A doctor acquaintance from the States, and his family, spent their vacation here, with the purpose of supplying some urgent medical needs for children in Saltillo. Dr. John is a Prosthesis Technician, and accompanied us to 3 outlying towns to visit the children and measure their eyes, and then later made the prosthesis in his portable lab. We had a reporter who took an interest in this story and ran two articles about his visit and the personal families.
One boy was attacked by a rooster when just over a year old and has been blind in one eye since. Now 7 years old, he has excelled in his school and even baseball but suffered many attacks on his self-esteem from fellow classmates. Now he has a perfectly normal appearance and also the bones and muscles around his eye are supported and able to form properly.
Another 7 year old boy was born prematurely and both his retinas detached when he was a baby. Dr. Jon fitted already made prosthesis for him, the exact fit and color.
Another woman who suffered cancer as a child saw the newspaper articles that were published and quickly traced us to ask if she could also be a recipient of these artificial eyes. She came to Dr. John's hotel for the final fit and left a happy new person. Her husband commented that her eyes shine now and look so lively.
We have been able to help over 40 patients with prosthetic eyes and 12 patients with prosthetic limbs. The actual cost of a prosthetic eye is $1,800 dollars and prosthetic limbs range from $5,000 – $10,000 depending on the inclusion of the knee. These prosthetics come donated from a private prosthetic clinic in Texas and the doctor takes one week off to help fabricate and fit these to the chosen candidates.
Our role at Silver Lining is to interview the candidates and their families, fill out a survey with them, present their need via internet to receive approval, and then provide liaison between the rehab hospital, health department and the doctors, plus provide continual translation services during the doctor's visit.
Every story is different but each expresses both such heartache in their lives and new joy after their free eye prosthesis. Among those receiving help:
Christina, a 36 year-old mother of 4 children, who was never able to afford a prosthesis since her accident at 6 years of age when she fell in a ditch and a steel pole poked her eye. When she tried on her new artificial eye, she wept for joy at the change in her countenance.
Juan Pablo's wife learned about our mission from a newspaper article (see above) and came swiftly to the hospital to see if her husband could get a new eye. We explained that it takes 2 days to fabricate an eye and I would ask the doctor about it as Dr. John was leaving the following day. After studying the situation, Dr. John said that he thought he had one that would fit and match in color and dear Juan was able to walk away with a beautiful eye. Juan explained that when he was 13 years old and helping with the animals on the ranch, barb wire had blinded his eye. He shared, " 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 be treated like a human being" He stared at his eye for a long time and left the office dazed and happy for a new start on life.
You can help SPONSOR an eye prosthetic! Below are some of our next candidates. (Or ask about helping with a leg prosthetic.)
Cesia Galilea- (Above) Presently 20 months old, who was earlier operated on and her right eye removed due to cancer. Her parents have no financial means to pay for a prosthetic eye here in Mexico.
Jacob Nava- (Above) Jacob contacted us through some mutual friends and lives in Matamoros, near the border of Texas. Jacob had an accident at 2 years of age, when a teenager was swinging a branch with thorns on it and hit Jacob in the eye. The fluid emptied and he has been blind in that eye since. His parents nor he have never been able to afford an eye prosthetic.
Jose Luis- (Above) When he was 15 yrs old, his retina had displaced and he went into the hospital for an operation but unfortunately the healthy eye was mistakenly removed! He has never had an eye prosthetic, and is now a husband and soon to be a new father.
How can YOU help? Even just $50.00 toward the research expenses, office expenses and transportation toward each patient will multiply the blessing in their life 100 fold. We of Silver Lining gladly donate our time and effort and if we can count on you to help with these fringe expenses these so valuable prosthetics can reach the people of Mexico.