Welcome Back Dr. Cruz Colon, Dr. Gabay and Dr. Kasner: Mission Trip to Peru Accomplished!
Three of our doctors just returned from an incredible experience in South America.
Dr. Cristobal Cruz Colon planned, organized and coordinated an incredible mission trip to Chulucana, Peru. He brought two of his partners with him from our office, The Center for Excellence in Eye Care: Dr. Jack Gabay and Dr. Louis Kasner. Dr. Kasner brought along his technician, Connie, to help in surgery as well.
Along with multiple other amazing people who gave back to this community, including some incredible student doctors, our doctors were able to contribute to the vision of these wonderful patients who needed help ever so desperately.
“One of the cataracts Dr. Kasner removed looked like a black rock” said Dr. Jack Gabay explaining how many hypermature cataracts were found while in surgery there. When a cataract develops and remains inside of a patient’s eye for a long period of time without removal, it becomes harder, denser, and hence, much harder to remove for a surgeon. This can lead to a lot more potential complications that we fortunately don’t face as much here in our community where we have much more access to medical care.
“In total, we performed 90 surgeries.” Dr. Gabay performed 50 pterygium removals and Dr. Kasner performed almost 40 cataract procedures! To add to the difficulty and risks of operating on patients who were long overdue for surgery, we also need to keep in mind that these surgeries were all done in an operating room that is very different from our air-conditioned, perfectly comfortable Operating Room we are so used to here in Miami, FL!
Besides the long flights, layovers and the many mosquitoes that made their presence known during their stay, these 3 physicians with all the staff were nothing but happy and enthusiastic about how amazing their experience was doing what they did for these grateful people in Peru.
Dr. Cruz Colon also monitored two other clinics on this mission trip, a dentistry mission and an internal medicine clinic, along with the ophthalmology clinic that our doctors were a part of. We were so proud to hear they were all given awards for their kind efforts at the Mayor’s office on one of the evenings after surgery was over.
The truest and best award was in front of them in the smiles and hugs they received from each and every one of the 90 patients who had surgery in Peru. Dr. Gabay said it best, when he shared what he called the ”multiply effect”.
“Yes, the 90 patients who had surgery could say their lives have changed, but that number is multiplied when we noticed how it affected all of their families. Caring for a blind family member is overwhelming and the benefits felt by all these people was so gratifying. This trip affected hundreds of people. Our missions were all met. We did 90 surgeries in four days, we got there and got back safely with no incidents and the sense of gratification felt by our entire team was incredible.”