Mission of Mercy: Eye Clinic - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Mission of Mercy: Eye Clinic

By: Dawn Baker - bio| email

KONONGO VILLAGE, GHANA (WTOC) - Emily Piez checks to see if the patients can see with their new glasses.

"It is ok? Can you see? Yes!"

This was the scene all week long patient after patient coming in with vision problems, but leaving with better sight.

"I couldn't see properly because when they are writing on the board I couldn't see anything," said Elemia Barry. "I was sitting in front of the chalkboard and I still couldn't see."

Barry's grades started to fall; she went from the head of her class to third because she couldn't see well.

"But Tuesday I came here I've been given a reading glass and I can see perfectly and I feel great and I hope this time I can get the first position in my class," she said. "I thank you all for helping me."

The success stories came from people of every age.

"I see all the people here, but without the glasses," said one man. "Without the glasses I can't see anything."

By the end of the week 1,164 people had new eyeglasses; and many were seeing clearly for the first time in years.

"It's very tiring but at the end of the day we get to help people see we get to help them read," said Optician Ryan Trettien. "It's a great privilege to be back here in be in Ghana helping the great people. I am just glad to be here and help in any way that I can."

Trettien led the team of volunteers at the eye clinic. Being an optician was a very important job in the village because most of the 30,000 will not have access to an eye doctor when the medical mission is over. The people were thrilled.

"They are helping us. They are good. May God bless them. They have treated us well. We thank God they have come to treat us," said one patient.

The volunteers were equally excited about the help they were able to give to the gracious people who needed a helping hand.

"I think there were 2 take aways for me. One was the people who came in, especially the children, who couldn't see their textbook to blackboard. At the end of the day they could see the textbook and they could see the blackboard," said Paul Hinchey. "That was powerful. That day that happened. For the elderly people, we scheduled a number of them for cataract surgery. Because there is no safety net and older child ends up taking care of a parent so when something like this happens it affects 2 people. So you are really changing two lives not one."

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