As Army reservist Daniel Nelson prepared for his deployment
to the Middle East earlier this spring, one thing he didn’t have to worry about
was how many pairs of glasses or contact lenses to pack.
For the first time since he was in the third grade, Nelson
can see perfectly without corrective lenses, thanks to Phillips Eye Institute
Foundation’s Sight for Soldiers program. The program provides financial
assistance to obtain laser vision correction surgery at Phillips Eye Institute
to troops serving in the National Guard and Reserves.
Ophthalmologist Neal Sher, MD, has
donated his services to provide the surgery to about 500 soldiers since the
program started. Donations to Phillips Eye Institute Foundation’s Sight for
Soldiers fund allow Phillips Eye Institute to discount or waive its fees for
the procedure and to help with lodging costs depending on need.
Nelson, who is a truck driver in civilian life, is married
with a young daughter and lives in Moorhead, Minn. The Sight for Soldiers
program also paid for his lodging in Minneapolis so Nelson could be seen by
Sher the day after surgery for a routine post-operative examination.
“My vision was terrible before the surgery. If I looked at
an eye chart, I could not even make out the first big E on the chart,” said
Nelson. After the surgery, he noticed an immediate improvement. “It’s a great
feeling to know you don’t have to rely on something else to be able to see.”
Having good vision is even more important when you are
halfway around the world on a military mission. “I did not want to deal with
inserts for safety glasses and other equipment issues. It’s not only an
inconvenience – if you don’t have it when you need it, it can be a hazard to
you or others,” said Nelson. “I’m so grateful that I was able to have this done
before my deployment.”
Sight for Soldiers fund helps Phillips Eye Institute provide laser vision
correction surgery to troops in the National Guard and Reserves. Give the gift
of sight to those who serve our country. Donate today.
Beth and Daniel Nelson
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