Saving Sight in Guatemala


group photo

This fall, medical professionals from UTHSC and Le Bonheur Children's Hospital once again teamed up with the Shalom Foundation to perform oculoplastic and strabismus surgery for children in underserved populations of Guatemala.

More than 100 children were screened, and 83 surgeries were performed to repair crossed eyes (strabismus), drooping eyelids (ptosis) and other oculoplastic disorders. Several residents and fellows from Guatemala's Unidad Nacional de Oftalmologia participated as well, providing them a wonderful training opportunity.

The HEI ophthalmology team included faculty Drs. Natalie C. Kerr, Brian T. Fowler and Ralph F. Hamilton, resident Dr. Kourtney Houser, and orthoptist Chantel Devould. From the HEI Surgery Center were anesthesiologist Dr. Vince Samuel, nursing director Eric Pilkington, nurse anesthetist Nichole Baker and technician Sharon Tatum. Representing Le Bonheur were anesthesiologist Dr. Liliana Perieras, and HEI alumnus Dr. Emily Taylor Graves. Other team members included orthoptist Megan Evans, OR tech Stephanie Lenn, Jennifer Hamilton and Deborah McNeill-Stroupe.

We wish to thank the Shalom Foundation and its founder, Steve Moore; Dr. Ligia Figueroa and the team at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City; Dr. Ana Lucia Asturias, attending pediatric ophthalmologist at Unidad Nacional de Oftalmologia in Guatemala; the Hamilton family, who provided invaluable support; Alcon, Ethicon, Biogel, Beaver-Visitec International, MAP International and Poriferous, who donated medical supplies; and all other sponsors, donors and volunteers.

Drs. Kerr and Graves with patient

Photo from operating room

Dr. Samuel and Chantel with a patient