This fall, Oregon Eye Specialists doctors Dan Brown and Eric Brown teamed up on a medical mission to a small mountain town near Montego Bay, Jamaica. The mission was sponsored by Great Shape—iCare, which provides eye exams, glasses and much-needed treatments to people in Jamaica.
In this region, it is common to see patients 50 or older who have never had an eye exam. Some people travel five hours or more to attend the clinic. In just under a week, the iCare clinic team saw more than 1,800 patients and provided thousands of pairs of free glasses, many to children who could not see well enough to read the blackboard in school. They went home with glasses that will open up a new world of learning.
The small surgical team performed cataract surgeries at Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay. “We were able to help 33 patients in just four days, which is a real accomplishment,” said Dr.Dan Brown. The hospital’s normal capacity is just seven cataract surgeries a week. Patients may wait more than a year for surgery, and some lose vision as their cataracts become severe.
The iCare team also screens patients for high blood pressure and diabetes, and refers them to the local hospital for immediate care. Both doctors have made this trip for several years—2014 was Dr. Dan’s sixth year and Dr. Eric’s third. “It’s an incredibly moving and humbling experience to witness the joy a new pair of glasses bring someone who is often seeing for the first time in their life,” said Dr. Eric Brown.