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Doc's In: Rand Paul Performs Surgery in Guatemala

After practicing medicine for nearly 30 years, Washington forced Sen. Rand Paul to give up his ophthalmology practice. Now he's found a way to return to that calling. Read Transcript


Reporter: THIS IS THE

UNKNOWN SIDE OF SENATOR RAND

PAUL.

RIGHT NOW WE'RE OPENING

UP THE CAPSULE.

Reporter: LICENSED

OPHTHALMOLOGIST, PERFORMING

CATARACT SURGERY.

WASHINGTON FORCED HIM TO

GIVE UP A HUGE PART OF HIS

LIFE.

I THOUGHT WHEN I WAS

ELECTED I WOULD GET TO

PRACTICE MEDICINEP GET

MEDICINE AND GET TO DO

SURGERY, BUT I WAS TOLD I

WASN'T ALLOWED, EXCEPT FOR

CHARITY.

Reporter: AND NOW HE

JOINED A TEAM OF DOCTORS

FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

TO PERFORM HUNDREDS OF

SURGERIES IN A TOWN RIGHT IN

THE MIDDLE OF GUATEMALA.

THIS IS YOUR PASSION,

RIGHT?

I LOVE DURING SURGERY.

AND I FIRST GOT INTERESTED

IN OPHTHALMOLOGIST BECAUSE

MY GRANDMOTHER HAD A LOT OF

PROBLEMS.

Reporter: WHY

GUATEMALA?

SOME SAY IT IS PAUL PAVING

HIS VISION FOR THE FUTURE,

AND THERE IS SOME TRUTH TO

THAT.

BUT THIS LATIN CONNECTION

GOES BACK NEARLY 20 YEARS.

THAT'S WHEN THE HERNANDEZ

BROTHERS TRAVELLED TO

BOWLING GREEN SO PAUL COULD

OPERATE ON THEIR EYES.

HERE IN SALAMAN, THIS

OPHTHALMOLOGIST IS ONE OF

ONLY TWO SERVING NEARLY A

MILLION PEOPLE.

IN THE U.S., THERE IS ONE

FOR EVERY 20,000.

AND WITH MORE THAN HALF OF

ALL GUATEMALANS LIVING BELOW

THE POVERTY LINE, EVEN WITH

ACCESS, MOST CAN'T AFFORD

EYE CARE.

SO PEOPLE LINED UP EARLY AND

WAITED PATIENTLY FOR A

CHANCE TO SEE AGAIN.

I FEEL BLESSED, BLESSED

BY THEM HELPING PEOPLE WHO

LOVE THEIR SIGHT, AND THEY

WILL BE ABLE TO GAIN IT

BACK, GOD WILLING.

Translator: MY PROBLEM IS

I CANNOT SEE ANYMORE.

I HAVE EYE PROBLEMS SINCE I

WAS A BABY.

WHEN YOU GO BLIND, YOU

CAN'T CONTRIBUTE, YOU'RE NOT

HELPING THE FAMILY.

AND TYPICALLY IT TAKES ONE

AND A HALF CARE-GIVERS FOR

EVERY BLIND PERSON.

Reporter: 39 MILLION

PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE

BLIND.

90% OF THEM LIVE IN POVERTY,

AND MOST OF THEM COULD BE

CURED IF THEY HAD PROPER

ACCESS TO EYE CARE.

YOUNG CHILDREN IN DEVELOPING

COUNTRIES WHO GO BLIND ONLY

LIVE ANOTHER YEAR OR TWO.

THAT'S WHY DOCTORS HERE PUT

UP WITH THE CAMERAS AND

CHAOS FOLLOWING PAUL, HOPING

IT WILL SHINE A LIGHT ON THE

BURDEN OF GLOBAL BLINDNESS.

ETS JUS IT IS JUST GREAT

TO HAVE ANOTHER DOCTOR,

SOMEONE WHO IS WILLING TO

COME HERE AND WORK IN

CHALLENGING CONDITIONS.

Reporter: PAUL WANTED

TO FOCUS ATTENTION ON HIS

SURGICAL KILLS, BUT WHEN HE

INVITED THE CAMERAS, SOME

SUSPECTED IT WAS TO CATCH

HIMSELF IN A NEW LIGHT, FOR

SOME CONSERVATIVES WHO SEE

HIM WEAK ON FOREIGN POLICY.

SOMETHING HE CALLS A DIRTY

RHEU RUMOR.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS I'M A

BIG FOLLOWER OF RONALD

REAGAN AND BELIEVE IN PEACE

THROUGH STRENGTH.

AND I BELIEVE IT IS THE

NUMBER ONE PRIORITY OF THE

GOVERNMENT, TO DEFEND US

AGAINST FOREIGN ATTACK.

Reporter: THIS YEAR

AUTHORITIES HAVE APPREHENDED

MORE THAN 60,000

UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN, AND

OTHER 60,000 ADULTS WITH

CHILDREN ILLEGALLY CROSSING

THE U.S. BORDER, MANY FROM

GUATEMALA.

SENATOR PAUL TALKED TO THE

NATION'S PRESIDENT ABOUT THE

SOLUTION HE THINKS COULD

EASE THE PRESSURE.

THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF

PEOPLE IN AMERICA WHO WANT

TO ADOPT KIDS FROM

GUATEMALA.

A LOT OF KIDS DON'T HAVE

PARENTS OR DON'T HAVE

SUFFICIENT SUPPORT HERE.

SO REALLY, PART OF THE

ANSWER IS LEGAL

IMMIGRATION.

LET'S HAVE MORE LEGAL

IMMIGRATION AND MORE

ADOPTION.

Reporter: AND WHEN IT

COMES TO WASHINGTON'S

IMMIGRATION STALEMATE, PAUL

IS STICKING THE HIS DEMAND

TO SECURE THE BORDER BEFORE

ANYTHING ELSE.

IT IS INTERESTING,

SECURING ISN'T ALWAYS SORT

OF A FENCE OR BARBED WIRE OR

THINGS LIKE THAT.

SECURITY IS ALSO HAVING AN

ADEQUATE WORK PROGRAM.

BECAUSE WE ACTUALLY WANT

PEOPLE TO COME TO OUR

COUNTRY TO WORK.

400,000 PEOPLE COME TO PICK

CROPS EVERY YEAR IN

AMERICAMENT IT I AMERICA.

IT IS A MATTER OF TRYING TO

FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO IT IN

AN ORDERLY FASHION.

Reporter: MEANWHILE,

SHE IS SENDING SIGNALS THAT

HE IS RUNNING FOR

PRESIDENT.

I THINK MOST OF US WANT

TO DO WHAT WE ARE BEST AT

DOING.

WHETHER OR NOT IT WILL

DOING.

IT IS WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN

HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE

COUNTRY TO HELP MAKE THE

COUNTRY BETTER.

Reporter: FOR MANY OF

THESE GUATEMALANS, IT WAS

LIFE-CHANGING.

I THANK GOD FOR THE

OPERATION.

I FEEL GOOD.

THANKS TO GOD.

Reporter: JENNIFER

WISHON, CBN NEWS, SALAMAN,

GUATEMALA.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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