2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Review - 5
PILLAR 1: ENHANCING ACCESS TO CARE
A Future Changed Forever
by Anna Scott, YWAM Medical Ships'
Public Relations and Media Manager
Henry Schein Halas has partnered with
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Medical
Ships Australia since 2010, donating
dental supplies and equipment to outfit a
dental suite on one of the organization's
medical ships, as well as assisting the
organization with fundraising efforts.
In 2013, Bray, an active 14-year-old boy,
lost his sight in both eyes.
His older brother and main caregiver,
Dura, said, "At first we didn't believe him,
we joked that he paddled his canoe like
an inland man - bumping into bushes on
the river bank!"
The once-capable fisherman, soccer
player, and student dropped out of
school and other activities he loved.
Confined to familiar surroundings, he
became heavily dependent on his family.
In May 2016, when YWAM's Training and
Medical Ship, which is supported through
fundraising assistance and donations of
health care products and equipment,
dropped anchor in Oro Province, Papua
New Guinea, hope arrived.
Dr. Bill Talbot, the diagnosis was
confirmed: blinding cataracts in both
eyes, obscuring Bray's retina (the back of
the eye where images are captured).
Dr. Talbot said, "We were not at all
certain how successful the surgery would
be in this particular case. We didn't
want to hold out false hope for Bray
but on the other hand our hearts went
out to him - we were desperate to
try what we could."
On June 7, Bray went into surgery for
cataract removal with a lens implant,
a procedure that took 40 minutes.
The next day, Bray walked into the clinic
feeling his way along. As the nurse gently
peeled away the patch and wiped Bray's
eye, a sheepish smile emerged on his
face. The nurse held up her hand for a
high five - he high-fived her back!
Dura bent down in front of him and
a smile erupted across Bray's face.
Dura put his hand on Bray's cheek and
spoke to him in their language, sharing a
moment of joy. Bray's sight was returned!
He went on to have the other eye
operated on, too. Dr. Talbot and the team
were thrilled with the early results of
With a freshly fitted cataract surgery
suite aboard, the MV YWAM PNG had
the team and equipment to give Bray a
Dura shared his joy, "This was such a
special gift to us. I can't wait to bring him
home to see the rest of the family after
so long. I think they will be so surprised
and will cry!"
Working in collaboration with Oro
Provincial Health, the YWAM teams
visited 21 villages along the Oro coast,
including Bray's village of Emo.
Bray said he was most looking forward to
returning to school, playing soccer and
touch football, and watching football
for the first time in years.
After initial assessment by YWAM's
ophthalmology team and subsequent
follow-up by one of YWAM's eye
surgeons volunteering from Australia,
Without the support of organizations like
Henry Schein, this type of life-altering
assistance would not be possible.
For more information and to join
us on a life-changing adventure, visit