Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Jesse Berry, MD, and Co-Chief Resident, Philip Storey, MD, were fortunate enough to spend a week at the Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India. Sankurathri Foundation was established by Dr. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri as a memorial to his wife, Manjari Sankurathri, son, Srikiran and daughter, Sarada who were killed in a terrorist bombing of Air India Flight 182 (Kanishka) on 23rd June 1985. The Foundation’s main mission is to empower the poor through better education, eye care and timely help to the needy. Drs. Berry and Storey assisted patients in the clinic, performed various OR procedures, conducted outreach, and enjoyed the local cuisine. Here is the fourth day of their journey:
Day 4 at Srikiran
The whole camp surrounded us with love and gratitude today! All of the post operative patients were happy and had improved vision and would be going home today or tomorrow. They all wanted to take pictures! The American surgeons with the camera had garnered attention and they were all excited and pleased to have their pictures taken. They all shook our hands and extended a Namaste after the photo and – we were told – wished us luck on our life journey.
We then spent time in clinic and had to pull caterpillar hair out of a patient’s eye! Apparently caterpillars falling onto the face from a thatched roof is common and the hairs cause extreme irritation. They are very fine and hard to see but we found it and removed it safely! We also were able to see Bitot’s spots which are signs of vitamin A deficiency, which particularly in childhood is very common here. Luckily the patient was now doing well and the vision was intact.
After the clinic day we went to the Bay of Bengal to see Kakinada Beach. It isn’t quite like the LA beaches but is stark and beautiful all the same. On the drive back we ran into a herd of goats blocking the bridge and the road. Once the herd passed we asked the shepherd if we could see the baby goats and he brought us four-day old babies! They were the best! To end the day trip we stopped at a sari store and craft market which showcases handmade goods from all the states throughout india. We came back to the compound for a lovely dinner of vegetable curries with Chandra and Hema with sweet lassi for dessert!
Read about the fifth day of their adventure here
Dr. Jesse Berry is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Associate Residency Program Director at LAC+USC Medical Center. She is residency and fellowship trained and a member of the Society of Heed Fellows.