Bringing Sight to the Blind – Light to Darkness
Dr. Dick Litwin, traveler with a heart of compassion
This week we would like to highlight the wonderful work of Dr Richard Litwin MD and his wife Judith. Their selfless efforts toward restoring vision have had a positive impact on thousands of people in the developing world. Nomadic Expeditions organizes travel for more than those just in the search of adventure. Two noteworthy clients are Dr. Richard Litwin MD and his wife Judith. Their selfless efforts toward restoring vision have had a positive impact on thousands of people in the developing world. Nomadic Expeditions is proud to help with their travel logistics including accommodations, transport, drivers and guides.
Sight is one of the senses treasured above others. It is precious. It is our window to the world. It helps us to learn, it lets us be independent and gives us freedom. Without it we can’t see the faces of our loved ones, or see the tools we need to work. Opportunities are limited and others need to devote themselves to caring for us. Life is limited in ways the sighted cannot imagine. And though blind individuals have inspired us with their abilities and determination, none would choose a sightless world.
Dr. Dick Litwin, who recently made his annual trip to India to help with providing eye care to the Indian community, is seen here with Dr. Kalpana Narendran, who runs the Aravind-Coimbatore Hospital.
No one would argue that restoring sight is a miracle of modern medicine. None would argue that those doctors who donate their expertise to perform and teach other doctors in poor countries are examples of great compassion and an inspiration to us all.
Dr. Litwin, an optomoligist, traveled to India in 1982 with the encouragement of his wife to perform cataract surgery at the little known Aravind Eye Hospital in Pondicherry. This was his first venture and the beginning of what is now over a 35 year mission of restoring sight to those who would otherwise live with blindness.
“Witnessing my first eye camp in Pondicherry, India, in a few days I saw a thousand patients cured of cataract,” he said. “I saw the good that an ophthalmologist can do in an area devoid of doctors. I was hooked.”
In 2019 he was awarded $50,000 and it was officially presented at the 2019 ASCRS•ASOA Annual Meeting in May in San Diego. This is a grant of the David and Victoria Chang Foundation Humanitarian Award. Dr. Litwin chose to donate his award to his recipient organization, Seva, to use in their efforts for sight in the developing world. Motivated by Dr. Litwin’s action ASCRS decided to match the funds and now Seva will receive $100,000 to continue its work.
“Dr. Litwin travels to the most neglected places in the world,” said Dr. Chundak Tenzing, medical director of Seva. “Dr. Litwin is a great role model for ophthalmologists from developing countries. He cultivates long-term friendships and mentorships. Beyond his role as an ophthalmologist and trainer, Dr. Litwin identifies partners who share the same mission as Seva Foundation to eliminate avoidable blindness.”
“Dick personifies the unsung hero—someone who neither seeks nor receives recognition for a lifetime of great deeds,” Dr. Chang said. “Indeed, very few will have heard of this ophthalmologist in solo private practice, who’s had a tremendous impact on the treatment of cataract blindness in the developing world.”
Nomadic Expeditions is proud to have been able to assist Dr Litwin in his endeavors in South Asia by overseeing all of their travel logistics including flights, accommodations, transport, drivers and guides.