MATTOON -- Five local residents took part in an annual medical mission trip to the Central American nation of Honduras from Nov. 9 to 18.
The five were nurses Jennifer Calloway and Eileen Preston, both of Charleston; Dr. Gary Mikel, who has a family medical practice in Charleston; Dr. Ron Miller of Quantum Vision Center in Mattoon; and anesthetist Chuck Rutter, a former Mattoon resident who now resides in Hannibal, Mo. This was Miller's 14th medical mission trip and Calloway's third to Honduras.
They were among a group of 15 participants in this trip organized by a nondenominational Christian ministry organization. The group also included nurses and other medical health professionals from Mobile, Alabama and Springfield, Missouri. The group flew into San Pedro Sula and then traveled to the mountains of western Honduras.
Miller said he spent three days doing eye screenings and providing glasses for nearly 200 patients at clinics in remote mountain village. He added that their group served well more than 300 patients at these clinics.
"People just line up and they keep coming," Miller said.
Patients who needed surgery were referred to a regional hospital in Sula, where Miller worked for four days. Miller said he performed 20-25 surgeries, including removing cataracts and straightening misaligned eyes. He said the work of the medical mission group is all done at no charge to the patients.