For three years, Virginia Gonzalez lived with a cataract in her left eye. She started seeing bright lights, which kept getting larger. When her vision became significantly reduced, she struggled with daily activities, such as reading price tags at the grocery store, getting around from place to place, and washing dishes. Due to her deteriorating vision, she could no longer see people’s faces clearly, and she avoided communicating with people around her. When she could no longer recognize her grandchildren’s facial features, she realized she would not be able to see them grow up. Fortunately for Mrs. Gonzalez, Dr. Pirnazar at Nvision Laguna Hills approved her for a surgery that took place on July 9th, 2018. The success of the surgery made her independent once again. She is thankful to Dr. Pirnazar and his team for giving her clear vision. Mrs. Gonzalez says this procedure has been life changing in many ways; most importantly, she can now enjoy time with her family and do things on her own without restrictions.
Beatriz Ramirez was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in 2007, after the birth of her daughter. As a mother of two children, she had to keep using her hands despite the constant pain. Beatriz had to be careful with her hands while washing dishes, cooking, cleaning her home, and driving, which meant her daily tasks took longer to complete. Eventually, the pain she felt at night became unbearable. She waited for two years to get the treatment she needed, until St. Jude Neighborhood Clinic referred Beatriz to AccessOC for an orthopedic evaluation. AccessOC coordinated her surgery with Dr. Paul Dinh, a hand and wrist specialist at Orthopaedic Specialty Institute in Orange, CA. On July 6th, Beatriz finally had her carpal tunnel release surgery, which immediately brought relief. She says about her experience, “it has been a great blessing to have this type of assistance that help bridge the healthcare gap for people that are obligated to live with pain, until someone has the money and time to help those that need it. I am thankful to Dr. Dinh for giving back to patients that need it the most. He volunteers his time, services, and medical expertise to give the gift of healing.” Beatriz can now recover and care for her children without pain.
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.
Please welcome our new medical volunteer, Dr. Halikis! He is one of our new doctors helping us at AccessOC Southern California. He is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand and upper extremity surgeries. We can't wait for him to be part of our team and assist our patients who are in need!
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.
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.
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.