More than a dozen Jacksonville patients in need received the gift of sight this season. It was all thanks to our nonprofit Florida Eye Cares, in partnership with Sunbelt Anaesthesia, Southpoint Surgery Center, and the doctors who donated their time for the second year in a row.
“There’s such a wonderful thing about giving the gift of sight,” said Dr. Kathryn Freidl. “This is why we do what we do, this is what lights our fire, and it’s just such a happy day.”
Nine of the Florida Eye Specialists eye surgeons worked for hours to restore the eyesight for local patients. These individuals didn’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid and were suffering from cloudy vision. Without insurance, cataract surgery can cost more than $5,000 per eye out of pocket
One of the patients who received much-needed cataract surgery for free was Antonio Ricardo. The 77-year old lost his wife to breast cancer almost 30 years ago while living in the Philippines. He had to spend most of his life savings on medical expenses. He is grateful to have his sight restored, so he can return to the things he loves, like tennis, reading, and working.
“Being handicapped with my vision is such a deterrent. I am really very grateful and I cannot find enough words to express my appreciation,” Ricardo said. “The services you offer are such a benefit for people like me.”
Cataracts are a debilitating disease. If left untreated, cataracts have the potential to cause blindness. That’s why the condition is crucial to address as soon as possible.
Dr. Akbar Hasan, one of the cataract specialists of the practice and co-founder of Florida Eye Cares, said the surgeries will make a huge difference in patients’ lives.
“Having cataracts really impacts your quality of life, including your ability to work. So, the opportunity to regain that vision is huge. It’s really life-altering for these patients,” said Dr. Hasan. “We want to help as many people as we can. There are many patients on waiting lists who need help. It’s just a matter of getting support from the community to make more events like this happen.”
To make a donation to Florida Eye Cares or learn more, click here.