In January 2023, Eversight provided donor corneas for a medical mission to Kisii, Kenya led by Eversight surgeon Michael Seward, MD, of Great Lakes Eye Care in St. Joseph, Mich.
Eversight provided the medical mission with tissues for patients at Kisii Eye Hospital in Kisii, Kenya, the success of which cannot be credited to any one person.
The mission was also supported by two Rwandan ophthalmology residents; Patrick Ruhagaze, MD, the Kisii Eye Hospital surgeon in charge of receiving the tissues and a previous International Council of Ophthalmology cornea fellow at U-M Kellogg Eye Center; and Miles Greenwald, MD, a cornea fellow from U-M Kellogg Eye Center. All collaborated with supporting care team members to make these sight-restoring transplants possible.
“I was impressed by the skill and efficiency of the surgeons who managed to do six penetrating keratoplasty procedures within approximately 24 hours, while still balancing the ongoing work of the clinic,” Dr. Seward said.
Not only were six Kenyans lives transformed, including two children, but this collaboration was also a great opportunity for each surgeon to learn from one another.
“I marveled that Dr. Ruhagaze, already a highly skilled surgeon with obvious experience, was still hungry to learn any pearls that he could from Dr. Greenwald,” he said. “Dr. Greenwald was able to teach effectively, and yet also yield to Dr. Ruhagaze when there were important social or financial considerations involving his patients.”
Dr. Seward said it was a beautiful partnership and the two Rwandan residents also had a unique opportunity to be involved in cornea transplant surgery.
“Our purpose is to empower people and transform lives through building authentic relationships,” said Ebony Johnson, the Eversight Partner Relations Director who coordinated the tissue for Dr. Seward. “These medical missions allow us to do just that through sight-restoring transplants.”
When possible, Eversight provides charitable tissues to surgeons for medical missions to further our mission of restoring sight and preventing blindness through the healing power of donation, transplantation and research. With the help of surgeons who are willing to give their time and expertise to provide the gift of sight, Eversight strives toward making vision a reality for more people worldwide.
You, too, can help Eversight make vision a reality through medical missions by contributing financially to support our work. Give today!