As we continue our series on student mission trips through SVOSH, we share the stories that came from Northestern State University’s Oklahoma College of Optometry. CooperVision is proud to sponsor these trips at every school and college of optometry in the U.S. that has an SVOSH chapter. Read on for some of the participants’ accounts of their life-changing experience in Roatan, Honduras.
“We live in a world today where people are unhappy if they get a blue frame instead of purple, or if their segment heights are two millimeters too high. These people shed tears of joy when they were able to a put a frame on of any style that had their correct prescription. Their smiles brought joy to my heart.”
“I met a young boy who showed up to our clinic to get his eyes checked so he could get sunglasses. But we discovered something this little boy had no idea about; this young boy was completely blind in one eye from getting hit with a pebble. His parents weren’t with him so I asked him where they were. He said that his dad was working and his mom was at home. I then went on to ask him if he could take me to his home so I could tell his mom what we had found. I think telling his mom that his son was blind in one eye was one of the hardest things I have ever done. His mom didn’t even realize he had ever gotten hurt. This experience is definitely something I will never forget and is getting me prepared for my profession.”
“One of the most memorable moments in clinic was being able to write a glasses prescription for a little girl who, when she first arrived was very shy and kept her head down. After the students at the dispensary found a pair of glasses that worked exceptionally well for her, she perked up, put on a huge smile, and ran & played all around the church. It was so amazing to be able to witness just how much of an impact good vision can have. Maybe even more so, it was amazing to see what kind of impact we made on people just in showing love to them and being willing to come and to serve.”
“This was my first mission trip providing eye care, and is one of the main reasons that I chose this profession. One of my favorite memories from the trip was helping a little boy get some glasses who has never worn them before and never experienced what it is like to have clear vision. Just seeing the joy on his face when I put the glasses on him made the entire trip so worth it!”
“One of my favorite moments of the trip was working with an aphakic patient (he has had cataract surgery but did not get a new lens implanted where the cataract was so his prescription is very high). His glasses were old, scratched, and nearly falling apart. We updated his prescription, improved his vision by about twice of what it was, and even had a pair of glasses in our inventory that fit his needs perfectly. The patient wished his blessings to every person he worked with, but his gracious smile when he received his new lenses was enough thanks for me personally.”