Hattiesburg Community Receives Gift of Sight
Southern Eye Center has a long tradition of helping the Hattiesburg community. From providing relief after devastating storm Katrina, to collecting toys for children at Christmas to participating in fundraising for Breast Cancer Awareness, the team at Southern Eye Center is always willing to lend a helping hand.
When Lynn McMahan, MD, founder of Southern Eye Center became aware of local patients who needed vision correction, but could not afford the procedure, he naturally decided to find a way to help. In 2002, Dr. McMahan created the Gift of Sight Program.
“In my first year of practice, I had a lady come here with glaucoma. Several years later, she came back and was blind,” he recalled, shaking his head. “I said, ‘Why didn’t we see you sooner?’ She said she had no insurance and couldn’t afford it. If I’d seen her in time, I could have saved her sight, and I never wanted that on my conscience again. Ever.”
Since 2002, Gift of Sight has become a semi-annual event in which optometrists in the Hattiesburg community and surrounding area recommend patients in need of cataract surgery, and once their eligibility is determined, a surgeon at Southern Eye Center performs their procedure. Kiper Nelson, MD, performed the procedures for the Gift of Sight Day on Friday, February 13, 2015.
“We have really adopted this as a kind of mission work here at Southern Eye Center and the partners at Southern Eye Center are committed to serving our community,” says Dr. Nelson.