40 STORIES OF HEALING: Tellez children
When Señor Tellez heard there was a chance for his four blind children to receive free eye surgeries, he was determined to do all he could to make it happen. So he helped these four of his 12 children into his little dugout canoe and began the long journey to reach the Mercy Ship Anastasis.
The image of Señor Tellez leading his blind children eldest to youngest up the Anastasis’ gangway is an impression that remained with surgeon Dr Bob Dyer. ‘This was the first case I had ever seen and treated for multiple congenital cataracts in siblings,” the Ophthalmologist recollects with great emotion. “Restoring their sight totally transformed the family,”
A day after the children had received free bi-lateral cataract surgery on board the Mercy Ship, the bandages were carefully removed from their eyes.
There was a distinct and dramatic pause as their brains registered incoming images for the first time. It was first noticeable on their faces – surprise, joy, wonder. Then, finally, their eyes immediately began to search for their mother. They knew her voice and now they were anxious to see her face for the very first time.
In a gesture that remains part of ophthalmic practice with Mercy Ships decades later, Dr Bob held up his hand to each child in turn and asked, “How many fingers can you see?”
The sight of these children catching the first glimpse of their parents, of each other and of the world around them remains one of the most poignant moments of the late Dr Bob’s life-long career. We guess it’s one Señor Tellez treasured for a lifetime too.
We are hugely grateful for the many years of leadership and service the late Dr Bob Dyer dedicated, with excellence, to Jesus through Mercy Ships.
She spent her childhood on board a Mercy Ship, which inspired Dr Sandra Lako to spend decades of her medical career serving the people of Sierra Leone.
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