Our Story, and What We Do!
While it’s hard to imagine that people could still go blind from cataracts when there’s a simple procedure to remove them, it’s commonplace across the beautiful Island Nations that dot the South Pacific and Pacific Rim. According to the World Health Organization, the western region of the Pacific contains millions of people with severe vision impairment. The WHO estimates that “Blindness can be avoided in eight out of 10 cases with appropriate treatment or early prevention”.
The Beginning of Eye of Mission of the Pacific
Dr. John M. Corboy, a Hawaii-based ophthalmologist, began arranging medical mission trips to the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia over thirty years ago. He was enchanted with the idea that performing cataract surgery on someone completely changed their life. More than that, it changed the history of their family, their community, and their Nation!
Dr. Corboy founded the former “Hawaiian Eye Foundation”, which organized and managed mission trips and teaching expeditions in the region for many years. To help fund his philanthropic dedication, he began the “Hawaiian Eye Meeting”, which has become one of the largest dedicated academic conferences for eye surgeons in the United States. The meeting continues as a much larger academic conference program.
This year, Dr. Corboy and several of his colleagues felt it was time to bring the original focus of his work back to the forefront. With that in mind, they started the new “Eye Mission of the Pacific”.
The Importance of Vision
Underlying conditions like exposure to bright sunlight, combined with lack of UV protection are contributing factors. Combined with vitamin deficiencies and higher rates of diabetes, these create even greater damage to vision health.
Severe vision issues greatly affect a person’s ability to function in their daily life on a physical level but also take a psychological toll. The restoration of someone’s vision is beneficial beyond what may seem obvious.
Being able to see gives someone the independence they need for a better life. It enables them to work and better provide for themselves and their loved ones.
It helps them increase their contribution to their communities. Being able to restore someone’s vision is a way to enhance everything for someone and change their life.
Eye Mission of the Pacific provides vision diagnosis and eye treatment to those in the Pacific region. These people may be functionally blind with no other alternative to care.
Over the past three decades, our group has learned to organize travel to remote islands and foreign lands, to see patients where they live.
We examine large groups of indigenous residents and deliver needed medical treatment and surgical intervention along with education on diet and hygiene. The team is composed of an all-volunteer group of ophthalmologists, optometrists, nurses, technicians, and support staff.
These settings need extremely flexible plans. Sometimes, these patients are being seen by local healthcare providers, who do not have the ability to fully correct these problems.
Cataract surgery requires a delicate touch and skilled surgeons. It’s this combination that allows the procedure to be both reliable and successful.
Often, our volunteer surgeons devote their time to teach local doctors improved surgical skills, and transfer skills for their use. We not only organize needed physicians and staff to provide care, but we also get donations of necessary medicines, as well as diagnostic and treatment equipment for the clinics we serve.
Where Our Mission Takes Us
Members of our group have traveled to other Pacific Rim regions to deliver eye care. Dr. Corboy was the first to organize the largest eye surgery educational conferences in Vietnam and training in Myanmar. We’ve visited Thailand, Cambodia, and even China, but we’ve decided to focus on the smaller island nations of the South Pacific to lend the most help.
From giving sight to the blind on the small Island Nations of Tonga and Yap to the educational conferences in Vietnam, John Carboy’s groups have gained a reputation for quality eye surgery mission trips. It’s our solemn promise to continue that care into the future, using our new name, Eye Mission of the Pacific!
Please join us in this Mission, even from the comfort of your desk in your own home. Donations are gladly accepted and may be considered tax-deductible towards our charitable foundation. Please discuss what you’re able to give with your financial advisor. Let us help you help so many others who need your devotion and your commitment.
In advance, thank you for reaching into your heart and contributing! Donations to Eye Mission of the Pacific are deductible under Section 501(c)3. Donors can deduct contributions under IRC Section 170.