I’ve always believed that one person can change the world, and I am grateful to have recently experienced it. As a volunteer at the Mechi Eye Hospital in Birtamod, Nepal, I witnessed Dr. Geoff Tabin and his partner, Nepalese eye surgeon Dr. Sanduk Ruit, cure thousands of the visually-impaired and blind. This is just one of the many locations of the Himalayan Cataract Project in developing countries.
Dr. Tabin has been known to perform up to 180 cataract surgeries in one day.
The day after I first experienced the Nepalese people having cataract surgery, I witnessed incredible joy as bandages were removed and sight restored. It meant the ability for a better quality of life, whether that was the ability to work, to care for their families, to be “marriage worthy” in their culture or anything else regaining sight would improve for them.
One man, however, was struggling with blood in one of his eyes. Dr. Tabin realized that it would be days before the man, who lived in India, would be able to see a doctor and get the help he needed. Scheduled to leave that day, Dr. Tabin cancelled his flight and stayed to help this man, who was just one in the thousands of patients he had worked with.
The kindness, grace, compassion and dedication Dr. Tabin and his partners show to those they care for, and the doctors they train in countries such as Bhutan, Ethopia, Ghana and others, inspired me immensely. They selflessly and continually give the gift of sight, and are kind leaders we should all strive to be.