TWECS 2024: Catanduanes, Philippines
TWECS 2024 Catanduanes, Philippines
Feb. 28, 2024
Our time has come to head home.
This is a typical 30 minutes in Triage.
Here, Optometrists will dilate those with poor vision and send them to autorefractor station and special testing for further subjective refraction and binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy.
If they had fair to good vision the Optometrists would do retinoscopy and ophthalmoscopy and send them to dispensing for reading glasses if needed.
All the patients will have to go through triage.
Feb. 26, 2024
Dr. Marina Roma-March:
These people will warm your hearts💕 They have so little and ask for nothing.
Too many stories to tell, but seeing patients cry when they see clearly for the first time makes every ache in my body worth it.
We worked 8 long, exhausting days – we’re tired, dirty, and hot, but would do it again without hesitation.
Will never forget the sweetest man completely blind in one eye and needed -18.00 in his other eye (“inch thick lens”) – he had never had an eye exam. Gave him his glasses and he started crying😭
I was able to fit another lady who was blind due to retinal disease with a pair of low vision telescopic lenses. She was able to see for the first time in ages – talk about hugs!!
Near the end of one clinic day, and I was hot and tired, I examined a young girl who needed -10.00 – she had never had any correction! She teared up when I gave her glasses to her – it was so worth every minute.
Hundreds more stories just like these. We saw about 5500 patients and dispensed around 4500 eyeglasses. Always donate your old eyeglasses – people around the world need them!
Edit: for those wishing to donate eyeglasses – if your optometrist doesn’t collect them, give them to me and I will get them to the organization.
Feb. 26, 2024
Blog by Jocelyn Wan
This is my first time joining TWECS mission project. It’s incredible to see so many people in need of eyeglasses that they could not afford. They lined up at 6:00 am , no matter how tired I was early in the morning, but seeing them waited for us to come had made me so energized.
In day 6, we had registered for about 4,000 patients. There’s one patient said to me “I love you and God bless” after received her eyeglasses.
I witnessed patients with their smiley faces after receiving the eyeglasses and able to reduce their vision from 20/400 to 20/30 , that totally change their lives.
“Changing the world is a journey. There is no middle and no end. There is only a beginning—and it starts with us.”, quoted from Dr Patti Hill.
#WeServe together with doctors, optometrists , other volunteers and local translators to make a better quality of life. It’s absolutely a rewarding and memorable experience especially celebrating my birthday with people who have the same passion for this project.
Feedback from a patient the message was sent to TWECS Facebook
Good day Mam/Sir, I am one of the patients that you have helped today ☺️ I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued hard work and dedication for your mission.
I felt so overwhelmed because the last time I’ve got my eye check up was year 2016, and so my eyeglasses are already 7 years old last year.
It happened that I just need first to fulfill my family’s and child’s needs, that’s why I always disregard my own needs, even though I know that I needed an eye check up, and a new eyeglasses.
I appreciate your positive attitude and your willingness to go the extra mile. I am grateful for all the things that you do for the poor, indigent, breadwinners people like me. Thank you so much, and God bless you always 🙏❤️☺️
Feb. 22, 2024
Blog from Dr. Jane Gillogly
Blessing abound when giving of yourself and using your talents to see lives changed around the world.
Working alongside like minded team members, some who become friends for life, is a reward in itself, but to witness life changing vision correction to the local people is incredible.
A few highlights in the last couple of days in the Philippines included witnessing two patients having never worn glasses, be able to see clearly when they received their -13.00 lenses and -11.00 lenses – wow!!
Working with a patient who had a retinal disease and being nearly blind, I was able to dispense vision telescopic lenses so she could function. She was thrilled!! Talk about hugs!
Being able to assess children and diagnose congenital cataracts and strabismus, and get them properly referred, will change their lives. I’ve been blessed with skills that can help others and it is pure joy to see others lives changed for the better.
Feb. 22, 2024
Dr. Jeremy Blog Entry
The Philippines project has made me smile more than I have smiled in a long time.
Simple interactions with patients and translators, seeing their joy and their thankfulness for our efforts has renewed my energy.
Seeing hundreds of patients each day who wait for hours and hours without complaints is so refreshing and heartwarming in itself. To then find those patients who have drastically poor vision and find either glasses for them or surgical options, how could I not feel joy.
Near the end of the day today I found a 16 year old patient who brought me to tears — she was -12.00 myopic (drastic numbers for someone who’s never ever had glasses) and I pictured how much her world will be changing now that we were able to fit her with three pair of glasses that matched her eyes perfectly.
I’m still feeling teary eyed hours later at the thought of how she is so young and can finally see the world properly.
Before the glasses, she seemed understandably lost and overwhelmed through the tests. After the glasses went on, she flashed such an amazing smile. I’m so thankful to have been part of her journey.
Feb. 21, 2024
Day 2 was absolutely fantastic! The team did such a great job staying efficient and proactive! Shout out to all the volunteers for their help! Thanks to the great team and their hard work we managed to see around 700 patients today! Looking forward to tomorrow!
TWECS team members at our last station dispensing glasses to those who need it.
Feb. 20. 2024
Dr. Marina Roma-March:
From Dr. Jane Gillogly “Most gorgeous and welcoming part of the world. Waking up and seeing the beach, steps out my front door, then meeting so many grateful patients. Wanted to share a couple of pics from our first two clinic days where we were able to see over a thousand patients.”
Feb. 18, 2024
OUR WARMEST WELCOME TO THE HAPPY ISLAND!
Extending our warmest welcome to Third World Eye Care Society (TWECS) from Canada as they conduct their eye care mission here at the Happy Island. Volunteers and doctors from TWECS arrived at Virac Airport today, greeted by a heartwarming welcome reception from the Rotary Club of Virac headed by President Maria Cleofe Laynes, the Local Government Unit of Virac headed by Mayor Samuel Laynes, and the Provincial Government of Catanduanes thru the Catandungan Cultural Troupe.
Led by their esteemed President Dr. Marina Roma-March, TWECS is on a noble mission to provide free eye check-ups and free consultation, medication, and eyeglasses to our fellow Catandunganons!
We extend our heartfelt thanks to TWECS for choosing Catanduanes and for their commitment to making a positive difference to our people! We hope that you will enjoy your stay and savor all the wonders that the Happy Island has to offer!
#ChooseCatanduanes #HappyIsland #WhereHappinessAwaitsYou #LoveCatanduanes #LoveThePhilippines
Feb. 17, 2024
We have Arrived in the Philippines!
As we deplaned at the end of the gangway, we were greeted by this pleasant gentleman, from the Commission of Filipinos Overseas and Manila Airport Authority who brought our group to the diplomatic line for customs and escorted us and our boxes all the way to the bus.
Photos of our precious cargo being retrieved and heading for customs.
Check out some of our official paperwork to hopefully smooth our transit along..
Feb. 16, 2024
We are getting ready to travel. Bags are packed (almost!).
Thanks to all the volunteers who are getting ready for their exciting adventure with us!
We had to repack all our glasses. What fun!
BOXES ARE NOW CLINIC READY FOR TOMORROW’s 3:00am flight to VIRAC Catanduanes