A specialty doctor from Epsom and St Helier hospitals is preparing to skydive from the dizzying height of 10,000 feet on Sunday (1 September) in order to raise funds for a hospital in Guatemala.
Shortly after the fundraising flight is completed, Dr Mubarika Sami, who works as an Ophthalmologist in the Eye Unit at St Helier, will give up two weeks of annual leave to travel to the same hospital (Nasir Hospital in Guatemala) to screen patients for diabetic eye disease and help educate people on managing their condition.
Dr Sami said: “Diabetic eye disease – officially known as diabetic retinopathy, has doubled in the past 20 years in the indigenous population of Guatemala and is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye. It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated, but with regular screening and controlling blood sugar levels, people can minimise the risk.
“I’ll be going with a small team for a two week trip to screen patients and refer them for treatment if needed. We will take our own retinal cameras to photograph and screen patients effectively, and so we’re planning to see as many patients as possible.
“Every penny raised in Sunday’s skydive will be used to ensure treatment to prevent blindness in these patients. Blindness can be a terrifying thing, and so it’s vital that we can spread the good work we do at Epsom and St Helier in order to help others.
“Please donate so we can make a difference in protecting vision in vulnerable people who would otherwise not be able to afford treatment we take for granted in the NHS.”
To sponsor Dr Sami, please visit her Just Giving Page at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mubarika-sami?utm_term=V7A8ZRY3P.