Spencer Solves It on mission to help Highlands carpenter who is going blind due to cataracts

Man needs procedure to save his eyesight

HIGHLANDS, Texas – At 51 years old, Douglas Berry is still a wild kid at heart. Look at him pounding it out on his drum set, just like he did when he played rock and roll in high school.

But now, decades later, Doug spends his days pounding nails, working desperately hard as a carpenter and maintenance man at a small local motel.

He is a hard worker who rapidly started going blind three years ago.

“It was terrible, frightening man. I don’t like not being able to see,” Doug said.

It turns out that within a matter of months, Doug had become legally blind due to a severe case of cataracts in both eyes.

Suddenly, he couldn’t work, and without health insurance, he couldn’t come close to being able to afford cataract surgery.

Eye doctors told him if he didn’t have surgery soon, he would become permanently blind and no amount of medical work would be able to help him.

“Things went really bad for Doug very, very fast,” said Denny, Doug’s wife.

“It’s terribly frightening, man. Sometimes I feel like I’m half living because I just can’t see,” Doug said.

Drowning in debt and with no health insurance, Doug and his wife Denny took out a loan for four thousand dollars.

It was just enough cash to get cataracts from one of Doug’s eyes removed. Not both. Just one.

”Yeah, so we figured, ‘Okay, can’t do both, want to do both, but that’s impossible. We just don’t have that kind of money. So we’ll do one and that’s it. It’s better than nothing,” Denny said.

Now, three years later, Doug is still blind in that other eye -- with no money for a second surgery.

“We’re just busted. We can’t afford that,” Doug said.

Now, three years later, Doug is still blind in that one eye and without surgery soon, he could lose sight in that eye forever.

With no money for another surgery, no matter how badly it’s needed, Doug and Denny decided to contact the Spencer Solves It team.

”I would like you to point me in the right direction of some serious help so I can see again,” Doug said. “I need my eyes, both of them, to take care of my family. To be able to keep working.”

So, tonight I begin my quest to help Doug save his eyesight.

I haven’t found an eye surgeon willing to do this badly-needed surgery for free yet, but I will.

So I make Doug this promise as we stand in front of the small trailer home that he and his wife live in: ”Doug, I’m going to try my very best to get this done for you. Your eyesight is the most important thing to you and I’m going to try like crazy to make this happen.”

Doug and Denny stare back at me with a mixture of sadness and hope in their eyes.

“It’s very much appreciated, Bill. God bless you,” Doug said.

Now, we at the Spencer Solves It team are looking for the answer to Doug’s prayers.

We are looking for an eye surgeon who will do cataract-removal surgery on Doug at no cost and save his other eye before it’s too late.

If you are that doctor, please email me at bspencer@kprc.com. You will be helping a hard-working man who truly deserves a decent break.

About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.