Why we are the “Knights of the Blind”

Recently I had the incredible experience of supporting a sight mission in Tirana.
I was asked by some USA Lions, that I know, if I could give them some advice. I did this once before in Bosnia but this time I rose to the challenge and went and joined them.
The lonely Brit joined 14 specialist sight Drs and 34 Technicians that paid their own way and traveled from California to Tirana where I met them. I mustered some support from local Lions but also some amazing Leos. Working with local Government expectations and their understanding as support we had a target to carry out 6000 eye examinations. 16000 pairs of recycled specs came through customs thankfully and joined us for the mission. To cut a long story short, in dusty and crude conditions (anybody on my FB will have seen) and working from 06.30am until nightfall we had crowd control, translation and a unique team which eventually performed an amazing 7179 camera and follow up examinations. We presented spectacles that had been neutralised and re-prescribed. We uncovered cases of Glaucoma, Macular, Diabetes and retinopathy, Cataract, Strabismus and other things I can’t spell.
You can see two pictures below, the lady in yellow(mustard)  and the picture of the man. Both of these people would be certified as blind in the USA and the UK. We gave them sight!!!  Pretty powerful stuff, lots of tears even from the Drs.
A mission packed with emotion ...............
We found 6 kids with Strabismus and that's operable, see the two pictures of the beautiful child in red.  I have vowed to get those children the operation that would help them grow up with a normal life. I promised the father of that girl. We know its a few thousand US$ and I have pledges from a few countries (as per my FB) amounting to approximately $6000 so far. So I started the appeal and its doing ok but a long way to go. I am currently working with two hospitals that can perform the operations needed and provide the aftercare required for the patient and a parent. Its the journey time we have to analyse.
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