January 6th to 13th, 2018
My mother had already participated in three expeditions with the Fundación Elena Barraquer, the brightness of her look every time she returned from one of those trips was indescribable. I decided to experience what she was living and I was lucky to be able to join the latest expedition as a field nurse.
On January 6th we set course for Dakar, a team of only 7 women and 22 suitcases landed in the capital. Led by queen wizard Elena Barraquer and with the intention of operating the maximum number of cataracts.
The perfect organization from Barcelona made the task easier, as we quickly assembled the operating room at the Military Hospital and prepared ourselves to get up at dawn and start the operations early the next day.
They were five intense days without leaving the operating room, where Elena entertained the hours with her extense musical variety, the whirlwind of Raquel kept us awake and we learned a lot under the command of the best instrumentalist, Natalia. In consultation, Andrea, the ophthalmologist, did a brilliant job, organizing the hundreds of patients, worried about each and every one of them, managed to leave not a single one without being operated on, while Simona anesthetized each patient with her sweetness.
I come from a sector that is very distant from medicine and I have always felt some sort of panic about hospitals and syringes, but suddenly, all of those fears disappeared. Seeing those patients so grateful that we would return their sight in a matter of minutes definitely changes your life. During those five days you forget everything else, the only priority is that everything goes well and that the 234 patients could be operated.
Seeing Elena work has been a real gift, I feel deep admiration for her. She gives her entire body and soul to every expedition, travels all over the world, giving one week a month of her life to change the lives of hundreds of people. She is an Angel who returns light to all those glances.
Thank you for allowing me to be part of this expedition, thank you for making me feel this shock of reality, for opening my eyes and making me aware that we have a lot to do for others. I will definitely be back with you if you let me!