Now I Can See: Estrella's Story

Estrella’s name means “star” in Spanish, and her eyes reflect that as they sparkle with joy. But this wasn’t always the case for the young Dominican girl. 
“I would get teased a lot,” says Estrella of her life before COTN. “People would tell my mom not to let me look at them because they didn’t like the way I looked.” 
Young Estrella had esotropia, or crossed eyesEstrella's esotropia made it difficult for her to see. Her poor eyesight caused her to struggle in school, and she was often teased for her appearance.
Young Estrella suffered from esotropia, or crossed eyes. Her poor eyesight made schoolwork difficult. Since her family struggled to afford food and clothing, paying expensive medical bills was out of the question.
Fortunately, visiting medical Venture teams treated Estrella. Eventually, she was even able to have eye surgery.
“It has changed my life forever!” Estrella declares. “My total disposition changed after my surgeries. I have self-confidence; I am happy.”
Today, Estrella attends school and enjoys nutritious meals. She also receives important follow-up care through COTN’s medical clinic, including prescriptions for glasses that continue to correct her vision. 
Estrella now
Now Estrella is doing great! Her eye surgery and continued care at the clinic have helped her grow up to be a happy and confident young woman. 
None of this would have been possible without the generous hearts of medical Venture teams, the clinic staff, and partners like you who have supported the clinic and children like Estrella.
The COTN clinic plays a crucial role in keeping COTN children healthy and offering medical care to the community of Barahona at a lower cost, including pediatrics, gynecology, surgical procedures, and dentistry. 
And last year, thanks to the generosity and tireless work of dozens of COTN partners and volunteers, the clinic doubled in size!
The Clinic now has a second story
The clinic's expansion makes it possible for us to treat many more children, changing lives like Estrella's. 
Barb Kjose, a nurse and Venture team member, remembers the early days of the clinic: “We would come in the morning and there would be a line way past the clinic, out. And you’d feel bad because you could not see all those people that came.”
But now a second story has been added to the building, creating more space for surgery, dental care, and processing patients. The expansion has also moved the clinic’s laundry room and kitchen from an old shack to a more hygienic space within the building. 
Estrella wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up. To everyone who supported the clinic, she says, “Thank you. . . . Without the clinic, we would not have medical help. More people would be suffering and have bad health, and I would still be suffering physically and emotionally with my crossed eyes.”
Thank you for helping children like Estrella see their way to a healthier future.


You can help more children like Estrella get the medical care they need by providing a medical checkup right here.