Tyler Doctor Back From Trip In Africa - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/14/07-Tyler

Tyler Doctor Back From Trip In Africa

It's a hospital on a ship and it travels to third world countries providing healthcare for those in need.  Mercy Ships just recently launched what it calls Africa Mercy in Liberia, and it has now become the largest floating hospital in the world.  One doctor in particular gave up everything to help those halfway around the world. 

"You can actually see the live surgery going on right there on that monitor," says Dr. Glenn Strauss.  Saturday, Strauss looks through pictures from the first surgery he performed on the new Africa Mercy last week thousands of miles away in Liberia.

"It's an area that is extreme in terms of the conditions, poverty, instability and it's one of the most difficult areas in Africa," said Strauss.  That's why hundreds of volunteers, including Dr. Strauss, makes it their mission to provide free healthcare.  Strauss performs cataract surgeries.  His first one was on a tribal matron.

"She was completely blind, and she was a charming lady except she couldn't see a thing, at least not when she was walked onto the ship," said Strauss.  Afterwards, however, she could see, all because of a surgery that changed her life. 

"The hug that they gave you, or the smile that they give you, or the word of thanks that they give, that's all they have to give and that's what they've given and that makes it truly a joyful experience," said Strauss.  As full time volunteers, Dr. Strauss and his wife raise all their own money.  It's a big difference compared to two years ago when he owned his own practice in Tyler.

"God had made it very clear to us that this was the opportunity that he wanted us to step into," said Strauss.  Dr. Strauss says while he's halfway around the world changing lives, it's his Mercy Ships experience that has truly changed his.  

"You can imagine what a thrill that is to be a part of bringing hope and healing into lives of people who have nothing at all," said Strauss.

Dr. Strauss will go back to Africa next month for about six weeks.  If you'd like more information on Mercy Ships, including volunteer opportunities or to donate, go to our homepage and click on the Know More on 7 link.  Then click on Mercy Ships.

Tracy Watler, Reporting. tracy@kltv.com

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