What are the odds of 3 ophthalmology residents, who graduated From UT Memphis Medical School and residency, going on a medical mission trip for over 20 years? Pretty high if you ask the three of them! For Glendon Smalley of Dublin Georgia, Kent Kebert of McComb, Mississippi and “Doc” (Alan McCartt) of the Johnson City Eye Center what began as residency training developed into lifetime friendships cemented by their love of the Jamaican people.
Glendon, the leader of the group, has gone faithfully on the mission trip for 25 years in a row. Kent and Doc have not participated all 25 years but make every effort to be there. This year, in just five days- four Ophthalmologists and numerous volunteers did eye exams on 1000 people and fitted them for glasses. The surgeons performed 101 surgeries. Alan and his surgical technician, Chris West, performed numerous cataract removals and ptreygium surgeries. Sarakay Johnson, a sweet friend from Johnson City, helped this year in the eyeglass clinic. The hours were long but it was worth it! Becky Smalley and I admitted patients to the hospital and got them ready for surgery.
Since there is neither national healthcare nor health insurance in Jamaica most people go blind from cataracts. Cataract removal in Jamaica costs more than a year’s wages. The best part of the trip was watching the patients the morning after cataract surgery when their eye patch was removed. Many patients were completely blind from cataracts in both eyes. Family members had led them around for years. As soon as the patch came off they would have these huge smiles on their faces! They could see! Thank you for letting me share our trip with you.
Crusty French Bread is the easiest bread to make. People love the crunch. I’ve listed the ingredients without measurements because you just sprinkle everything on top then bake in the oven until the bread is lightly browned and crisp. If you prefer a lot of garlic- pour on the garlic powder! More cheese? Go for it! Just go easy on the garlic salt. You don’t want the bread to be too salty.
Crusty French Bread
1 loaf French Bread, sliced in half lengthwise
Squeeze margarine or melted unsalted butter (I used squeeze Parkay margarine)
Shredded Parmesan-Romano cheese (not the powder kind)
Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
Cut French Bread in half lengthwise. Spread a generous amount of squeeze margarine or melted butter on top of bread. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt. Sprinkle with garlic powder, paprika and Shredded Parmesan-Romano cheese to taste. Top with chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley. Bake in a 350 F oven until lightly browned and crisp. Enjoy Friends!
Published in The News and Neighbor on July 30, 2014