Local doctor provides eye care in Africa - NBC40.net

Local doctor provides eye care in Africa

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From his office in chilly Margate, to the warm plains of the small African country of Lesotho, Dr. Howard Gross endured a 15 hour flight to provide the less fortunate with the gift of vision.

"They don't have a lot of access to medical services so what I did is I went there and did cataract surgery," said Dr. Gross.

Dr. Gross visited Lesotho in mid December and saw patients lined up in search of eye care.

Dr. Gross says it was a difficult adjustment using the equipment in Africa but the rewards outweighed the struggles.

"It's hard, it's hard but the satisfaction you get by helping somebody is amazing," said Dr. Gross.

 "It's amazing to see people led into the clinic on Monday and walk themselves in on the postoperative visit on Tuesday."

And despite the difficulties the equipment and a language barrier may provide, the results of Dr. Gross' surgeries lifted the burden of family members who once cared for their nearly blind relatives.

"You're maybe freeing his son, so his son can go back to school. Or freeing his daughter so she can go and get a job she used to have or the grandson. So you're not just affecting that one person, you're affection a whole chain of people."

Dr. Gross also provided eye care in Ghana two years ago and plans to return to Africa in the future.

Dr. Gross says there are many others just like himself waiting to help.

"I mean that's what its really all about. We're all trying to help each other and most people are like that," said Dr. Gross.

 "And I guess I want people to know that I'm one but there is a big, big line of people trying to help each other in life and that's what life is all about."

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