Seeing is Believing!
Volunteer Diane & Patient Erika Serrato
Erika Serrato’s eyesight had been deteriorating for seven years. When she worked outside, her eyes would become painfully dry and irritated, she said through a translator. As her eye disease worsened, Serrato’s fears of blindness increased. She was suffering from pterygium, an abnormal growth of fibrovascular tissue which extends from the “white” of the eye onto the cornea and eventually over the iris. On a recent Thursday afternoon, a grateful Serrato sat in the waiting room of the Florida Lions Eye Clinic waiting for a checkup after surgery on her second eye. This was the fifth time she had traveled three hours from Dade City to the eye clinic in Bonita Springs for assessments, surgeries and follow-up appointments. Arranging transportation and finding a friend to act as an interpreter was not easy, but she was more than willing to do it. The Florida Lions Eye Clinic is the only facility in the state offering free eye care and surgeries to uninsured people living at 200 percent or more below the federal poverty line.
Volunteer Cipora & Patient Alfonso Marquez
Alfonso has been a patient of the Florida Lions Eye Clinic for five years. He discovered us after driving a friend to the clinic for an appointment for eye surgery. Alfonso wondered if he qualified for our services, as he was diagnosed with glaucoma two years ago and did not have the money to pay for ongoing treatment. Luckily, he qualified for our services and made an appointment for an eye exam. Dr. Robert Sherman conducted Alfonso’s eye exam and discovered that he did not have glaucoma and treatment was not needed. Since then, Alfonso comes to the clinic once a year for follow up appointments to monitor his eye pressure. Alfonso expressed that he feels blessed that he does not have glaucoma and can now focus on other things.
“I am very satisfied and grateful with the services and attention the staff and volunteers give me at the Florida Lions Eye Clinic.” – Alfonso