Operation Sight is a critical program to support underinsured and uninsured Americans in need of charitable cataract surgery. Since 2014, the program’s valued network of volunteer surgeons has provided over 5,000 cataract surgeries at no cost to patients in need.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for Operation Sight and its volunteer surgeons has increased substantially. Since March, over 400 patients have sought the program’s support for their sight to be restored. Patients express their fear of completing daily tasks without falling, driving safely at night, and live without certainty that they will ever regain their vision. The pandemic has especially exacerbated the economic effects on the financially vulnerable patient population that Operation Sight and its volunteers serve. With the heightened unemployment rate, in addition to the loss of their vision, many of these patients have lost their income, insurance and access to care. The program is often a last resort for help.
“This happened to be at a very terrible time in U.S. history. The timing was absolutely the worst. The COVID virus affected everything and caused everything to go in the worst possible direction… Resulted in me losing work, home, repossessed vehicle, quality of life. I am truly so very thankful…I certainly will never ever forget these wonderful people and organization”
- Robert, Operation Sight Patient
The gift of sight is key to patients returning to normalcy, and regaining employment and independence. Despite the pandemic, Operation Sight and its volunteers continue to make cataract surgery accessible to patients in need, having provided over 850 charitable cataract surgeries and counting in 2020.