March 2015 – Dr. Mario Meallet Volunteers in Mexico
Three to four times a year Dr. Mario Meallet volunteers his skills as an eye surgeon to The Flying Doctors of Mercy. This organization is run by Liga International, which is a non-profit that provides health care and education to the people of Mexico.
In March of this year, Dr. Meallet volunteered his time, utilizing his expertise in cataract and corneal surgery, performing eye surgery on the local residents. The services provided in these rural clinics are all free.
The need in these remote parts of Mexico is staggering and there are literally hundreds of patients seen per day.
The most common surgeries performed are cataract and pterygium surgery; however, the clinic can handle nearly every eye condition, as well as corneal diseases and glaucoma.
Dr. Meallet’s training prepared him for the challenges of treating the most daunting eyes conditions in settings where resources may be limited. He finds great reward in managing the most difficult of eye case in this type of third world setting.
When asked what he enjoys the most most about this opportunity? Dr. Meallet says, “It’s a win-win for everyone involved. If not for groups like Liga, many of these patients would have to accept that they may never recover enough vision to return to the activities important to them. We are given the opportunity to help and we leave feeling an immense satisfaction for the work we do. Everyone wins!”
Then when asked what surprises him about these communities he is helping? Dr. Meallet says, “At first the realization that the need is so much bigger than expected. But, by the time we are done with patient evaluations and surgery and we are preparing to return home, what strikes me most is the degree of appreciation from the people whose lives we have touched. In fact, they are often surprised that a committed group of volunteers have left behind their own work places, families and friends, have travelled for hours to offer their services free of charge. I have seen plenty of tears from both the patients and volunteers at the end of these trips.”
Even with Dr. Meallet’s busy ophthalmology practice in Burbank, he enjoys taking the time to visit different areas of the world, helping these people in need and saving their eyesight.