Doctor helps NBC12 viewer get artificial eye after On Your Side report

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Just days after calling 12 for help getting an artificial eye, we are happy to report that Iris Reilly-Moore is on her way to looking normal again.

Iris came to us in tears. She had no insurance or money to pay for it, but since our story last Tuesday, a local doctor has stepped in to help.

Iris was looking for information when she called me. She thought perhaps On Your Side knew of an organization, she was unaware of, that could help. She did not expect to meet the ocularist who agreed to make her artificial eye.

It's amazing how hope transforms the human spirit. For Iris Reilly-Moore - whose right eye was amputated because of a condition called Stickler's Syndrome - just getting examined for a prosthetic eye is hopeful.

"Right now, I'm just so, up there, I'm just excited," said Iris. "Look in the mirror and see two. I am that excited."
Dr. Neil Hughes took an impression of her socket and did some adjusting, shaving down, and smoothing out as he works toward a perfect fit.

"This peg here, when she's looking at me with her good eye, I don't want her prosthetic looking off into left field," said Dr. Neil Hughes.

An artificial eye costs about $3,000. Iris says she tried everywhere, and companies only want cash or insurance. She has neither.

That prompted me to call Dr. Michael Hughes. He owns Artificial Eye Clinic. He and his son are the go-to-guys for artificial eyes.

"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you," said Iris.

When I called, Dr. Michael Hughes jumped at the opportunity to help and spread the word about a medical mission changing lives in El Salvador. Eye Care International gave comprehensive eye care to more than 4,000 poor people and victims of violence just this year alone.

"We worked on more children, more needy people. When this guy walks in with no arms, no legs. You just don't see that out here," said Dr. Michael Hughes.

Just as in El Salvador, their work here is most appreciated. Iris is set to get her artificial eye
on Monday.

"She'll do great," said Dr. Michael Hughes. "She's got a good, easy-going personality in spite of the tears."

Iris will have her prosthetic eye within a week - just in time for her birthday. We will be there when Iris walks out happy with her appearance as she starts to look for a new job.

Meantime, Eye Care International is looking for doctors to volunteer - although anyone is welcome.

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