Spokane surgeon gives the gift of eyesight in Honduras

(STORY IMAGE:KHQ.COM)

SPOKANE, Wash. -One by one the patches are peeled away and the world comes back into focus.

That’s been the experience for hundreds of Hondurans thanks to a Spokane surgeon whose mission is to restore eyesight in the small, Central American country.

“It’s neat to see people that can see for the first time in years,” said Dr. Jon Haymore, an eye surgeon and MultiCare Rockwood. “It’s rewarding to us.”

Haymore, his wife, and a team of surgeons just returned from his third consecutive 10-day trip to Honduras where he performed 83 cataract surgeries.

“Less than 20 percent of people have health insurance so you can provide a lot,” said Haymore. “It’s humbling to see how people live day to day and it’s humbling to see how much of a need there is for healthcare.”

Haymore says cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world but correctable with a 30-minute surgery.

“You get a lot of hugs and a lot of Spanish that I don’t understand,” said Haymore. “A lot of tears. It’s a really emotional experience. Their families are there with them and they can see their family again.”

Haymore says the trips to Honduras have made him a better surgeon because he’s had to do more with less. Most of all, he says it’s given him an appreciation for what he has.

To learn more about Dr. Haymore’s trip, visit www.honduranhelp.org

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