Typically, when you speak to Sen. Rand Paul, it's usually about restoring vision in government. Today, he gave that saying a more literal meaning for some in Glasgow. He returned to his first love... Ophthalmology.
"I enjoy doing it because I'm kind of busy doing politics... But I like to...this is my first love to try to help people," said Sen. Paul.
The Mission Cataract program allowed Sen. Paul to provide cataract surgery for 19 patients this morning at McPeak Vision center, free of charge. Dr. Aaron Porter also performed surgeries, and has been working with the program for nearly a decade. They weren't alone in the effort. All of the surgeons and staff volunteered their time.
"It's amazing to see everybody here that's giving their time. The doctors... the nurses... the technicians..all giving their time to try to help people to see better. it's also part of the community spirit that I think really doesn't get represented enough," said Sen. Paul.
senator Paul says it's projects like these that bring out the best in our communities.
"These people don't have any health insurance, but people are willing to give back to the community. a lot of these people have been waiting for a while because they don't have insurance, and their cataracts have become pretty significant. some of them can't drive. they can't see to read. really, some of them can see to count finger in front of them. it's miraculous to see them sit up and almost be able to see immediately," said Sen. Paul.
"To wake up in the morning and be able to see where I'm going," said James Hines.
"To be able to string up a fishing hook," Billy Kemp.
"Oh and the flowers are prettier too," Linda Estes.
It's not just those simple things. These surgeries have changed so much more.
"Their day to day life has dramatically changed when they have this procedure done."
...and for that, these people are beyond thankful.
"I couldn't even express my gratitude," said Hines.
"It just means so much you know... You just take everything for granted, and when it's gone, you know how much it meant to you," said Estes.
Sen. Paul says he is scheduled to perform more surgeries for charity in Corbin in two weeks.
Mcpeak Vision Center in Glasgow takes one day each year to help restore vision to those in need.
Today they helped 19 people.
If you, or anyone you, know needs cataract surgery and are unable to pay, you can find more information at missioncataractusa.org.