Thankful Thursday -- Tri-City eyes surgeons and helpers volunteer to restored sight in Ethiopia

May 16, 2013 

Gift of sight

Dr. James Guzek, an eye surgeon employed by Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute and his team of volunteers recently returned from his fifth eye clinic in Dembi Dolo, a small village in western Ethiopia.

Guzek has been restoring sight to the poor people blind with cataracts in Ethiopia since 2010. This year, he teamed with Dr. Samuel Bora, an Ethiopian eye surgeon.

During the five days of surgery, Guzek and Bora restored sight to 184 people. There are still several thousand people blinded by cataracts in the region. There are no cataract blind people in the United States.

Not only have people had their sight restored, they also have had hope and the ability to contribute to their family and community restored. An added bonus is the fact a child is freed from having to care for a blind family member and can return to school.

This year's team was composed of several from the Tri-Cities: Guzek, Dr. Brian Johnson, Dr. Gerry Wadtli, Lorraine Cooper, Bud Knore and Don Pratt. All team members had an amazing experience getting to know the people and culture of Ethiopia.

Members of the team paid for their expenses. The Tri-Cities Sunrise Rotary Club provides major financial support for this humanitarian project.

Additional information and a video of Guzek's project is available on the internet at www.giftingsight.org.

DON MIKSCH, Kennewick

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