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Moran Eye Center hosts 'Charitable Surgery Day'

(Todd Hougaard)

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — On Saturday, The Moran Eye Center hosted what they called a "Charitable Surgery Day", an annual event held to provide various eye surgeries for free. 12 eye patients were selected to receive the gift of improved sight at no cost.

Shelli Hatt was one such recipient and received free cataract surgery. Hatt works with youth at the Salt Lake Valley Detention Center. She said being able to keep her eyes on them is crucial.

"I never would've thought that I could come up here and within three days be having surgery," Hatt said. "Everybody up here is doing that for basically free — taking care of people for free. It's incredible."

Doctors say it's a day when they can come together with nurses and others volunteers to help low income and uninsured residents receive treatment for debilitating eye conditions.

About 50 employees from the Moran Eye Center showed up saturday, volunteering their time and equipment.

Michael Yei is the Manager of Outreach Programs at the Moran Eye Center. He said this day of free services provides eye care to patients who otherwise wouldn't have help.

"There are patients that we see in the various outlying clinics," Yei said. "They have no resources to take care of their needs."

Some who received eye treatments were referred from the Fourth Street Clinic in Salt Lake City and the People's Health Clinic in Park City.

These are patients that we see in the various outlying clinics. They have no resources to take care of their needs.

–Michael Yei

Alan Crandall is the Director of Cataract and Glaucoma Services. He said the free surgeries are made possible by the donations of local companies.

"We get the companies to donate all the lenses for the surgery," Crandall said. "And then we can take someone like Ms. Hatt who is totally blind in one of her eyes. Once the cataract is done, she'll see beautifully. The cataract won't come back."

The Moran Eye Center donated three operating rooms for Saturday's surgeries. The patients who received the surgeries on Saturday will be able to remove their patches Sunday and begin their new lives with improved sight immediately.


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