New York ophthalmologists provide eye care in Haiti

Anika Michael, MD, and Benjeil Edghill, MD, both ophthalmology specialists from AdvantageCare Physicians New York City, traveled to Haiti in July on a medical mission of mercy, where they evaluated and treated more than 400 patients and completed approximately 90 surgeries.

A pair of ophthalmologists from New York traveled to Haiti in July to provide eye care to impoverished areas of the island.

Anika Michael, MD, and Benjeil Edghill, MD, both ophthalmology specialists from AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY) New York City, traveled to Haiti in July on a medical mission of mercy.

According to an ACPNY news release, the pair spent a 5-day care mission in the Caribbean country, where they evaluated and treated more than 400 patients and completed approximately 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," Navarra Rodriguez, MD, president & Chief Medical Officer of ACPNY, said in the news release. "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, access to medical care, especially ophthalmology, is often limited. Over the last fifteen years, Michael has engaged in these twice-yearly missions to the country to provide life-changing patient sight-restoring procedures, including cataract surgeries.

Upon their return, the doctors shared the story of a young man in his thirties who traveled more than 4 hours (by car), but arrived too late for that day's clinic. Rather than turn back, he 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. Before this visit, the gentleman was blind for three years after suffering a work-related injury.

"It's stories like this that make all the hard work worth it," Michael said in the news release. "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."

"The reward of making an impact has me excited to go back," Edghill said in the release, who was making the trip 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."