The Gift of Sight program is a collaborative community program that provides free cataract surgery to patients who lack insurance and are legally blind due to cataracts. It was established over 29 years ago by ophthalmologist and Vision Is Priceless’ Board Member, Jeffrey Levenson, MD. Throughout the years, Dr. Levenson has provided over 400 free cataract surgeries for people since the inception of the program.
Vision Is Priceless clients are chosen to become a part of the Gift of Sight program based on the severity of their cataracts and life circumstances.
Receiving the Gift of Sight: Meet Robert!
Robert started to noticed a drastic change in his vision but his Medicaid didn’t cover eye care so he avoided seeing a doctor because of the expense. Eventually, Robert could no longer see the difference between the ceiling and the wall and could barely see out of his right eye. Robert became extremely nervous, “What if I become blind if I keep waiting?” Robert regularly attended the YMCA and they told him about Vision Is Priceless and the free services that we provide. Robert failed our free vision screening and received a comprehensive eye exam by one of our volunteer partner doctors at Levenson Eye Associates. The doctor told Robert that he had cataracts in both eyes and that they could remove the cataract in his right eye since it was worse.
Thanks to Vision Is Priceless, the Gift of Sight Program, and the volunteer doctors and technicians Robert was able to receive cataract surgery free of charge. “This is life changing!” exclaimed Robert when he came out of surgery, “This will change everything!” He was all smiles and in complete disbelief on how well he was able to see. Robert pointed out the colors he hadn’t seen in years, the numbers on the clock, peoples’ faces, and anything else showing how he could finally see! “I didn’t realize how bad my vision was” exclaimed Robert, “this saved my life!”
About Dr. Levenson
Dr. Jeff Levenson has helped restore the vision of thousands of people. His mission is to ensure that no one remains needlessly blind from a correctable eye disease for lack of funds.
Dr. Levenson works both locally and internationally to carry out his mission to prevent blindness. He is the founding director of Levenson Eye Associates, with four office locations throughout Northeast Florida.
Dr. Levenson also volunteers with Surgical Eye Expeditions International (SEE), where he currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer. Since 2009, Dr. Levenson has traveled to Central and South America to provide free eye exams and sight-restoring cataract surgeries to those who would otherwise not have access to proper vision care. While there, he also teaches local ophthalmologists how to perform safe, successful cataract surgeries without all the high-tech equipment we access to in the United States.
Locally, Dr. Levenson partners with Vision Is Priceless to provide free ophthalmic services as well as free cataract surgeries for people who are uninsured and low-income.