Why Doctors Volunteer
A Mark on Our Hearts That Is Unforgettable
Why do Roger Ohanesian, Rick Hill and all the others travel to Armenia, at their own expense, twice a year to provide eye care? It’s the people. People ask me what is in it for me,” said Rick Hill. “It’s not me. It the child going blind and that’s not going to happen here,” he says. “It’s not going to happen on my watch.”
Blindness is devastating for anyone at any age, but there is so much hope — 80 percent of blindness is preventable or treatable. Roger Ohanesian talks about the level of trust Armenians have in the American doctors and what Americans can do. Sometimes the expectations are unrealistic.
Dr. Ohanesian tells the story of a young father who brought his son to him in Armenia to restore his eyesight. The boy had a horrific infection and he had to have both eyes removed leaving him blind. When Dr. Ohanesian said there was no way he could help the father responded, “But I thought you brought new eyes from America.”
Each of the doctors have special stories they like to tell about the rewards of serving in Armenia. Dr. John Hovanesian said, “Our visit left a mark on our hearts that is unforgettable.”