6 Oct 2013



The visual health programme we set up this summer is gradually taking shape, thanks to the help of the optometrist Margarita Canyellas and- through her- the company she works for, Multiopticas.
So far 16 people from Sa Pobla have had their eyes tested under the coordination of volunteer Maria Dolores Aguiló. 7 of them needed glasses, which were donated by the Multiopticas Foundation.
We are sure you’ll agree that actions like this, however small they might seem, have a tremendous effect on people whose financial situation determines something as basic as their eyesight. It was when the son of an elderly lady told us about his mother that we started thinking about whether the people we are supplying with food and clothing can see the blackboard at school or the television properly or whether they can read a book without the letters or pictures jumping all over the place. His account of how she never went out because of her poor eyesight which meant that she was afraid of tripping over and breaking something, being old and frail, was a real eye-opener for us and subsequently for volunteers and professionals in the eye care sector. Now there are still one or two links missing to complete the chain of solidarity: someone prepared to drive those next in line to have their eyes tested from Sa Pobla to Palma, since none of them drives or has a car. We would also need funding to cover the volunteer’s petrol and parking expenses. Any suggestions or contributions would be welcome.
Before signing off, however, we should like to once again thank Marga and Multiopticas for their generous help, little gestures that go a long way to make our world a better place.


In Rainbow we have children and young people with cerebral palsy, serious undiagnosed mental retardation, behavioural problems, two deaf children not admitted to the village school but who are having a great time at Rainbow, where they are being taught to read and write and can thus make headway even though they are not receiving a regular education. We also have a girl with congenital hydrocephalus who even if she can be operated on still cannot even sit down because her head is too big…we carried out a brain scan on her and on a severely mentally and physically handicapped boy…but we couldn’t with another boy because although they sedated him with Diazepam it had no effect on him..however, we did manage to carry out an electroencephalogram on him, because he suffers from epilepsy as well as cerebral palsy, and we’re now waiting to see the results.


Do you remember Eman or Iman, the little girl who was operated on for spina bifida? WELL, DURING THIS TRIP I WAS DELIGHTED TO SEE HER WALKING! Her chances of walking were not rated at all high, but there she is demonstrating that in medicine like in maths 2 plus 2 doesn’t always make 4. We embarked on the scanning trail with her too, a bit like the Santiago trail but a lot less fun. She needed a cranial scan to check that she didn’t have hydrocephalus plus a lumbar scan. She went first to the centre where the Rainbow children went but they didn’t want to sedate her (as they had with the others). Instead they gave her a shower saying that this would help her go to sleep???? but of course that made her even more lively, they then told her mother to get her to sleep as if that were easy with a super-active child just two and a half years old (the terrible twos)- in short, a wasted trip. We were told that Enmanuel hospital did scans, so off we set, but nothing doing..it’s a psychiatric hospital just keeping its head above water; we then went to a higher clinic that’s got everything, they gave her Diazepam orally which seemed to perk her up rather than make her sleepy, they tried to inject it intravenously but again to no avail, poor thing- all this lasting 7 hours. The radiologist then told us to take her to Bethel hospital where there are anesthetists who can sedate her, so off we go: And she fell asleep! They put her in the tube, completed the cranial scan and were just about to start the lumbar scan when the little rascal woke up! Oh dear! So they’ll have to go back and do it when she’s sleeping..But Eman is walking!! That’ll change her life..everything else is just incidental..