Surgery restores woman’s vision, life

Published 12:04 am Friday, May 20, 2011

At 64, Florala resident Sandra Stokes is too young to receive Medicare benefits and too blind to care for her husband.

However, thanks to the Gift of Sight cataract program sponsored by Eye Center South, Stokes has recovered her sight – and her mobility.

Stokes is among numerous area residents who are taking part in this year’s program, which is part of a nationwide program known as Mission Cataract USA. Created in 1991 by Dr. Frederick Richburg, Valley Eye Institute in Fresno, Calif., Mission Cataract USA is a nationally renowned program bringing eye doctors, surgeons and volunteers together to provide free vision services to those in need.

During the week of May 9-13, eye surgeons William L. Bennett, MD and Marnix E. Heersink, MD, will provided complimentary cataract surgery to visually impaired persons like Ms. Fee who would otherwise go untreated due to lack of insurance or other financial constraints.

“I’ve been unable to take my husband to Pensacola for his hospital visits because my eye doctor ordered me to stop driving long distances,” Stokes said. “It was truly a prayer being answered when Eye Center South called me and said I was accepted for the Gift of Sight program,” she said.