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A Kid’s Eye Surgery Gives Family a Renewed Sense of Possibility and Worth

By Gregory Springer

Young orphan David* arrived overland from Central America with his uncle three years ago. He had detached retinas and dislocated eye lenses and an undiagnosed genetic disorder. Functionally blind and unable to speak, he understood and responded to his native Mayan language, Spanish, and -- as his schooling continued -- some English.

Through ISCU and Unit Four School District radical eye surgery at UIC Medical Center in Chicago was arranged. I drove him and his aunt up for the surgery in July, which lasted ten hours. That was the easy part. The following six weeks, David required daily administering of six different medications and eye drops, two to four times a day. The process was complicated and his aunt and uncle – with six other children of their own – were incapable of understanding or applying the medication, and it became something necessary for ISCU volunteers to do. Eight additional trips to Chicago, a 2.5 hour trip each way, were also required.

Four months later, David has a remarkable amount of vision thanks to the surgery and has prescription glasses that ISCU purchased. He enjoys school, is active, and his teachers speak highly of him as he continues to progress and learn and play. He has other health problems, including a heart condition, an atrial septal defect, that ISCU will help his family to address, but for now, even his uncle remarks that David's vision has given them all a renewed sense of possibility and worth.

* We have changed the names and some identifying details to protect the family's privacy.

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