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Middlesex Eye Physicians Views Their Careers Through the Lens of Community Service 

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Dr. Yap Travels to the Andes Mountains to Treat Visual Disorders


Day one: 

Our team of volunteers saw approximately 115 patients today inside a small church located in an Indian village some 12,000 ft atop the Andes Mountains. Great success. It went smoothly. The views were breathtaking. The people are very kind and grateful for our services.

Day two:

Our team saw a total of 150 patients today. We set up a tent as our exam area. Another great day. Lots of cataracts and pterygia. There are many relatively active volcanoes in the Andes, and we’re finding many ocular issues related to past volcanic events that the people have lived through.

Day Three:

The FIBUSPAM team examined 140 patients, and there were more children today. Existing near the equator is very apparent in the number of patients with visually significant cataracts. The genetic isolation of the population is also notable in the refractive error patterns from one village to another. 
The breathtaking views and the warmth of the indigenous people never ceases to impress.
Random thoughts of the day: There are a lot of stray dogs here. It’s never too early to protect your eyes from the sun. Clean running water is a luxury.

Day Four:

Today presented with different kinds of challenges. We safely traversed a landslide, but not without apprehension, considering we were on the edge of a cliff in the Andes Highlands. The village seemed to be located above the clouds. Our very first patient was a five year old boy with congenital glaucoma which will require surgical intervention. Heartbreaking. We wish him and his family all the best during his surgery in July. 
Today we parted ways with the very special ladies of the Rotary clubs of Simsbury, Granby, and New Britain, Connecticut. What an amazing group of people. It was an honor to have worked alongside them. Looking forward to working with all of you in the future. 
A special thanks to Paul Martel, the founder and fearless leader of FIBUSPAM, for bringing this team together to embark on this wonderful journey.
Random thoughts of the day: I prefer cliff views from the top, and I much prefer mudslides on the rocks at a bar. Vision is so precious; never take it for granted.

Day Five:

Today was our last day of clinic in Ecuador. We examined two congenitally blind children, saw the most extensive pterygium that Dr. Schwartz or I have ever seen, several traumatic cataracts, severe stage glaucoma, and significant corneal scars. It was a productive and educational day. 

Thank you, Dr. Elwin and Cheryl Schwartz for inviting me to participate in this incredible medical mission. I was also fortunate to meet professor Ray Dennis, and two of his student opticians Sharon Perkins and Savannah Mohan of Middlesex Community College. I cannot say enough great things about the FIBUSPAM team, and the founder Paul Martel. I can only hope to join your ranks one day. 

There is no better way to see the world than through the eyes of the native, and doing so while helping those in need. 

Thought of the day: Happiness is a state of mind. Glasses change lives. See well. Be well. Spread the love.

Dr. Raji of Middlesex Eye Physicians Gives Back in a Recent Trip to Ecuador