I met Dr. Anika Michael on her first mission trip with AHDH in the summer of 2007; she was the very first Ophthalmologist at the Hospital St. Joseph in Ridoré. She brought with her a couple of large suitcases and several boxes of donated eyeglasses, which she handed out to her patients. Now a few years later Dr. Michael is doing eye surgery at St. Joseph’s; her specialty is in Cornea and Refractive surgery. She was able to equip an eye clinic, which is quit impressive, and an operating room at the Hospital and with the help of other volunteers they are able to not only give out glasses, but also prevent blindness by treating glaucoma and doing cataract surgery.
Dr. Reynold Monsanto who lives in Jacmel, is the only Ophthalmologist in the entire southeast department of the country. He assists with eye exams and the post-op care after we leave.
Dr. Michael and Dr. Monsanto work so well together if I didn’t know better I would think they had been doing so for a very long time. In February 2009 they performed their first cataract extraction with a Port-au-Prince ophthalmologist, Dr. Ritza Eugene.
In the summer of 2010, Dr. Michael and Dr. Monsanto were finally able to do the first Phacoemulsification cataract extraction at the Hospital St. Joseph’s allowing them to treat cataract patients much earlier and thus avoiding years of debilitating blindness waiting for the cataract to mature.
Our last mission trip was the most successful of all. Dr. Monsanto and Dr. Michael were able to do record number of eye surgeries – 19!! Nilam Patel, a hard-working Optometrist from Texas saw over 200 patients in the clinic and distributed over 200 much-needed glasses and diagnosed and treated countless cases of glaucoma.”