give you the ‘wash’ (cataract surgery). It’s free. You will be given food and a place to sleep.”

 

This lady is brave. She is ready and waiting to board the bus. Many patients have never been this far from home. They don’t know where they are going. They wonder who will care for the children and animals they leave behind.

 

“Bye, babe. Take care of everything while I’m gone.” This lady and her husband trust TLC, because others have come back with restored sight.

 

“Our mother said she would be here. She is hiding. She is scared.” TLC did not find her this day. Maybe the next CARES session she will come. Her name and information will be kept.

 

Some roads pass through communities, more through the country… 

 

Please take a few minutes and watch a short video featuring one of the TLC cataract patients

https://youtu.be/ok2DvBVQZpc

Copyright 2018 by The Luke Commission