PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Dr. Laura Kueny worked as an optometrist in the valley for two years. She specializes in pediatrics, a demographic of doctors that Dr. Kueny says is rare. Due to the lack of eye doctors for children, Dr. Kueny says many of his patients travel three to four hours for an appointment. Some have to cross the border. “So if we only capture children who can travel, who can afford to travel, whose missed departure is the big question?” she said.
Dr. Kueny didn’t have to look far for the answer. When COVID-19 hit and the border was closed, even his visa patients could not cross the border for medical care. So when they couldn’t travel to her, she went to them. “Our first clinic in Puerto Peñasco was in October 2021 and we’ve been going there every month since,” she said.
Dr Kueny says she quickly realized how many people needed eye care, so she founded Little Eyes International, a non-profit organization providing free eye exams and glasses to children in Rocky Point. “People arrive by bus,” says co-founder Dr. Ghadeer Makoshi.
Dr. Makoshi says that so far, the nonprofit organization has relied on seeds donated by eyewear companies and the generosity of friends and family. Still, the goal is to open a permanent clinic in Puerto Peñasco and provide free personalized glasses in one visit. “You can’t learn if you can’t see and if you can’t see and you can’t learn. How can you be productive in your life and in your communities,” says Makoshi. If you would like to donate to Little Eyes International, click here.