June 10, 2010
What are you doing during your trip to Nigeria?
We’re going with 40 doctors and nurses. My dad is bringing a medical team of different doctors and nurses from all over the world. We’ll be taking a general surgeon, an anesthesiologist, we’ll be taking John Gold’s dad who is an ophthalmologist, and for the first time this year we’ll be bringing a dentist. The ophthalmologist last year removed about eight cataracts a day. He’s going to try to up that. The general surgeon removed anywhere from 10 to 14 hernias a day. This year the dentist is probably going to do some things, tell them about their hygiene, pluck any teeth that may be decaying. In the big picture, those are the big standout things. Besides that, we’re going to be trying to go love on some people. My dad is hosting a pastors conference out there. So, he’s going to be evangelizing and spreading the Gospel. It’s going to be a good time to go back, give back and love on others who are less fortunate.
What’s the progress with the medical facility that you’re hoping to build in Nigeria?
There's a three-year mission plan. It’s called Operation Hope. The goal is to build a hospital. It’s supposed to cost $750,000 to a million. So, right now they're still in the raising funds process. After we raise the funds and get the foundation laid down they'll try to staff it. Right now we’re just praying and they're asking for donations and doing different things and hosting different fundraisers and charity events.
Last year some of your teammates went with your family, who is coming this year?
This year we’ve upped that as well. Besides my brother (Sam Acho) and me, Jamison Berryhill is going, Tyrell Higgins is going and John Gold again is going. So we’re going with a total of five players this year.
What do you do out there since you aren’t a doctor?
We are kind of utility people so to speak. We’ll go to the pediatrics. We’ll help with the kids. We’ll help with the optometry, the vision station. Last year we carried a lot of people from the post operation room after they had surgery. It’s not like here in the states; it’s about a 400-meter walk with just a numb, limp body. We also do crowd control because when you have 7,000 needy people trying to get in one door it gets pretty hectic. If the line is not organized then the people inside can’t function.
How will the actual travel be for you?
The people flying out of Dallas will fly from there to New York, which is about a three-hour flight. Then you have the big flight, you fly from New York straight to Nigeria, which is a 14-hour flight. We’ll arrive in the capital of Lagos. You can either take a bus from Lagos to the village, the rural area where we’ll be staying, which is an eight-hour drive or you can fly from Lagos to another city, which is closer to the village, which is a two-hour drive and a two-hour flight. Then we’ll drive on the rugged terrain to the village where we’ll be staying for the week.
What kind of progress have you seen since your first trip there?
We’ve made tremendous progress within the mission trip itself. When my dad first started going over there we didn’t go with a surgeon or an ophthalmologist. Within two years we got a surgeon and an anesthesiologist. I think they removed 84 hernias last year. That is saving people’s lives essentially. Dr. Gold joined the team last year removing cataracts. People would come in 90 percent blind and leave with their vision. This year we’re adding a dentist. Every year we’re trying to add a new thing and we’re changing it up a little bit. We’re seeing people grow. Now we have more people coming out there. We’ll probably see 10,000 throughout the week. We’ve made a lot of progress and we’re really excited about it.
How did the fundraiser in Dallas go lat week?
There was a fundraiser last Friday. Coach Muschamp came and spoke. It was a good outing; 150 to 200 people were probably there. They raised a big sum of money. Last year I think they raised $40,000 with Coach Brown speaking. This year I haven’t gotten the total back. We had a great outing. We have a lot of support from Texas and a lot of support from family friends.