AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY), one of the largest primary and specialty care practices in New York City, says two of its ophthalmology specialists have traveled to Haiti on a medical mission of mercy, bringing vision and hope to the French-speaking Caribbean country.
ACPNY said on Thursday that doctors Anika Michael and Benjeil Edghill spent a five-day care mission in Haiti, where they evaluated and treated more than 400 patients and completed about 90 surgeries.
“We are proud of Dr. Michael and Dr. Edghill for their outstanding charitable work and sense of compassion both at home and abroad,” said Dr. Navarra Rodriguez, ACPNY’s president and chief medical officer. “Extending empathy, clinical services, and a sense of global community is how many of ACPNY’s medical team members give back and stand out.”
Given the infrastructure challenges and political turmoil Haiti has faced, ACPNY said access to medical care, especially ophthalmology, is often limited.
Over the last 15 years, ACPNY said Dr. Michael has engaged in these twice-yearly missions to the country to provide “life-changing patient, sight-restoring procedures,” including cataract surgeries.
Among the many stories the doctors shared from their latest visit was one of a young man in his 30s, who travelled, for over four hours, by car but arrived too late for that day’s clinic.
Rather than turn back, the doctors said the man decided to stay overnight and camped on a bench to be first in line for the following day’s clinic.
“The ACPNY team returned his sight that same morning upon examination and treatment,” ACPNY said. “Before this visit, the gentleman was blind for three years after suffering a work-related injury.”
Dr. Michael said: “It’s stories like this that make all the hard work worth it.
“In the face of the pandemic, natural disasters and political turmoil, seeing such resilience in the people of Haiti fills me with hope for the future,” she said.
“The reward of making an impact has me excited to go back,” said Dr. Edghill, who made the trip to Haiti for the fourth time this year.
“We are not only returning the sight of our patients, but we are also giving them and their caretakers their lives back,” he added.