Imagine this: One day you begin to notice that you have blurred vision, but due to financial limitations, months go by before you actually make an appointment to get your vision checked. You go into the appointment with the mindset that all you will need is a new pair of glasses, but that’s not all because the doctor has diagnosed you with cataracts, a medical condition where an eye’s lens becomes opaque and without surgery your vision will become so impaired that you will become blind in that eye. The news devastates you because the fear of going blind is overwhelming, but you know that without insurance surgery is not an option. So you do the best you can despite your circumstances, but with time your vision impairs you from doing simple tasks –first driving, then reading, and household chores — to the point where you must completely depend on others to help you walk around the house and are unable to see your loved ones’ faces.
Can you imagine it? Because it’s a true story, Guadalupe’s story; however, it doesn’t have a sad ending. AccessOC took on her case and referred her to ophthalmologist, Dr. Faris Ghosheh, who volunteered to perform the cataract surgery at no cost to Guadalupe through AccessOC’s integrated model. For our many patients like Guadalupe who lack access to specialty medical care, Dr. Ghosheh is the difference between being able to see and going blind. This is why since November 2016, he has continued to volunteer with AccessOC and has provided an additional five eye surgeries.
However, Dr. Ghosheh does more than provide AccessOC patients with free eye surgeries, he also fosters a sincere doctor-patient relationship dynamic with all patients. Treating every patient with genuine kindness, never rushing the patient but taking the time to listen and expressing interest in what they have to say, and doing his best to communicate with patients in their native language, Spanish, Dr. Ghosheh is able to make the patients feel cared for. Thanks to Dr. Ghosheh, patients like Guadalupe can not only see again and look forward to a future with better vision, but also have the confidence that there is a community of volunteers that care.
With a long history of volunteering, this truly applies to Dr. Ghosheh. In addition to volunteering for AccessOC through the integrated surgery model, Surgery Days, and looking to increase the number of AccessOC patients served, he has also been a regular volunteer for Illumination Foundation’s vision clinics since 2010. Moreover, Dr. Ghosheh is an advocate; often using his personal social media account as a platform to create awareness, helping recruit doctors for AccessOC surgeries and Illumination Foundation’s vision clinics, he is an exemplary volunteer who without question has become one of AccessOC’s most valuable volunteers and worthy of being honored at the 2017 Spirit of Volunteerism Awards.