The Gift of Sight is the latest trick from MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson. He paid the full cost of cataract surgeries that restored vision for 40 people who live in Jacksonville.
>>> STREAM ACTION NEWS JAX LIVE <<
Donaldson is one of the most successful YouTube creators in the world with 130 million subscribers. He is famous for his philanthropic acts of raising and donating millions of dollars to strangers and charities.
[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]
This time, he teamed up with local eye surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Levenson to transform lives.
Levenson is an ophthalmologist in Jacksonville who has been in practice since 1988. He is the founding director of the Levenson Eye Associates ophthalmology practice and is also on the board of directors of Vision Is Priceless, a non-profit organization that helps people with financial difficulties. to gain access to vision care.
The process of teaming up and helping people regain their sight began last September, when Levenson got the call from Donaldson’s team saying, “We want to do 1,000 cataract surgeries around the world in three weeks,” Levenson recalled. .
“And I had never heard of MrBeast and I almost hung up the phone,” he admitted with a smile.
Read: Google and the NFL officially agree to bring the NFL’s ‘Sunday Ticket’ to YouTube
“But luckily, I didn’t!”
On the other hand, Donaldson knew exactly who Levenson was, because he came across a TED talk. Levenson gave in Santa Barbara, California, on how to end preventable blindness.
“My dream of ending blindness seemed to be going nowhere, but he saw the TED talk and was moved,” Levenson said.
Thus, before embarking on his international trip, Donaldson made a stopover in Jacksonville on October 7.
Donaldson paid for cataract surgery for 40 people who could not afford it, at a cost of $3,100 each.
In the YouTube video, Donaldson can be seen donating several thousand more dollars to the patients he just met. For example, he introduced a woman who had just come out of surgery with a briefcase full of money and told her, “Here’s $10,000 to make your day better,” to which she responded by throwing herself on the floor in disbelief.
Read: Keenan Cahill, famous YouTube lip-syncer, dies at 27
In the video, we also learn the story of Satchel, a boy who said he had poor vision since he was born and almost all his vision after a go-kart accident. He told Donaldson that his diminished vision meant he couldn’t drive. So, after his successful surgery, Donaldson surprised him with his own Tesla so he could finally exercise his driving privilege.
“[MrBeast] he was generous far beyond what is seen in the videos,” Levenson emphasized.
“It is inspiring. You see people like that and you want to be more like them.”
Levenson also emphasized that, “No one in the City of Jacksonville should be blinded by the need for simple cataract surgery. It’s a 10-minute surgery.”
Levenson explained that cataract surgery is necessary once the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, much like a cloudy mirror in a bathroom. That lens needs to be replaced, so Levenson suctions it out with an instrument and replaces it with a plastic lens that restores the patient’s vision almost instantly.
“It brings them back to life,” he added, explaining how people can now become independent and not rely on others for simple day-to-day tasks.
Levenson donates his time to perform these surgeries as part of his work for the non-profit organization Vision Is Priceless. The other costs are covered by donations.
But he believes that if more people follow Donaldson’s example, “we can ensure that no one in our city is blinded by the need for cataract surgery.”
[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]
To learn more about Vision Is Priceless and how you can donate to future free cataract surgery events, you can visit https://visionispriceless.org/gift-of-sight/
STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app to get live updates on the latest news