Metro Doctor Gives Woman Free Eye Surgery

Monday, September 17th 2018, 5:56 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

With the prospect of going blind, a metro mom found out about a relatively new eye surgery that could save her sight, only to learn she couldn't afford it.

But that's where a local eye doctor stepped in.

The surgery costs about $10,000, but the mother of two is getting it for free. 

Larisa Callejas started losing her eyesight when she was just 14 and it has progressively gotten worse. Now, without her contacts, she can't even see her children playing. 

“I hear them laughing, playing around. I have to grab them and put them in my lap so I can see them, I can see their little face this close,” she said.

She's nearly blind in her right eye and is losing sight in the left one, too. Surgery would likely stop the progression but she couldn't afford it. 

“I was going to wait until I get the money and pay it,” she told News 9 Monday. 

But in two years, she could be completely blind.

“My conscious couldn’t let me do that,” said Dr. Luke Rebenitsch. 

Her surgeon, Dr. Rebenitsch, got the company providing the medication to give it to them for free, and on Monday, he did the surgery. 

“It sounds cliché but this is why we go into medicine. This is why we go through all those years of training to help people like this. This is a fix,” he said.

“I didn’t know what to say,” said Callejas. “They were like 'are you there?' I’m like 'yea, I’m here but I don’t know what to say.'”

The surgery has a 98 percent success rate. Dr. Rebenitsch said she will start seeing an improvement within 24 hours, and eventually, her eyesight could return to what it was when she was a teenager.

“I’m very thankful, very thankful. There’s no words I can say,” Callejas said.