Here is the letter from Elder Jones which will explains his eye condition:
Elder Reynolds is growing a ptyergium on his right lateral sclera or the white of the eyes. It is abnormal but not serious overgrowth of conjuctival tissue that covers the surface of all exposed eyeball and lids. These are not uncommon but most won't get them. They tend to grow slowly but can increase with irritation from rubbing, wind, dryness, infection etc. They are usually only a problem if they grow too broad and involve the cornea or clear dome on the front of the eye. Left untreated they can literally grow over the entire eye and block vision. Elder Reynolds ptyergium is growing onto his cornea and he feels like he has a foreign body in his eye all the time. We have a very good, well qualified Ophthalmologist, Dr. Armando Sandoval, who I believe trained in the U.S. He can do this superficial surface surgery in his operating suite and he will graft eh repair with top of eyeball conjuctiva which are doesn't tend to ever grow ptyergiums so Elder Reynolds should not get a recurrence which is common with simple removal and closure. He would be patched for one day and with care could be back on the job of missionary work the second or third day. This common straight forward procedure can be scheduled as soon as cleared.
Elder G. Jones MMA
Here is Elder Reynolds' letter to everyone:
So I am alive!!! haha So I will try to make this as vivid as possible lol. I am typing right now with my eye patch now so I am not sure how good this will sound. It's crazy how much you take for granted all the little things. Who knew that sight was so important!?! So 2 weeks ago, I had a doctor's appointment to see how my eye was doing. Hoping that it was doing better and that thing wasn't growing. But as in all cool stories, it didn't turn out as planned. The doctor told me I was going to need surgery and started going into what was going to happen and I am not going to lie, I was pretty freaked out...but Elder Jones is a doctor himself so he was telling me it would be a simple surgery and nothing would go wrong. Then President Barlow got involved and it became a 3-way calling spree as everyone was trying to get all the information right haha because Elder Jones can't speak Spanish so he was using his somewhat knowledge of eyes to explain all of this. So after getting permission from the parents...thankfully haha...Monday we scheduled the surgery for Tuesday the next day!! We went to stay up north with the secretaries of the mission so that everything would be tranquilo (quiet). My surgery was at 9:00 am and so we showed up and the funniest thing happened. My companion woke up in the middle of the night because he slept with his contacts in and tried to take them out and it ended up ripping in his eye so he was in a lot of pain and we were up from like 1:00 to 4:00 in the morning talking haha because who actually sleeps before surgery?? The next day Elder Mooney's eye was super red. We showed up to the clinic and it looked like he was the one having the surgery due to the redness and irritation in his eye. As you can see in the pictures lol. So as we were waiting, good ole Elder Jones started telling us stories about how surgeries went bad. They were pretty interesting stories...just not the stuff you want to hear right before you go into surgery. Finally after enduring through those stories I was called to go up to the surgery floor. Phew just in time lol I got to change into the surgery scrubs and I had flashbacks to the time I got my shoulder surgery haha. It was nice having those things back on. I went to lay in a bed waiting...patiently...haha for them to roll me in. Every 2 minutes they would come and put drops in my eye that were suppose to numb it but as those who know me, I am horrible with that stuff. So they just squirted a bunch of that stuff and it would pool up so when I did open my eye, it would go in. I can only imagine they were thinking, man this is going to be an interesting surgery. But as they wheeled me in that is when I wish I didn't know Spanish because the nurses were arguing a bit and that's not what you want in a stressful situation. Then was the time that they had to get my eye all situated to put the anesthetics in and start the surgery. It was at that point when I realized "what have I gotten myself into?" I saw the needle and was pretty shaky lol. It's crazy how much they rely on the patient to work with them because without the patients help, the doctor could do nothing! I made sure not to move after realizing all of that. Luckily like anything else, it was a small pinch but did have some pain to it, considering it was in the eye. Then they put my eyelids into some weird mechanism so that it couldn't shut. That was pretty freaky not being able to shut my eye no matter how hard I tried. But then the hard part was over, they started going at it. The weirdest part of it all was I was completely conscious of all that was going on and again I wish I didn't know Spanish because as they were going from instrument to instrument...scissors, scalpel, tweezers, laser, flame thrower thing ha...and also the occasional umm oops ha. I wanted to be like "just kidding, I was kidding I don't need the surgery, got you guys see you later, bye." hahaha But honestly this was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. As they were doing whatever they were doing, blood was running over my eye and everything went red. It was like when you die on Call of Duty and the screen goes red lol. What was weird is I could sometimes focus on what they were doing but sometimes not. One time I made the accident of looking at what they were doing as they were about to cut my eye a bit more and the doctor simply replied, "please don't do that, I don't want to cut your eye in half." lol you know just regular surgery precautions. So what actually happened as they explained it to me, is they cut the ptyergium out of my eye and then cut a portion of the top part of my eye and brought it down to replace the eye part they cut out and grafted it in with stitches...12 stitches they ended up doing!!! And then after about 45 minutes they started the clean up process. If you remember Toy Story when that weird old guy, Al, was cleaning up Woody to ship him off...that was how they did it. They got a q-tip and rubbed it over my eye and I was laughing just thinking about how I was like Woody getting all buttered up to be shipped off lol!!! Overall it was a crazy experience and to my surprise it didn't hurt too much as I originally thought! I didn't realize that the surgery was the easiest part of all of this. Then I went back down to get all the medicines and cool Willy Wonka glasses and then started the 24 plus hours of blindness. Elder Mooney with his own portion of problems with his eye was leading me to every which way...we fulfilled the scripture about the blind leading the blind!! haha But man after the good ole anesthetics wore off...man was it miserable. Probably the worse pain I have ever had to endure. It was itchy, sensitive, pulsating, headache, just everything was hurting me. It felt like I had super bad allergies and nothing would make it go away and one of the worse things about being blind besides the fact of being blind is knowing that there is light...but you can't see it. I don't know how many panic attacks I had...wanting to rip off the patches because it felt like I was in outer darkness, traveling was scary and also in the middle of the night....ooooooo man was it freaky. Do not want to do that again haha, but now for the entertaining part....I just want to do a special shout-out to Elder Mooney before I tell all of this...he is pretty dang cool to be able to put up with me and as I tell these things, you can all see how full of charity he is! haha I didn't realize that without your sight one wouldn't be able to eat...so for the day and a half I was being spoon fed by Elder Mooney. Not knowing what he was putting into my mouth and just him painting a word picture for me to imagine it haha. Him guiding me everywhere I went...and...going to the bathroom. Oh man, so apparently it's harder to aim when you can't see what you are aiming at hahaha. Thankfully we were prepared with cleaning supplies and Elder Mooney was filled with a charitable heart as I missed more than a few times haha. We ended up getting pretty good at it towards the end as he would tell me to go forward or to the right or the left and then aim and fire! Companionship unity award, am I right?? It was so funny hearing him saying "Dude, what did you do??! There is a pee everywhere!!! How did you not just feel and hear that you weren't hitting the center! This is so disgusting. It smells like pee everywhere gosh dangit." hahahahahahahaha Man I could only laugh and feel sorry at the same time. So after a day of this the doctor took off the patches and man was it good to see light again!!! About a minute after enjoying light into my life again, I realized how hard it was to focus and to see. It was like I had to train myself to see again! lol I don't know if it was more miserable not being able to see light or being able to see light but feeling the sutures in my eye...man it's been a long week of sitting in the house, listening to talks over and over again, and just talking to my comp. We were pretty bored. Now I am still getting used to seeing again along with 5 drops of 2 solutions every day and the recovery phase continues. I thank you so much for your prayers. It was a rough week but I couldn't imagine it without the help from above...I love you all so much! Thank you so much, I am alive and well...still recovering but with ganas to seguir adalente (desire to continue ahead)! ha and if you are thinking about eye surgery...don't read this lol.
He said he is not able to write much so if you didn't get a response from him, that is why! This weekend was also transfers and he is being transferred to Puyo...the jungle part of Ecuador! Which is 4.5 hours south of Quito. He appreciates your prayers and has felt them throughout the week. We are thankful for the surgery going well. It's been a worrisome week as we have waited to hear from him. Elder Jones sent these pictures to us, following the surgery.
Elder Reynolds and Dr. Sandoval post op
His cool Willy Wonka glasses and relieved it's over!!!
Missionary pirate for a day!
The Blind leading the Blind!
Hand fed by his loving companion, Elder Mooney! He was glad his fast was over!
Companionship Unity Award--Elder Mooney and Elder Reynolds!!