The "Barefoot Surgeon" Restores Sight For Over 100,000 People Free Of Charge
Dr. Sanduk Ruit is a saintly ophthalmologist in Nepal who has been inspired to help the poor people in his region of the world. The 60-year-old surgeon, known as "the barefoot surgeon," knew first-hand what poverty was like when he grew up. His childhood was spent in a remote village in the Himalayas where kids had to walk for a week to reach the nearest school.
Sanduk's sister died of tuberculosis, even though the disease is curable. This loss sparked a desire in his soul to help other people who were unable to receive medical treatments. The World Health Organization reported that about 39 million people have some form of blindness throughout the world, and 80% have conditions that could be treated. Of these curable people, 90% live in poor families that are unable to pay for medical procedures.
Dr. Ruit has taken up a mission to help these people who are afflicted with blindness. Ruit explains that death teaches us how fragile and short life is. He feels that the best way to spend his brief time is to do what he can to bring hope to others.
Dr. Ruit has developed a simple procedure to remove cataracts that can be done in only five minutes. He is now sharing his method with other eye surgeons, and he has traveled to a number of other continents to teach his procedure. He has even been brave enough to enter North Korea. In total, he has restored eyesight to about 100,000 patients, reports The Kathmandu Post.
Ruit's mentor was an Australian eye doctor and philanthropist named Fred Hollows. He and Ruit established an eye hospital in Kathmandu that provides care to people in Nepal. The center creates lenses that are used for cataract patients, and they are exported to dozens of countries around the globe, reports Financial Review.
The ophthalmology center, called the Tilganga Institute, provides quality care to all Nepalese people. Many of the indigenous people have no health care, and some of them have never visited a doctor in their lives. Dr. Ruit sets up mobile eye camps in the region in order to provide care in remote rural areas. Some of the trips take several days.
Dr. Ruit does not ask patients if they're able to pay for the procedures. They travel sometimes hundreds of miles to reach the eye surgery camps, some of them carried by their relatives. In only five minutes, Ruit performs a simple procedure that changes a patient's life dramatically.
People have praised the doctor with many titles, including "Maverick" and "God of sight," according to the Euro Times. All of his titles demonstrate that he is a truly kind-hearted individual who has rejected a life of luxury and wealth for one of life's more meaningful pursuits.
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