May 12, 2014
Dr. Jay Rudd, a principal at Clarus Eye & Surgery Centre, will join a humanitarian medical mission to Montero, Bolivia June 22-28 to perform as many as 100 free eye surgeries on residents who suffer from vision loss due to cataracts.
He and his team will work alongside Greystone Ophthalmology (Hickory, NC) physicians, who have been providing care to the town of Montero for over 30 years. Rudd led a similar mission to Haiti in 2011, after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake devastated the nation in 2010.
“People walked for three days to come to the clinic where we were working,” said Rudd. “Many had lost nearly all of their vision. After the surgery, when the patches came off, their eyes lit up and they were amazed at how clearly they could see. It’s a huge payoff for each of us to see the joy it brings to their lives.”
Rudd will be accompanied by a team of eye care professionals from Clarus Eye Centre including two eye technicians, a surgical assistant, and a nurse, all who will assist with screening and surgical procedures. Also traveling with the team is Dr. Rudd’s 16-year-old daughter, Allyson, a sophomore at Capital High School.
“While we are helping offset some of the travel costs of our staff, they are sharing in a portion of the expenses and volunteering their time,” said Rudd. “When I told them about the opportunity there was huge interest, which made me really proud of our staff.”
Dr. Rudd will bring along state-of-the-art surgical tools that were not available while in Haiti. “These instruments will allow us to do more procedures in Bolivia in a shorter amount of time, and perform more precise surgery.”
In a ten-minute procedure, the cloudy lens is removed through a micro-incision with a tiny ultrasound probe. An artificial lens is inserted to replace the power of the natural lens, allowing patients to see well without glasses. In most cases, the incision is self-sealing, so stitches are not necessary.
Following cataract surgery, patients typically need reading eyeglasses for close-up viewing. Clarus is collecting new and gently-used reading glasses to give to surgery patients and others who visit the mission clinic.
“For many people in Bolivia, reading glasses are a luxury,” said Rudd. “So we’re excited to carry along and offer donated reading glasses for as many people as we can during our visit.”
Clarus is collecting reading glasses at their clinics located at 345 College Street SE in Lacey or at 1200 Station Drive, Suite 150 in Dupont. For questions about donating, contact Leinanei Aboen at (360) 456-3200.
For more information about Dr. Rudd and Clarus Eye & Surgery Centre, visit www.claruseye.com.