CK Returns Vision To Dominican Republic

How did you spend your spring break? Dr. Glenn Strauss spent his in the Dominican Republic, tending to people who don't normally get access to eye care.

"It was just an overwhelmingly positive experience for the patients," Dr. Strauss explains, "And for me, it was really exciting."

Dr. Strauss took his vacation from Heaton Eye Associates to take his tools to the third world with Mercy Ships. He was performing a new procedure, Conductive Karatoplasty, or CK Surgery. It's a simple procedure, but for some, it's a life changing one.

"For people in america," Dr. Strauss says, "They can get glasses but they don't want them. For people in places in these third world countries, they can't get the glasses even if they do want them. The surgery offers them a way to meet the basic needs of their families."

Dr. Strauss and his colleagues at Heaton have performed over 500 CK surgeries in the last year. The process is non-invasive and only takes a few minutes. CK can be performed easily on location, since it doesn't involve surgery or require a sterile environment.

Dr. Strauss performed thirty surgeries in the Dominican Republic, each one another chance to see clearly, and a return to clear vision and to hold a job.

"It makes the difference between them being able to do that and not being able to," Dr. Strauss says. "I think it could have a profound effect on these people's lives."

His patients were amazed at the change. One woman was given a Bible after her surgery.

"She gave me a big hug and she said that's the first time she could read that in about ten years."

For six years, Dr. Strauss has made these trips. He says that will continue.

"I can't think of a better way to use my vacation than to be the hands of Christ for somebody," he says, "Because that's what this mission is."

For Dr. Strauss, his goal is in sight.

Reid Kerr ( reporting.