14 June 2017

I can’t sleep.  I can’t her face out of my mind.

She’s beautiful.  She’s 22 years old, her whole life ahead of her, full of possibility and hope and dreams.

Except she’s blind and lives in here. So she doesn’t have any of those things.

So I lay here in bed, inside I’m railing and kicking and screaming and yelling about the injustice of it all, in the way that I do; silently, the tears escaping the corners off my eyes and dampening the pillow. 

It’s not fair. It shouldn’t be like this.

If she was born in America, she probably wouldn’t be blind. And if she was, it wouldn’t stop her from living a full life of possibility and hope and dreams.  But she wasn’t born there, she was born here.  Doctors have passed her around from one clinic to another, taking her money and giving her eye drops or pills and promising they would help.  Empty promises.

This, this is why I do what I do.  This is my thing.  I can’t stand that it’s her reality.  I can’t stomach the injustice of it.  It’s why I’ll keep fighting for her, for them, for the five billion people who lack access to safe, affordable surgical care. It’s why I’m thrilled to be joining the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard, it’s why I think I’ll probably be back with Mercy Ships someday, it’s why I can be so confident in my calling that doesn’t include children of my own or roots in the ground somewhere.  Because I’m fighting for her and for the billions like her, and I will not give up.

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