Dr. George F. Hilton of the Moraga Ward, Oakland California Stake, is an ophthalmologist, specializing in diseases of the retina. He has been a clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco.
Earlier this year, Dr. Hilton won the W.H. Helmerich III Award for outstanding achievement in retina research. The award was created to recognize outstanding vision scientists throughout the world whose work contributes to the search for new knowledge about the retina and the diseases that destroy its function.Now, Dr. Hilton and his wife, Yvonne, are serving a one-year humanitarian mission for the Church in India. Blindness afflicts more than 10 million people in that nation.
Dr. and Sister Hilton's mission is to develop instrumentation and teaching techniques in their specialty suitable for developing countries. They are touring four medical schools in India for scholarly exchange. Sister Hilton is assisting her husband in surgery as she did in his U.S. practice.
Dr. Hilton said before leaving on the mission that his three loves in life are the gospel of Jesus Christ, his wife and family, and the opportunity to heal the blind.
In preparing for their mission, the Hiltons made arrangements for the acquisition and donation of a large quantity of medical equipment. They would use the equipment to help in their instructions on treatment for blindness.
In the last few months of their effort to acquire the equipment, it was apparent that funding would be approximately $20,000 short. Dr. and Sister Hilton were uncertain as to how to raise the remaining needed funds and were close to deciding that it might be necessary that they withdraw money they had saved for their retirement.
Shortly thereafter, word came that Dr. Hilton had won the Helmerich Award and that he would receive a $20,000 cash prize. He quickly acknowedged the prize as a timely answer to a critical need and cheerfully donated it toward the purchase of the needed equipment.