From a modern-day Gypsy to a modern day Ocularist.
The people who will make your artificial eye are known as “Ocularists” (pronounced: “Ock-You-Lair-Ists”) and are engaged in the practice of “Ocularistry”. An Ocularist, a profession little known, and extremely rare. An ocularist is a professional who specializes in the creation and manufacture of an artificial eye made of polymethyl methacrylate resin, to give each patient a new look.
I started my journey to become an ocularist while I was about 14 years old when I read a Readers Digest book my mum come with from a foreign trip. It had a story of a kid who lost an eye, and he got one painted and custom-made for him. The dream went to ‘sleep’ for some years. When I finished medical school, I had thoughts of majoring in ophthalmology surgery (eye surgery) in the US. During my electives in ophthalmology surgery in Chicago, I met an ocularist called Bonny Scott of Robert B. Scott Ocularists, Ltd who ‘woke up’ this dream when he gave me an introduction to ocularisty.
When I visited his workshop, he made a fatal mistake that woke up this dream forever, never to sleep again. He gave me two prosthetic eyes, that I looked at, touched and felt like a kid who has just got a new toy, every other day on my work desk.
A few years down the road after tasting the ‘medical water’ of the Ugandan healthcare system. I looked for some speciality that is lacking in the medical fraternity. I packed my bags and went back to the USA to get this skill in ocularistry. Flying through in so many US states learning different techniques. My whole world was in Just two bags. I must say it felt good being a modern-day Gypsy and at the same time a minimalist.
From Rome, NY, down to Chesapeake, Virginia, escaping hurricane Michael to Hamburg, NY, upstate New York and now back to Uganda to bring this rare to skill to the people that need it. Many have lost an eye and need a boost in self-esteem with this custom paintwork and where artistry meets medicine, ironically all done by a doctor.