Medical Missions

Medical Missions

Helen Keller


… was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia,Alabama. At the age of two, she fell ill and was struck blind, deaf and mute. Still, at a young age, Keller was helped by her teacher, Anne Sullivan, who allowed her to make tremendous progress with her ability to communicate. Keller went on to college, graduating in 1904. In 1920, she helped found the ACLU. During her remarkable life, Keller has received many honors in recognition of her many accomplishments. She stands as a powerful example of how determination, hard work, and imagination can allow an individual to triumph over adversity. By overcoming difficult conditions with a great deal of persistence, she grew into a respected and world-renowned activist who labored for the betterment of others.

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Richard Hill, M.D.


Rick Hill had no idea how much his life would change almost eight years ago on that fateful Friday night when he received a page from Dr. Roger Ohanesian. Roger asked Rick if he would see Christine, a 13-year-old patient. She already had three surgeries in her left eye. Rick immediately agreed. Then Roger told him that not only was the patient in Armenia, but that they must leave the following Wednesday. “No problem,” Rick responded. When people hear this story, they often question Dr. Hill about why he so readily agreed to fly to Armenia on a moment’s notice. “I can tell you there is no thought, only a feeling of what must be done,” he responds.

Cataracts


Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the world and in Armenia.

As the population begins to age and life expectancy increases, it is imperative that Armenia address cataract surgical coverage. Today approximately 91,000 Armenians or 30 percent of the population, age 65 and over, have cataracts in one or both eyes, causing partial or complete blindness. By 2050, a little more than 30 years from now, that number will more than double – an increase of nearly 150 percent or 221,200 Armenians. Because cataract surgery is so limited in Armenia – just 24 percent coverage – most people (76 percent) go without care leaving thousands visually disabled. In the United States people accept cataract surgery as a part of aging and it is a very common procedure. Sadly, in Armenia, many people accept blindness as a part of growing older because they have no access to cataract surgery.

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Umud Hambardzumyan


Two years ago, Umud started to have problems with his eyes. It started with a cataract and then many other problems started to occur with his vision. As the complications mounted, the doctors had no choice but to remove his corneas. “It has been seven months since I was able to see at all. After doctors removed my corneas, my only hope for being able to see again was to wait for the corneal transplants. It is very hard to lose your sight all of a sudden. I have already started to forget the faces of my dear ones in my memory,” said Umud.

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Where We Work


armenia