Sacramento, CA – The humanitarian act of cornea donation – a gift from a donor to recipient – went worldwide recently, with the help of Dr. Mark J. Mannis, Ocular Medical Director for Sierra Donor Services, and its parent company, DCI Donor Services, Inc. Mannis is also Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology & Vision Science and director of the Eye Center at UC Davis Health System.
Dr. Mannis traveled to San Salvador, El Salvador with two corneas recovered through Sierra Donor Services as well as corneas from other eye banks around the U.S.A., as part of the Flying Eye Hospital sponsored by ORBIS and FedEx Corp.
Dr. Mannis participated in a week long comprehensive skills exchange program aimed at strengthening the field of corneal surgery and raising awareness of eye care related conditions in El Salvador. In the four days of surgery on the Flying Eye Hospital, Mannis performed 11 corneal transplants and provided surgical instruction to his Salvadorian assistants. In addition, he lectured on corneal surgery in the airplane’s classroom.
“Many talented and compassionate people were involved in helping to give the people of Central America the gift of sight,” Mannis said. “We are all working to fight treatable and preventable blindness around the globe. Through the Flying Eye Hospital Program, we offered skills-exchange opportunities to a wide range of eye health care professionals, while focusing on the development of pediatric ophthalmology, an area of great need in El Salvador.”