As Tzu Chi continues to spread kindness to the poor and alleviate their sufferings, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation conducted another Eye Surgical Mission on June 22 to 23, 2019 at Ramiro Community Hospital, Tagbilaran City to 239 beneficiaries.

Out of great compassion, this has been the 4th time that the foundation led an eye mission here in Bohol in line with its Mission of Medicine. The medical team composed of nine (9) TIMA (Tzu Chi International Medical Association) doctors from Manila, two (2) local TIMA doctors, and 16 medical staffs from TIMA-Manila. Assisting the medical team were fifty-five (55) Volunteers, fifty-three (53) Tzu Chi Youths (Tzu Chings) and Volunteers from Bohol, Cebu, and Manila. These groups of selfless individuals made this activity possible since the preparation, surgery, and post-surgery check-up.

As early as 5:00 o’clock in the morning of June 22, excited Boholano recipients flocked in the venue with smiles in their faces, hoping that in the next couple of hours, a bright ray of light resulting to clearer vision will once again cross their eyes.

The patients traveled all the way from different parts of the province, full of hope for a better outcome of their visions. Hopeful Boholanos, both young and the elderly, patiently waited for their turn to avail the free eye surgery. Mixed emotions started to kick in as they enter the operating theatres.

“I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes since I was 11 years old. In high school, cataract started to develop in my both eyes. It gradually changed my vision. When I learned about Tzu Chi eye mission, I decided to have my cataract removed because it affected my studies. I could hardly read notes and textbooks due to my eye condition. I felt nervous yet happy that I’m about to enter the OR,” narrated Kim Jervee Silagan, an 18-year-old student from Tubigon, Bohol.

Clear vision was important for 41-year-old Jayson Gabriel Doria of Bilar, Bohol who works as a painter/designer. His cataract had not only decreased his productivity at work but it also affected his safety on job.

“Having cataract affected my line of work. I hope that this operation will be successful. It’s hard to have blurred vision. I feel nauseous standing in high places, which is inevitable with my job as a house painter,” Jayson Doria narrated.

A few minutes later, the patients emerged with winning smiles as they exited from the Operating Rooms (OR). Their family members happily welcomed them in the exit wing of the OR.  Each patient received snacks and a Coin Bank, where they can take home and save any amount of money to help the poor and needy.

“I can see clearly now. I am so thankful to Tzu Chi. I lost hope that my vision will ever be resolved. I did not expect that Tzu Chi would heal my eye problem,” says Jayson Gabriel Doria during the post-operation check- up.

Among the beneficiaries was Ocias del Rosario. He arrived early in the venue for the operation of his other eye. He came from Tubigon, Bohol, 30 miles west of Tagbilaran City.

“I feel better now. My vision has cleared up. I used to trip while walking because of my declining vision. Now, I can see well. Thank you very much to Tzu Chi Foundation,” remarked Ocias del Rosario.

His wife Victorina assisted him because he has difficulty in walking due to the complication of his diabetes. Victorina went emotional to see his husband in the exit area.

“Our neighbors’ asked about my husband’s free operation. And I told them that it was successful. They were happy for us that they dropped money to the coin bank that I brought home yesterday, “says Victorina del Rosario, wife of patient Ocias del Rosario.

Julio Celada from Taloto, Tagbilaran City did not know that he had an existing glaucoma prior to the operation. The doctors addressed both eye problems.

“I have my cataract checked and then the doctor told me that I also have glaucoma. He treated both eye conditions. I am very grateful to Tzu Chi for coming up with this free eye surgical mission,” says Julio Celada

Behind the success of the eye mission were dedicated health practitioners from Tzu Chi Medical Association in Manila. They travelled to Bohol for one goal-to help the poor and needy Boholanos.

“Every medical mission is truly dedicated for those patients who need us. We care for them that’s why we came here. When somebody who is not seeing clearly for many years, their smile is a reward for all our efforts, “says Dr. Bernardita Navarro.

Volunteers and Tzu Chings also worked hand-in- hand to extend ample support for the success of the mission. Each of them took responsibility in assisting the medical team.

“My responsibility is to guide the patients, attend their concerns, and assist them in filling out their personal information. We (the Tzu Chings) are willing to help them. I feel satisfied and fulfilled to help the elderly in bringing back their clear vision. I want them to enjoy the remaining years of their lives,” Ivy Melendrez emotionally said.

The Free Eye Mission gave our fellow Boholanos another reason to live as they see the world in a better perspective, where the collective acts of human kindness had brought a brand-new hope to many individuals.