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Flying eye hospital brings gift of sight to poor worldwide, trains thousands of doctors

Flying eye hospital brings gift of sight to poor worldwide, trains thousands of doctors

Lam Vu Nhat Ni perches on her father's lap, wearing hospital pajamas and squinting as she slowly counts the number of blurry fingers held just one meter (three feet) in front of her.
"Mot, hai, ba, bon," the 7-year-old whispers in Vietnamese. Born with cataracts that have progressed in the past year, Ni can see the shapes, but it's a struggle to make out all four digits.
The second grader, too poor to imagine flying to Thailand or Singapore for advanced medical care, is among a handful of patients selected to have surgery at Danang's airport aboard ORBIS International's flying eye hospital _ a converted DC-10 complete with operating room and rotating volunteer doctors from around the world.
"Before I only saw planes in the sky, but now that I'm on board a plane I'm really happy," said Ni, who traveled six hours from her village with her father, who earns just US$50 (