How fortunate we are. As I sit here reflecting and reminiscing on the adventure that was Eyes on China – Gansu, I can’t help but feel so very blessed. That the pictures in my head, the emotions in my heart can be translated into words on a page- that they may be seen is already a most humbling experience. Oh what a shame it is when we do not appreciate such wonderful things in this life.
The statistics are now a little hazy, but it was something like, 4days, 5nights, 7 surgeons, 15 nurses, 35 crescent blades, 380 lens, 500 gowns, 1000 pairs of gloves, 15000 kilometres, a whole lot of other things and a lifetime of memories- this was Eyes on China Gansu.? But before all of this, there is ACPPRC. A group dedicated to the service of others, for the good of the people of China, but even more so for the common good of all humanity. Who am I, that they would privilege me with such an opportunity? Having never gone to Rural Gansu China, never set foot in an operating theatre, no training in medical sciences, surrounded by a group of amazingly skilled surgeons, nurses, doctors, and a culture and language so different to my own, I am not even sure how I ended up there- All I know is, I am so glad I did.
The experience was amazing. In fact there are too many things to put pen to paper. If you have never seen a cataracts operation live, you should. There I was getting the nod of approval from Dr. Schiller to hold onto the sticky tape that kept the microscope in place,omega replica
in the makeshift operating theatre, an arms length to the side and behind of the next operating bed- about? to witness one of the most inspiring things of my life. In front of me lay a 72year old man who in full trust lay still not knowing who or what was about to happen to him except that in a few weeks he would be able to see again. Sitting there, I watched on in awe as I saw Dr. Schiller literally cut open the eye ball (these are of course all the technical medical terms) and remove what looked and felt like a white M&M, the cataract. It was in that moment you could actually see the colour of his eye come back – not that the colour ever left his eye, but for however many years it was being blocked by this cataract. In that very moment the colour in his life had also come back and then we would do this all over again.
We would do this from 8 to 6, with a team of local doctors and nurses, seeing 100 patients each day. The trip was not just physically testing, but also emotionally and mentally testing. But so very rewarding. Getting to know the local doctors and nurses was also an enriching experience. They would be the first to arrive and the last to leave. The nurses were also such quick learners. Not only were there language barriers but the instruments, procedures, styles were all new to them. However within the first hour, they were working with us without instruction and in fact were more organized and efficient than we could have ever been. There is a lot we could all learn from their attitude and work ethic.
All in all, I received a lot of thank yous and nods of approval and blessings from the people in Gansu, for the little that I did. But really, I honestly feel that I should be thanking them. I am so blessed to have had such an experience and opportunity. That I have a chance to actively give back and help others in a real and practical way is just wonderful. Aside from that though, only spending 5days in Gansu, it really is just like a holiday. If there’s something I don’t like, I would just put up with it and then it will be all over and will never see them again nor have anything to worry about anymore- but the local nurses and local doctors, are working each and everyday, in the proverbial trenches, to help and care and support the people of Gansu. They are the ones who are now looking after the patients we have helped; they are the ones who will continue looking after the people of the town. They are the ones who should be thanked for they are the ones who are transforming the lives around them- mine included.