His arms crossed on his chest, his hands clenched in a fist picking up all his strength, concentrated. He says “I’m ready”.

This is the incredible maturity of an Angolan child, one of the many cataract surgeries in this latest expedition of the Elena Barraquer Foundation.
The truth is that, as an anaesthetist, I suffer with the child at the moment I inject the anaesthesia, there are a few seconds of intense burning in the eye, fortunately the intensity is decreasing rapidly. The fantastic thing is the capacity that these children demonstrate overcoming the painful moment because they know the great luck that they have to be operated… to extract the cataract means to recover the possibility to return to the school, to play with the friends… to guarantee themselves a future.

Children, like all patients who undergo surgery, wait hours and hours for their turn to visit and then return to wait for the moment of the operation, if they have been fortunate enough to be selected and considered suitable for the operation. Unfortunately and frequently, among the patients to be examined, all hopeful in recovering vision, there are always some who unfortunately have other lesions in the retina or optic nerve. These factors nullify the benefit of cataract extraction… And the difficult task of the ophthalmologist to communicate the sad verdict.  In the most complex cases, such as a corneal transplant, we propose the possibility of a surgical intervention at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre in Barcelona. In other less serious cases, the visual quality can be improved with prescription lenses.

It is for all these people, hopeful, needy and without resources in their country of origin that we, the volunteers of FEB, led by the beloved doctor Elena and driven by her great vitality, face a week of hard work with hours and hours between the walls of a hospital.

ALL UNITED, OPTIMISTS COMMITTED TO DONATE A FUTURE OF LIGHT TO THE GREATEST NUMBER OF PATIENTS, #NOMÁSCATARATAS.

Thanks to FEB for the great opportunity to share this challenge together.

Simona Bambini

FEB Chief Anesthesiologist.