Local optometrist offers 'goodwill' eye exams - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Local optometrist offers 'goodwill' eye exams

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Chances are, if you have it you don't think much about it but for people who don't have health benefits that's almost always one of the only things they think about. 

A national organization is coming together with a local doctor to help ease that burden.
                         
Do you have any idea what it's like to need to see a doctor but can't? 

"It's difficult because we have to stretch our pennies," says Gloria Herrera.  Herrera works at a Houston Goodwill store and doesn't have health benefits. 

"What I make at work, it's enough for maybe the house.  I have four grandkids that live with me," Herrera says. 

We caught up with the grandmother as she was getting her eyes checked. 

If not for this free eye exam by Optometrist Dr. Allan Panzer Herrera would likely, "Probably just suffer.  Every day it's getting less and less that I can see," Herrera admits.
 
Dr. Panzer agreed to give eye exams to Goodwill workers and clients who have complained of poor vision. 

"He said I need to get bi-focal glasses," explains Ronald Edwards, a dog groomer, who is also getting a complimentary eye exam.

"It's very hard because as of right now I'm also a diabetic, high blood pressure and I need to see doctors.  If not for doctors I wouldn't be alive.  I had a heart attack back in 2012," explains Edwards.
 
This agreement happened when Goodwill Industries of Houston recently realized the power of social media. 

"The lady from Goodwill contacted me through LinkedIn and asked if I would be willing to do an eye exam or two for her clientele.  I asked her how many she had, she said 200 or 300 and I said I'll do them all," Dr. Panzer explains. 

"Goodwill is doing good things for people and giving them the ability to do their job but if they can't see they can't do their job," adds Dr. Panzer between seeing patients at his Southwest Houston office called the Houston Dry Eye Clinic.

Dr. Panzer says now that his patients can see better, he hopes to help other doctors see why they too should offer free services to Goodwill. 

"They (Goodwill) help people to help themselves.  So we as professionals who are so fortunate to have our professions, our offices, to have our lives.  We need to help these people have better lives," says Panzer.
 
Goodwill already has a company donating eyeglasses but care such as dental work will just have to wait. 

"I have a broken tooth up front and I'm always embarrassed to really smile. I usually cover my mouth like this," explains Herrera. 

A perfect smile may be put on hold for now but Herrera and the others getting free eye exams say they are truly grateful for Dr. Panzer.
 
"Oh I am very thankful," adds Edwards.

Connect with me at Facebook.com/DamaliKeithFox26 and on Twitter @DamaliFox26.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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