…Lines from my favorite poet, Dylan Thomas, and one of the refrains in the poem along with “rage, rage against the dying of the light”. The other day someone in Liberia asked me why I became an eye doctor. I always quote the famous gallop poll about Americans’ greatest fears: getting cancer/dying and going blind. I guess Dylan Thomas encapsulated both.
A photojournalist, Colin Baker, was kind enough to send a video he recorded for television while visiting us here in Liberia. I admired his kindness and follow-through. Qualities that patients tell me again and again are important to them are kindness and follow-through. Something universal that I have discovered after I introduce myself, my team and thank patients for returning to see us is “don’t be afraid, we will take good care of you.” It is the ‘don’t be afraid’ that lends a smile, acknowledging that yes, no matter where you are in the world, people are afraid. It is truly a privilege to care of people both at home and in Africa and “rage, rage against the dying of the light” as an eye doctor.