How the Church Is Helping the Blind to See in South America

by | Oct. 23, 2018

Mormon Life

This article beautifully captures the good the Church and others are making possible throughout the world.

Through a state-of-the-art microscope, a surgeon gazed steadily Monday at a cloudy cataract blinding the eye of the impoverished woman on his operating table in this city of half a million people.

Cautiously, Dr. Miguel Scalamogna began to make skillful, tiny, meticulous incisions in her eye. One floor below a loud throng of impoverished Paraguayans filled the lobby and hallway of Fundación Visión. Many were working their way through the process of applying for a $7 eye exam they could not afford.

Others were somewhere on a journey from that exam to the quiet operating room upstairs and the microscope provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that plays a vital role in about half of all cataract surgeries in this nation of 6.9 million people.

"There's no room for error," said the church's prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, on Monday night as the retired world-renowned heart surgeon left a news conference following a devotional address he gave at the Conmebol Convention Center. "The doctor must be very precise." . . .

Back in the operating room, Scalamogna broke up the woman's cloudy lens, painstakingly removed the pieces from her eye and placed an artificial lens in its place behind her iris and pupil.

As he cauterized the incisions, wisps of smoke rose above the woman's face. To the surgeon's right, another doctor began the same procedure on an older man. He peered through a second Zeiss microscope, one of several "machines provided by the Mormons," Jorge Medina, a registered nurse, said in Spanish.

"Without them, we cannot perform this surgery," he said.

Outside, the building's cornerstone bore an inscription: "I was blind, now I see."

Lead image by  Jeffrey D. Allred, story by Tad Walch, Deseret News
Read the rest of this story at deseret.com
Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com