Make A Difference Day Stories 2015


For several years, sixty-five-year-old Anna suffered from a painful ganglion cyst on her foot. Uninsured and unable to afford the care, Anna tried to cope with the pain. As time passed, however, the throbbing pain worsened and it became difficult for her to perform her job as a caregiver. In 2014, Anna was referred to Operation Access by her clinic, Alliance Medical Center in Sonoma County. She was accepted into the program and OA matched her with Dr. Tom Jordan at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Rosa. Dr. Jordan was able to aspirate the cyst. Unfortunately, the cyst returned and was even more painful than before. Anna returned to her clinic and she was referred to Operation Access once again. She was then matched with Dr. Kenneth Lopez, another specialist from Kaiser Santa Rosa, who successfully removed her ganglion cyst on October 24th, 2015, as a part of OA’s Make A Difference Day event. As Anna sat in the recovery room that day, she beamed and thanked Drs. Jordan and Lopez, and their team for the care and kindness they showed her.



Over the course of a year Mario’s vision deteriorated significantly. He described that his vision had become very blurry, which made it difficult for him to cook at his restaurant job. Mario learned that he had cataracts, and that the only way to restore his vision was surgery. However, due to his immigration status, Mario was uninsured and could not afford the high cost of care. When Mario went to his community clinic he was relieved to learn about Operation Access. OA matched him with Dr. Jeffrey Liu at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Jose who was able to remove his cataract. Today Mario’s vision is restored and he is back at his fast-paced job, no longer worried that he might not be able to provide for his family.     



John, an unemployed veteran, had advanced cataracts in both eyes and was unable to access the care he needed until he was referred to Operation Access. OA matched him with Dr. Corinna Pokorny at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Jose (KPSJ) and his procedure took place on Make A Difference Day. Unfortunately, the day before the procedure, John’s ride to the hospital fell through. But he was determined not to let transportation difficulties prevent him from getting the care he needed. That night John caught the last bus to KPSJ and waited overnight for his appointment. His procedure was a success, and so were the other 24 surgeries that took place that day. John is very thankful for the care he received and feels blessed that his vision was fully restored, and that he can see the birds in the sky once again.