New Eyes, New Outlooks: An eye prosthetics project

Kristen Zaldivar of Silver Lining (left), together with Dr. Brinkley and eye prosthesis recipient.

Before:Christina, mother of four, lost the use of one eye at age six and could never afford medical attention.

After: Christina wept for joy at the change in her appearance when she received her prosthetic eye.

Silver Lining, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico

In a project that could aptly be dubbed, “New Eyes, New Outlooks”, Dr. John Brinkley, in collaboration with Saltillo based FCF partner project Silver Lining, has for the second year in a row, visited Saltillo to fit underprivileged patients with needed eye prosthetics. For individuals whose mental, emotional and social wellbeing’s have often been equally affected by their unfortunate physical marring, the results have been outstanding.

Kristen Zaldivar, Project Manager for Silver Lining, who coordinates and oversees this ongoing project, shares the following:

“After receiving Health Department approval and acknowledgement of Dr. Brinkley’s visit, we were then able to gain the use of hospital facilities at which to receive & fit patients. This has been a great improvement over the previous year, when we actually traveled to outlying towns to visit with potential patients and things had to be done and made much more ‘on-the-fly’, so to speak.”

Here is a sampling of the many varying stories of the people who received free eye prosthesis:

-Christina (36), mother of 4 children, could never afford a prosthesis since having her accident at age 6, when she fell in a ditch and a steel pole poked her eye. When she tried on her new eye she wept for joy at the change in her countenance.

- Angel (8 years old) received his prosthesis last year. Angel’s personality has really changed over this last year. He plays baseball now and proudly tells everyone about his new eye.

- Edgar, (8) had an eye disease when he was young and had prosthesis but it was very small. Dr. Brinkley was able to amplify the one he had so his face could continue to grow in proportion to the eyes.

-Juan Pablo, was 13 years old and helping with the animals on the ranch when he broke some barb wire while opening a door which blinded his eye. He said" I sunk into extreme depression after the accident where I would not leave my room and grew my hair over my face so no one would see my blind eye. I only wanted everyone to look at me the same as everyone else and to treat me like a human being". Juan stared at his new prosthetic eye for a long time, almost in disbelief at his good fortune, and left the office dazed and happy for a new start on life.

Silver Lining is a missionary work dedicated to the needy of Satillo, Mexico.