NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - At Lehmann Eye Center in Nacogdoches the pace picks up the days before Thanksgiving. That's when the Gift of Sight is offered.
The staff checks with one another to make sure the next patient can be moved into the operating room with no delays.
For 20 years, eye surgeon, Dr Robert Lehmann has provided free cataract surgeries for selected uninsured patients.
"We're doing cataract removal, taking out the patients clouded lense which in many cases is just completely white," explained Lehmann. "And replacing it with a lense implant, an acrylic material that will be god for one lifetime."
A 13-year old girl was one of Lehmann's first charitable cases. A framed article of the story is the doctor's keepsakes.
"The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that we've done patients from age 13 to probably some in their 80's," said Lehmann.
The doctor also jokes how his own appearance is different.
Dr Lehmann may have changed a bit in two decades, but so has the technology.
"Every aspect of what we do as eye surgeons and eye care providers has been safer, more efficient and better," said Lehmann.
Today, 52 year old R.L. Holland of Carthage is having a cataract removed from his right eye.
"It should be a little better. Should be able to see better," said the quiet spoken man.
The Gift of Sight is just glad to provide the service just in time for the holiday season. A Thanksgiving turkey, a child's smile, or the first Christmas decoration pulled out for the holiday season will come into focus for some deserving East Texans.
The Gift of Sight depends on the donations of implants by lense manufacturers. Anyone without insurance or without the means to pay for the surgery is welcome to apply for the Gift of Sight. Patients have come from Dallas, Louisiana and all over East Texas.