22 needy people got the ‘Gift of Sight’ in Boca Raton today

Dr. Howard Goldman (Contributed: Eye Associates of Boca Raton)

Dr. Howard Goldman (Contributed: Eye Associates of Boca Raton)

BOCA RATON — Twenty-two people were given the “gift of sight” in Boca Raton on Monday, when a clinic arranged for much-needed eye surgeries free of charge.

The Caridad Center, a free clinic in Boynton Beach, arranged for ophthalmologists to voluntarily perform eye surgeries for lower-income people as part of a holiday “Gift of Sight” program. The surgeons are with the Eye Associates of Boca Raton.

Between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, the surgeons performed the medical procedures at the Outpatient Surgery Center of Boca, at 950 NW 13th St.

Eighteen of the surgeries corrected cataracts, the main cause of blindness, according to the Caridad Center. Three were Pterygium surgeries, which remove external eye growths that deform the cornea and often cause serious visual impairment. One surgery corrected badly drooping eyelids due to paralysis that meant the patient could hardly see out of her eye.

“Many of these patients have been affected with eye conditions impairing their vision for years, but they did not have access to or funds for surgery,” Laura Kallus, executive director of Caridad Center, said in a statement. “It’s a miracle to work with an amazing team of ophthalmologists and support staff that can give the gift of sight to those in need.”

The Gift of Sight program was started nine years ago by Dr. Howard Goldman, of Eye Associates of Boca Raton, although Goodman has been performing free surgeries in Palm Beach County as well as third-world countries since the 1990s.

Among those who benefited from the Gift of Sight program on Monday was an 82-year-old woman whose daughter had to stop working when her mother went blind, according to a spokesperson for Caridad Center. Now that the mother had the surgery, the daughter will be able to go back to work.