JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new First Coast non-profit organization is helping people who are uninsured or underinsured see clearly.
Florida Eye Specialists' doctors chipped in $21,000 to launch Florida Eye Cares after seeing how the COVID-19 pandemic made it even harder for people to get the vision care they so desperately need.
Many of us wear contacts or glasses. Imagine not being able to afford a vision screening and living your life out of focus. That's something the optometrists and ophthalmologists at the non-profit Florida Eye Cares are helping to change.
“I had very, very, very poor vision," Brenda Gregg said.
Brenda Gregg developed cataracts in just four months from diabetes.
“I could see shapes and colors, but I couldn’t read any letters," Gregg said. "I couldn’t read my mail, and I couldn’t see my phone. I would walk and try to prepare my balance. I was afraid to walk really because I thought I was going to fall.”
“Cataracts are a normal part of aging. It’s the lens in the eye that becomes cloudy as time goes on, and that’s what’s known as a cataract," said Dr. Ravi Patel, an ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Specialists.
Dr. Ravi Patel performed Gregg's surgery for free. It's done by making a small incision in the eye, taking out the cloudy lens, and replacing it with a lens implant.
“Vision is truly priceless," Patel said. "It affects everything we do from driving our cars to watching TV to reading books to having employment or being able to work.”
Gregg says the surgery has changed her life.
“What a difference. Now it’s 100%. I can watch television. I can see," Gregg said. "I basically can’t see letters, but sometimes I can. I wake up and my vision is very good.”
Click here for more information on Florida Eye Cares.