LARCHMONT, NY – In an incredible journey to help those in need, a Larchmont father and son will be leaving for Peru July 9 for a medical mission with the organization A Promise to Peru.
As an optometrist who specializes in post-operative care, intravitreal injection follow up care, contact lens fitting, double vision correction, primary eye care and emergency eye care, Dr. Paul Galstian will be seeing patients in Peru who otherwise might not have been able to afford eye treatment.
“One of the biggest needs is eye glass and eye care,” Galstian said. “This is probably something they would go without otherwise.”
Galstian travelled three times to Mexico on similar missions years ago while he was in school. He said while he was there, some of his patients would explain that it could take up to 10 weeks of working wages to pay for a doctor visit for eye care.
“They don’t need glasses to read or to do things like we do here in New York. It meant they could sew their clothes back together and do everyday things,” he said.
Galstian is excited to share this experience with his son, Andrew. An honors student who is a sophomore at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, Andrew is looking forward to helping the people of Peru and exploring another country.
“I'm feeling like it’s going to be a good experience for me,” Andrew said. “I've done midnight runs before to New York City, but this is going to be my first mission and first time out of the United States.”
The duo will be working in a group with a number of medical students and an intern. They will travel by van to various locations to preform post-operative surgeries, which originally were done during the beginning part of the mission, and handle other eye care needs.
“Hopefully, we will change some lives a little bit; that’s the goal,” Galstian said.
A Promise to Peru is an annual two-month-long mission established by The School of Medicine at Stony Brook University to provide the Sacred Valley of Peru and Cuzco with health care and public health help. The mission lasts from four to six weeks in June and July and involves medical students, volunteers, physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and civilian public health workers.