Here´s another example of just how amazing medical missions are. The last mission I worked with changed lives in just a few hours of surgery. Dominicans´ faces, mouths, arms, hands, and feet were made functional once again. Parents were so thankful for all the miracles the medical team performed in those short two weeks. Peace Corps volunteers served as translators for the dominican patients and the American doctors and nurses. We were all glowing with pride at the end of the mission, seeing just how much our hard work had paid off.
Peace Corps accompanies seven medical missions throughout the year ranging from general health to plastic surgery. Currently there is a mission near Santiago performing various types of eye surgeries, regular checkups, as well as giving out glasses for those who need them. For the past year I had been waiting for this mission to come back to Santiago to see if they could help my little vecina, Yisneris. She was born with estravismo, basically cross-eyed, but more everywhere unpredictable eyes. In order for her to focus on anything just a few feet away, she would tilt her head back and look down her nose. The local doctors were worried that if they didn´t operate soon she would end up with some form of brain damage. At 3 months, they gave her an eye patch with hope here eyes would correct themselves, but 2 years later and her they are still as crooked as when she was born. So we jumped on the chance that this mission might be able to squeeze her in to their schedule. After a month of e-mails and phone calls we made the list. I accompanied Yisneris and her mom the day of their surgery and que emoción. To see this little girls life change in just a short hour. Of course, Yisneris could really care less now, but it will make all the difference once she starts school. So many kids are made fun of their entire lives for something that could be fixed in just an hour.
She went into the OR screaming and came out pissed (she wanted her leche) but her eyes were perfectly striaght and moving in unison. Increíble. We are all so grateful for the organizations who work together to make missions like these possible.