The trips were organized through Yale New Haven Hospital and the Filipino American organization of Connecticut. Operation Blessing in the Philippines screened for patients who may benefit from Dr. Ceisler’s expertise, usually bringing patients from remote rural areas (10-20 hours away).
Expectantly, there were so many appreciative patients and families all with their own unique stories. One example was a beautiful 35 year old woman with a large esotropia (eye crossing) who had been cast out of her family and never married because of her unsightly strabismus. Patients with severe strabismus are thought to be less intelligent, they often remain unmarried and are thought to be “cursed” especially in very rural areas where there is so little understanding of medical problems. Post-operatively, her appreciation and happiness were beyond measurable!
Another moving example was a 5 year old boy with a severe disfiguring head tilt that came about as a compensation for a congenital vertical strabismus that was only not present when he maintained this abnormal head tilt posture. As this child, like all people, prefer to have binocular vision, he needed to maintain his large head tilt posture to compensate. In a request from a relative in the U.S., Operation Blessing was able to locate this child in a remote rural area and arrange for Dr. Ceisler to operate during her upcoming mission. Surgery was a dramatic success – this boy’s severe head tilting resolved completely!