Four years ago, ETMC donated an ambulance to Sight.org.
Since then, the ambulance has:
- Traveled 6,465 miles over the ocean to Togo, Africa.
- Been turned into a mobile eye clinic.
- Housed and given sight to over 1,400 people in Togo.
- Driven through mud, over rocks, and into numerous rural villages of Togo.
- Had two different names on it’s side (Sight.org was formerly Believe and See)
In celebration, we have resurrected the press release from 2014.
ETMC donates ambulance to Sight.org
“We are so pleased that ETMC is able to provide one of our ambulance units to assist people in Africa and provide a mobile cataract clinic to rural areas,” said Elmer G. Ellis, ETMC President/CEO. “Our teal and white ambulances are seen in East Texas, Waco and Pasadena, TX and now you will find one of our units on the roads in Togo. This donation of a former EMS unit represents a unique opportunity for ETMC to impact healthcare half-way around the world.”
“This ambulance was no longer in service, and we were able to prepare the unit and get it ready for this journey to Africa,” commented Ron Schwartz, vice president of ETMC EMS. “Our team is thrilled to be part of this exciting mission to bring sight for the people of Togo.”
According to the National Eye Institute, a cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most are related to aging. Researchers suspect there are several causes of cataracts, such as smoking, alcohol and diabetes and prolonged exposure to sunlight. Cataracts can affect your vision by reducing the sharpness of the image reaching the retina or creating a cloudy area of the lens that makes vision become blurrier. Cataracts can be treated with surgery by removing the cloudy lens with an artificial lens. Other treatments include new eyeglasses, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses.
“The mobile unit, provided by ETMC, will travel thousands of miles each year to bring surgeons to remote villages to deliver the gift of vision,” added Swann. “It’s an amazing outreach to be able to remove cataracts and have a mother see her child for the first time or a young child be able to see their family, their community. Some of the adults have not seen anything in decades, which in Togo can make it difficult to survive if you are blind.”
ETMC team members and some of their church congregations donated over 400 pairs of sunglasses for patients to wear after the surgery.
The ambulance will travel on a ship to Togo later this year.