At Miracles In Sight, we provide many services related to the restoration of sight, including research and professional development, but our primary focus is recovering corneal tissue from those who chose to donate it—and then providing that tissue to ophthalmologists around the world for corneal transplant. One of the organizations we collaborate with is Operation Sight in our neighboring state of South Carolina. Operation Sight is, like us, a nonprofit organization. They provide free surgical care to uninsured South Carolina residents suffering from cataracts or urgent, sight threatening retinal disorders. Since they started in 2011, they have performed over 270 free surgeries.
Appreciating the value of the work they do, we recently gifted Operation Sight with a $25,000 donation to support the organization’s efforts. Cindi Soloman, Operation Sight’s Executive Director, wrote us a wonderful letter thanking us for the donation, and letting us know that ours is the largest donation ever received. She also said that our donation “drastically improved the lives of seventeen recipients, nine males and eight females, stretching across ten counties of South Carolina.” While we know the work we do is important, hearing stories like these brings home the fact that our work benefits real people and makes their lives infinitely better. We’d like to share some of the stories Cindi sent to us.
Donald is a 52-year-old male from Murrells Inlet. He waited 10 years before seeking help for his vision loss and was referred to Operation Sight by the Association for the Blind. His vision negatively impacted his daily life, making driving and reading more difficult. He states that, “it was as if I was looking through a haze.” In addition, he was worried about losing his job as an assembly technician. Since having the cataract surgery in both eyes, Donald states, “I now feel as though I’m looking through a tropical fish tank – things are clear now. I have been able to maintain my full-time job. This has been a life changer! Thank you!”
Cynthia is a 60-year-old from Marion County. Prior to reaching out to Operation Sight, Cynthia suffered from a traumatic retinal detachment. Due to her vision loss, she could not drive safely and became dependent upon others. After having cataract surgery, Cynthia wrote: “Thanks to everyone who helped me during this time. You saved my life. I now have great eyesight. May God bless you! I will continue to pray for you and the staff!”
Armando is a 63-year-old from North Charleston who had pterygium and cataract surgery on both eyes. He was eager to act quickly and seek care for his vision loss. He thoroughly enjoyed his job at a local church and had 12 family members dependent on his income. After surgery, he spoke with members of his church family, who later emailed our organization stating, “I can’t tell you how happy Armando and his family have been to receive this surgery. He is like somebody who won the lottery. He has told me at least 10 times that he is giving thanks to God for the wonderful gift. I hope you know what a wonderful thing you are doing in the lives of people who have so little.”
Amy is a 37-year-old from Marion County who had cataract surgery in both eyes. She was referred to Operation Sight through America’s Best. Her physician told her that her vison was so poor, it was as if she was glaring through aluminum foil. After having surgery, she noticed a drastic difference with colors and her overall quality of life. She was able to keep her job as a sales associate. Amy stated, “My vision is SO much better! Everything looks great. It is hard to find words to describe how appreciative I am for you all. I wish I could hug each and every one of you. Again, I can’t thank you enough.”
Douglas is a 56-year-old from Conway. He was referred to Operation Sight by the Association for the Blind. An electrician for 10 years, he began to feel unsafe at work when dealing with the electrical panels due to his significant vision loss. He had trouble driving at night and had difficulty with basic household tasks. After having cataract surgery in both eyes, Douglas stated, “Without your help, I would have gone blind. Your staff was kind and knew their job. It was great. Your help has been a God’s send.”
Tammy is a 54-year-old from Myrtle Beach and had cataract surgery on both eyes as well as one YAG procedure. Furthermore, she is in the process of seeing a retinal specialist for her detached retina, a surgery that will be covered by Operation Sight. Her vision loss negatively affected her life – she had difficulty reading and caring for herself. To accommodate for her vision loss, Tammy arranged rides to and from work with her coworkers in order to maintain her job at a local grocery store. After having surgery, she stated, “I thank God every day for Operation Sight. You gave me back my life and independence. I can’t thank you enough!”
Stories like these inspire us to do what we do. And just as Cindi thanked us for our support, we thank you for your support. Your donations of corneal tissue and financial assistance help make these “miracles in sight” happen. To learn more about donating corneal tissue or to send a financial contribution, please click the link below.