Restored Vision

A car accident 30 years ago left 68-year-old Ramon Rivera Franco blind in his left eye. Due to heat and chemical exposure from his work as a welder and complications from his diabetes, the vision in his right eye began to deteriorate as well. A trip to the ER made Ramon decide to adopt a healthier lifestyle in order to be present in his grandkid’s life. While staying at homeless shelters, a vision clinic at the Santa Ana Armory referred him to AccessOC for ophthalmology services.  Soon after, Dr. Ghosheh approved his case, and Mr. Rivera Franco had cataract surgery on May 31, 2018.  Ramon is excited about having clearer vision and is very satisfied with the results.  Although he must continue to manage his diabetes to maintain his eye health, he appreciates all of the help he was given and volunteers his time at food banks and shelters to help others.  AccessOC and Serve the People Community Clinic helped Ramon obtain a glucometer so he can monitor his sugar levels and better manage his diabetes.

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A Brighter Future with New Vision

Aldo lived 20 years with vision problems. Living in Mexico City for part of his life, constant sun exposure and the air quality caused his eye health to deteriorate.  The pain was so consistent that he became used to it.  Once he started working in Orange County at a warehouse, he noticed that being around chemicals irritated his eyes and he decided to change jobs; working at a car wash and as a gardener, both jobs requiring him to be outdoors.  He quickly noticed the toll this took on his vision but had no choice but to continue working to sustain his family.  On April 17, 2018, Dr. Ghosheh performed surgery to remove the cataract that was slowly affecting his vision and quality of life.  Dr. Ghosheh knew eye drops would only be a temporary solution so he opted to perform surgery and give Mr. Gutierrez a better outcome.  Aldo wants to give a special thanks to Noemi Grabiel, Program Manager at AccessOC for coordinating his surgery and giving him the opportunity to see again. “She was with me every step of the way, she listened to me and was compassionate, thank you Mrs. Grabiel for everything that you do”.  He expressed his gratitude to the entire team and now enjoys life with good vision.

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The Gift of Sight

Leonardo suffered significant vision loss due to a pterygium (growth) on each eye. He worked as a construction worker, though his eyes became watery and irritated when exposed to air, dust, and water. His sight began to affect his work, where he was constantly exposed to the sun and harsh chemicals. The symptoms became so severe, Leonardo had to change jobs in 2013 to spend more time indoors. He helped his wife clean houses but did not make as much money and had to move to a new home. The financial instability meant he could not even afford a pair of eyeglasses to help his vision. On April 17, 2018, Dr. Ghosheh extracted both of Leonardo’s pterygiums. Leonardo is extremely thankful to Dr. Ghosheh, his team, and AccessOC, which helped coordinate his surgery. His life has changed, and he is now able to see clearly, which is only possible with the help of these volunteer doctors. Leonardo appreciates the quality of life he can now enjoy.

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Regaining Strength

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Marisol Esquivel endured 10 years of pain in her upper arm.  Initially, the pain was moderate and she tried to manage it daily by taking painkillers, hoping the pain would subside with time.  After some years, the pain escalated to a point where she was unable to complete the most basic daily tasks.  Waking up in the morning to shower became something she dreaded, she would hear her bones crack as she tried to shampoo her hair.  The cold weather made her pain management difficult because the pain would first linger, then worsen.  As a homemaker and a mother of two, her condition took a toll on her family members, as she was unable to work and care for her them as before.  Fortunately, Dr. Shepard performed surgery on Marisol’s upper arm on December 18, 2017 and she is now recovering.  Her daughter took a semester off from college to help around the house and help the family get by financially.  As for her son and husband, they learned how to cook and take care of tasks around the house that only she would do before.  AccessOC connected her to Physical Therapy for All, a nonprofit that helps low-income individuals that are medically underserved get physical therapy to regain full mobility.  Marisol says she has had all her family’s support and thanks AccessOC for serving her needs and well-being throughout this life-changing procedure.  As for her daughter, she will continue her college education once Marisol has fully recovered.

The Importance of Early Detection

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Maricela expected to undergo a normal annual screening during our Kaiser Permanente Surgery Day in October. Therefore, she could not anticipate a doctor detecting early colon cancer during the screening. While this was a daunting diagnosis, the early detection allowed for more treatment options and the possibility of removing polyps before they turn into cancer. Thanks to this procedure, Maricela received timely, life-saving news and is now receiving treatment after we referred her to a clinic. If it wasn’t for AccessOC and Kaiser Permanente, patients like Maricela wouldn’t receive the care coordination and screening needed to access high-quality specialty care and lead healthier lives.