At Eye Associates of Tallahassee, we love to give back to those in need. Our doctors and staff feel lucky to have access to some of the most advanced technology in the world - and for the third year in a row, we've flown our skill overseas to provide eye care for those who need it most.
This past July, 13 ophthalmologists, 4 optometrists, and 50 support staff traveled to the city of Arequipa, Peru. In two weeks, from July 22 to August 4, the team saw 3,322 patients, fit 2,482 glasses, and performed over 200 surgeries to Arequipa citizens (a city which is actually located on the side of an active volcano!)
Eye Associates of Tallahassee teamed with Medical Missionaries International (MMI) and saw between 500-600 patients each day. The team included our very own Dr. Weaver, his son Alex Weaver (pre-med student at Oxford College of Emory University) and 12 other ophthalmologists.
This trip was their third trip to Peru - 2 partnered with MMI, and one partnered with Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE). We have also operarted with World Lens Organization.
"The leading cause of blindness in the world is cataracts, but many parts of the world do not have the technology to remove them. To take someone that cannot see a hand waving in front their face to being able to see a loved one the day after surgery is a very emotional and rewarding experience.
I have been blessed to be able to have my sons join me on mission.
To be in a place where people barely have enough to survive and to be part of team to help them see again changes you. It is good for your soul; it lets you recalibrate what is truly important.
Both boys played an integral role from setting up the clinic and OR, screening patients and being my surgical assistant in surgery.
These trips are tough... hard work, long days, primitive conditions and health issues from diarrhea to altitude sickness.
I have never heard them complain. The second reason I go is for the memories made with my boys."
-Dr. Tony Weaver
Arequipa's beautiful volcanoes
Dr. Weaver and Alex
Dr. Weaver with his patients
Dr. Weaver, Alex, and their patients
Dr. Weaver and Alex scrubbing in... and ready for surgery!
Line of patients waiting out the door
...And in the waiting room!
Dr. Weaver and two of his staff members
Dr. Weaver and Alex during surgery
Dr. Weaver during surgery
Dr. Weaver and Alex with their happy patients!