From darkness into light
Over the past eight years Sr. Juan Carlos‘* eyesight has got and worse. At the beginning of 2021 he could hardly see anything and his wife had to accompany him wherever he went. Finally, he went to a state hospital in Espinar (Southern Peru) to find help.
“You have cataract”, he was told by the doctors, “go to Curahuasi and have the operation at the Hospital Diospi Suyana!”
Two weeks later he and his wife arrived. He shuffled along, bent over, cautiously feeling what was ahead of his. His wife held his arm firmly. A man, totally dependent on the help of others.
Indeed, it was easy to recognise the cataract in both eyes. In his left eye the patient also had advanced glaucoma that causes irreversible damage to the nerve fibres. But the operation of his right eye had good chances of success.
Don Juan is lying on the operating table. Missionary doctor Ursula Buck folds her hands and asks for God’s blessing. It is this act of faith that creates trust with the patients. Like Juan Carlos they have come from far away, because they know that a missionary hospital is not driven by the financial bottom line, but by the practical love of Christ.
When the bandage was removed the next day, he joyfully exclaimed: “I can see!”
Dr Buck, who has spent a decade working at the missionary hospital Diospi Suyana and is supported by a private circle of friends, found the following words:
“Only someone who was blind himself can fathom what this sentence really means. Having regained his eyesight Sr. Juan Carlos can now walk on his own again. He is able to stand up and recognises the chair on which he will sit down. He can go to the toilet and get dressed by himself without the help of others. When he enters a room, he finally knows who is in the room and where there is a space for him to sit down.
Juan can look into the faces of loved ones; what a blessing! He can look into the eyes of his wife, his children and his grandchildren. The facial expressions of his counterpart show him their reactions to what he is saying. He can enjoy the colourful world around him. Now it is not so easy to rip him off, since Juan can see and count the coins lying on the counter.
His eyesight enables him to step out of his social isolation and play an active role in his family and neighbourhood. In three short words the change in his life can be described: Joy, relief and thankfulness!”