After watching thousands after thousands of people come through our clinics, it was hard for me to believe that a “last patient” actually existed. Sure enough, around 6:30 pm tonight, the last script was filled and the last patient walked out the gates. We did it!
It was a great day full of highs and lows. A four year old little girl with Downs Syndrome was sick with malaria. Her two eyes were darting around in different directions and it was obvious that she could not see very well. It was quite a sight to see her coming out of the eye clinic with a perfect little pair of glasses (donated by a Canadian child). Her vision was corrected which allowed her eyes to align perfectly. She could not stop playing with the fingers on her hands that she has never seen before. That was a high.
The low for me was the moment I looked up to see a look on Dr Lorna’s face. I recognized the look from across the room … I have seen it too many times before. It was the look of anguish as she counseled an HIV positive woman who was pregnant and whose 3 year old was at her side.
Tomorrow we debrief, pack up, plan for the future and rumor has it that there may be some African dancers arriving. There will be a huge party in the evening for us and all the NEA staff and their families. It will be a pressure free day as we prepare for our long journey home. Now that our mission has been accomplished we are really missing our loved ones and cannot wait to get home to them all. There is just so much to tell you all.