It’s one thing to wish everyone in the world could have access to the level of medical care expertise and facilities we’re able to offer our patients at NVISION. It’s another thing to do something about it. And our own Dr. Tom Tooma has been doing something about it since 1998.
In 1998, Dr. Tooma and his wife, Marta, a dentist, began volunteering their services on the Fijian Island of Vanua Levu. Experiencing first-hand the need that Fijian people have for medical and dental care, Dr. Tooma and his wife decided to make a difference. A few years later, an 850-acre parcel of land became available for sale; they purchased the property, and the Mission at Natuvu Creek was founded.
Since the official opening in 2008, the Mission has provided medical and dental treatment for thousands of Fijians who otherwise would not have received care. For example, in May 2010, two teams of eye specialists from the United States visited the Mission and performed more than 100 cataract and ptyregium surgeries.
Cataract disease is especially prevalent in Fiji, caused by the harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun. The teams, led by Dr. Tooma and Dr. Gordon Johns, an ophthalmologist in private practice from Chehalis, Washington, brought all the necessary medical supplies—donated by the SEE International, AMO and Alcon—needed for these life-changing surgeries.
We’re grateful for the support we receive to make these surgeries possible. However, what was most humbling was the thanks we received from one village elder. “It’s a blessing from above, and we thank Dr. Tom Tooma and his wife for always thinking of the villagers in Cakaudrove and giving us free eye clinic which is beyond our budget.”
NVISION Laser Eye Centers of Southern California will continue to share with you the latest developments at the Mission at Natuvu Creek and offer our affiliated doctors, patients and others the opportunity to volunteer and support the Mission.