Into the Himalayas in search of Blindness - Story of Sarah Clarke Wood, an english optometrist from uk.

English lady in Nepal for eye camp


Me and Sarah Trying to do the refraction of the village lady.

Background about Sarah Clarke Wood from the UK

Sarah Clarke wood is a lady optometrist who works in Macclesfield, United Kingdom. An Optometrist is a person who works in Ophthalmology and has a major job of checking the patient's eyes and prescribing Spectacles /Contact lenses. Optometrists also work with a wide variety of sectors in the clinical and community aspects of ophthalmology. Sarah also works to save the sight of people living in and out of the United Kingdom. She is also the Owner of "Park Lane Opticians" in the united kingdom.
Sarah's daughter "Ella wood" and her 3 friends i.e. Elizabeth Dowell, Kirsty Bently, and Hannah Robertson work for an NGO in Nepal. The NGO i.e. Project Trust mainly works in remote parts of the world. The 4 girls were working as teachers in the eastern Rukum district of Remote Nepal in 2018. It has been 1 year since they had been staying and enjoying the remote lifestyle of a distinct culture that they had never experienced.

Start of the story:

I got to know, from somewhere, that an English lady is coming to visit the Rukum district of Nepal. I also heard that she will come and she will organize a free refraction camp for schooling children. I attempted to find her mailing address to get in contact with her. I finally found her mailing address. I sent her an email telling her everything about me and the place. I got to know that she is not coming to my place to organize a camp rather she was just planning to visit her daughter Ella Wood in eastern Rukum, Nepal. Ella wood and her 4 friends Kirsty Bently, Elizabeth Dowell, and Hannah are working as a teacher in a Government school at Rukumkot. Rukumkot is the headquarters of the district of eastern Rukum.
This is how the girls learned the Nepali Language.
Papers all on the wall with Nepali Translations
I got to know that she would bring glasses with her for free distribution. She told me that the people of the United Kingdom would donate those glasses from the place she lives. She flew to Nepal, and she was in such great luck that she met with the Mayor of the dang district. Dang is the gateway district that leads to the Himalayan district of Rukum. She was curious to visit Rapti Eye Hospital in Dang district. She told me she met with all the staff and the Medical Director Ophthalmologist Dr. Sulaxmi Katuwal in Rapti Eye Hospital. Luckily she got a lift in an ambulance returning to Rukum from Dang. It must be a lucky day for her She even got to meet with the Chairmen of Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh's Branch of Rukum Eye Care Centre. Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh is one of the Eye Care monitoring organizations in Nepal.

The next day, the team in the ambulance reached Rukum. She came to visit our eye care center in Headquarters of the district. She had brought Ella and Kirsty with her. I was pretty shocked to see how they dressed up and how they spoke. These girls were looking more Nepali and would speak so fluent Nepali Language. It was an amazing experience for me to meet somebody like them.

The roads of Eastern Rukum
They returned to Rukumkot and Sarah told me she would do a school eye check-up program in the Rukumkot. She called me after a few days for a screening and refraction camp for the village people. I got into a mountain vehicle along the bumpy roads and reached Rukumkot.

We had dinner together that night. On that day, I got to meet the other two wonderful and humble ladies, Elizabeth Dowell and Hannah Robertson. 
A view of Rukum East
The Kamal Daha of Rukumkot
The next day, we made the local village boys do the miking all into the village so that many people would come for the checkup. We trek all the way to the Kamal Pokhari, a small beautiful lake up at the hill. The place had a health center where we planned to set up our things for refraction camp. Ella, Kirsty, Beth, and Kirsty were helping us to take the visual acuity of the villagers who came for the checkup. They sent those with faulty vision and eye problems to us.
Ella and Kirsty wrote about the refraction camp in Nepali and glued it on the shutter as an advertisement.
Sarah and I were inside doing the refraction and screening the retina of all the people. Priya, who was a teacher in the same school where Beth and Hannah were teaching. Priya was also helping us so much all day long. Beth and Hannah would give all the credit to Priya who taught them to speak so good Nepali.
Priya Helping us.
It was an outstanding day for us at Rukumkot because we checked so many patients and gave so many free glasses to people with refractive errors. We saw so many patients with dense cataracts and luckily there was a surgical camp organized by Rapti eye hospital after 2 days of the refraction camp. So, we called all the patients to the free surgical camp, who needed surgery.
Parent carried for the surgery.
Beth helping us to take the Visual Acuity.
Hannah Working with Beth to help old people cover their eyes properly.
Patient being checked for cataract at the surgical camp.
Happy her after we checked her eyes.
Patient's eye Examination in the surgical camp
Old lady with cataract seen at the free surgical camp
The two-day surgical camp went well. The team led by Ophthalmologist Dr. Aric cured a good deal of blindness. Old people who came from so far remote were happy to see again.
Patients who received free cataract surgery.
I would like to thank Sarah and 4 girls who came so far from the UK to help Nepali people. 4 girls have returned to their respective places in their country. It was another amazing experience for me.

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