Things were getting dark for 56-year-old Buddy Roi. Literally.

Having lost approximately 80% of the vision in his right eye, Roi’s quality of life was deteriorating. He was unable to make out colors, shapes, and other basic details. Everything from computer work to driving became a challenge. 

Soon the additional strain he was putting on his left eye caused more trouble. His good eye would water and tire easily. Roi couldn’t even watch television, because it hurt so much.

“I was miserable,” he recalls. “It was terrible, and I didn’t know what to do.”

After receiving an eye exam, Roi learned he had cataracts and his optometrist recommended surgery. However, he faced yet another challenge: finances. 

Roi specializes in restaurant restoration, and his profession took a hit due to the pandemic. Simultaneously, he became the sole caretaker of his ailing mother, which forced him to cut back on work hours. The ability to pay for surgery seemed out of reach.

“I did some research and learned about the Eye Consultants of Atlanta Foundation,” he says. “Thank goodness I was eligible to receive financial assistance from the foundation. I don’t know what I would’ve done without it.”

Roi qualified to participate in Operation Saving Sight (OSS), a charitable program of Eye Consultants of Atlanta and the Eye Consultants of Atlanta Foundation. OSS allows Eye Consultants of Atlanta surgeons and clinic professionals to contribute their time and skills to perform cataract eye surgeries at no cost for Georgians in need.

According to Roi, the financial aid wasn’t the only thing that gave him hope. He says his initial consultation with Eye Consultants of Atlanta brought comfort to an intimidating and stressful situation. Roi was paired with a counselor who answered all of his questions and walked him through the onboarding process.

Roi was introduced to Dr. Stephen Hamilton, who would perform the cataract surgery. “He could tell I was nervous,” Roi says, “but he had great bedside manner and a sense of humor that put me at ease. He explained the entire surgical process, so I would know what to expect.”

The outpatient cataract surgery took place in early October 2021. The 18-minute procedure went smooth, Roi says. In fact, Dr. Hamilton quickly finished the operation before Roi could fully notice the effects of the sedative.  

The next morning, less than 24 hours after the surgery, Roi awoke amazed by the results. Colors and hues were now vibrant, and images appeared crisp and sharp. 

Roi’s 20/20 vision returned. He could now see long distances and had no need for reading glasses. Most importantly, his life instantly became more manageable.

“I was simply blown away by the effectiveness of the procedure,” Roi says. “The entire staff at Eye Consultants of Atlanta were incredible. If I have any vision issues in the future, I know where to go.”