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Now Accepting TRICARE Prime

TRICARE

Virginia Beach Eye Center is very excited to announce that we are now in-network providers with TRICARE Prime!

We understand that convenient access to care is important to each and every patient. Now, the benefits of advanced technology, combined with personal attention to your eye care needs will be available to more patients.

If you have questions about your specific insurance and situation please call us at 757.481.5555




Got An Eye for Value?

Now till December 31st 2013, Virginia Beach Eye Center is offering a 40% OFF All-Laser LASIK when you have both eyes done! We want you to SEE your best this holiday season, without breaking the bank.

For a limited time, you can enjoy 40% OFF All-Laser LASIK + Special Financing†. Make your season BRIGHT with All-Laser LASIK! Call (757) 481-5555 to schedule your FREE Consultation.

Can not be combined with other offers, insurance or discounts.  Free Consultation not substitute for regular eye exam.  †Financing on approved credit.




Z-Lasik Seminar Tuesday, September 17th

Tuesday, September 17th 4:00-6:00 PM

Dr. Christopher Kurz, ophthalmologist at Virginia Beach Eye Center, will host an information seminar about refractive surgery options including Z-LASIK, the latest in all-laser LASIK technology. A short presentation will be followed by an opportunity for you to see if you would be a candidate for laser vision correction. All who attend will be eligible for a chance to win FREE all-laser vision correction. *

To register please call 757.481.5555.

465 N. Great Neck Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Samuel N. Garrett, MD
Christopher J. Kurz, MD
Joy Tomko, OD


*Offer good for one eye only, second eye available at $995.




A STRONG FOCUS ON SAFETY, SPEED AND HEALING ARRIVES

WITH ADVANCED Z-LASIK FROM VIRGINIA BEACH EYE CENTER

Virginia Beach, Virginia, June 20, 2013- Virginia Beach Eye Center’s ophthalmologists Dr. Samuel N. Garrett and Dr. Christopher J. Kurz have surveyed, researched and chosen to offer patients what is now hailed as the latest in “all-laser LASIK” surgical system .  It is the Ziemer Z-LASIK, technologically the most advanced procedure evolved from over 2,000,000 LASIK surgeries worldwide. This state-of-the art procedure combines the best visual results with the highest comfort and speed.

WHAT IS Z-LASIK?

Z-LASIK is an all-laser LASIK procedure performed with the Ziemer FEMTO LDV Femtosecond Surgical Laser in conjunction with the excimer laser. With the combined use of state of-the-art lasers and diagnostic equipment, Z-LASIK provides the best available treatment for superior vision correction and ushers in the next era of bladeless, all-laser LASIK, improving accuracy, safety and comfort.  Traditional LASIK procedures form a flap with a microkeratome, a mechanical device using a blade. With Z-LASIK the need for a blade is eliminated. The femtosecond laser fires tens of million of tiny pulses under the surface of the cornea to create an ultra-thin flap, allowing better flap predictability and precision.

THE Z-LASIK DIFFERENCE

“Much has been integrated into Z-Lasik advances,” says Dr. Garrett, “which, contrasted to other femtosecond lasers, is an efficient procedure that increases safety, reduces side effects, and involves a much shorter, more timely surgery.”  Unlike other femtolaser-based treatments, Z-LASIK is a highly integrated procedure, creating smooth even surfaces with no tissue damage from high energy and providing rapid healing and visual recovery.

ABOUT OUR DOCTORS

To the advances in equipment, prospective candidates for Z-LASIK can add important additional factors. The qualifications of the center’s two ophthalmic surgeons are diverse and excelled in expertise and dedication to patient care. Being consistently selected as the ophthalmologist most often cited by the region’s physicians for care of their own and families’ eyes led to Dr. Garrett’s being selected in Hampton Roads Magazine’s Top Doc Hall of Fame. Corneal Specialist, Dr. Christopher J. Kurz came to Virginia Beach Eye Center with years of dedicated service as a flight surgeon, field surgeon and instructor in the United States Air Force. To Z-LASIK surgery, Dr. Kurz brings specialized skills in refractive laser surgery.

THE Z-LASIK OFFER

In honor of the arrival of Ziemer’s FEMTO LDV Femtosecond Surgical Laser, Virginia Beach Eye Center will offer Z-LASIK surgery for only $995 per eye! The technology is unsurpassed. This is a one time introductory offer and you must act fast! To find out if you’re a candidate please call 757.481.5555 to set up a FREE screening.

ABOUT OUR PRACTICE

A premier eye care center of excellence for South Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach Eye Center’s 12,000 square foot facility is the first state-licensed, Medicare-certified and AAAHC-accredited ambulatory surgery facility in south eastern Virginia. For all your vision care needs visit Virginia Beach Eye Center, at 465 North Great Neck Road. Virginia Beach Eye Center specializes in the latest vision technology and offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art eye care services including testing, diagnosis, and treatment for diseases of the eye; laser vision correction, refractive lens exchange, cataract surgery, and other ophthalmic procedures using the most advanced techniques.  The center also provides optometry and optician services.  For more information, regarding Z-LASIK visit www.vbeye.com or call 757.481.5555.




Oliver Peoples Trunk Show

SEPTEMBER 24, 2013 from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Virginia Beach Eye Center invites you to a special event featuring the latest fall 2013 collection from Oliver Peoples. Shop the latest styles for men and women, while enjoying light refreshments and special event pricing*!

*Receive 50% off prescription lenses and a gift with the purchase of a frame from the collection




Dr. Garrett Stays Busy at Free Clinic

Jambo! Nancy, Allison and I had a nice time this weekend on safari at Tsavo West national park. On the way we spotted the photo below with two men and two goats on one tiny scooter. Our driver told us that the goats would probably be used during Ramadan as sacrifice. During our stay in Tsavo I got a chance to have a long conversation with one of the Masai guards/guides at our camp. We called him “Harrison” which was his English name, but can’t recall his Masai name. I talked to him about his religious beliefs. I asked if he believed in God, and he told me yes. I asked if it was the Christian God. Yes again. It turns out that he reported going to a catholic church. When I asked him what “believing in God” meant to him, he carefully explained how all the Masai people believe that all the cows in the world belong to the Masai people. If there is a drought or famine, the Masai will all gather in one place to ask God to give them rain, and He will give it to them. That’s about as “deep” as I could get with him. It’s probably not a surprise since the night before he was explaining how the Masai can have multiple wives, and that their store of value is in cows (so how many cows are in your 401K?). When you need something else besides cow, you sell a cow for money or trade it for what you need. Also when it’s time for a wife, your father picks her out for you and then pays her dowery in cows. I asked Harrison how many cows does a wife go for these days, and he said around 8 or so. So I asked him whether a really pretty woman would fetch more cows for her father and he stated an emphatic yes, and that his wife was a 12 cow woman and he was very happy!

It was really amazing seeing all the animals, plants and birds there in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It’s so hard to imagine anyone seeing the diversity and not attribute it to our Creator. Thank you Lord, the majesty of your creation witnesses to your power and glory. Thank you for letting me experience the fullness of your creation!

Today was busy in the free clinic. Took out multiple foreign bodies from corneas, diagnosed glaucoma, scheduled more cataract surgeries, saw other bad “stick” injuries, etc. (no one wears eye protection here). Saw one young man today with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (auto-immune disease of the eye covering) with a corneal perforation (eye is leaking the internal fluid) who will probably lose his vision and maybe his eye. It’s so sad, because with the right treatment he probably would not have progressed this far. We don’t have any corneal graft material here, so the best we could offer him was a conjunctival graft which is definitely not ideal. I’m sending a couple pics of happy post-op cataract patients to bring me back to the reality that we can’t fix everybody, but we can help some people and ultimately, that’s what Jesus asked us to do. Upendo, Sam

Happy post-op patients enjoying their new vision after cataract surgery

On the way to Tsavo West we spotted two men and two goats on one tiny scooter.

Pictures from the Safari

Pictures from the Safari

One of the Masai guards/guides at our camp




The Journey Home

I told you that my last e-mail was the last, but there is one more tale to tell. Yesterday morning we awakened to a glorious bright morning with warm sun and a nice cool breeze. Really a little slice of paradise, we were rewarded in our efforts by chance to a national holiday to end Ramadan that allowed us to go to a beautiful beach nearby at one of the luxury hotels. We sat by the pool and basked in the sun, road camels on the beach, and had coffee and tea in the hotel. Allison’s stomach was queasy and so she didn’t ride the camel, but didn’t feel so bad that she couldn’t shop at the beach vendors! Then at 4:00pm we left Lighthouse to go to the Mombasa airport and except for an hour long “ticket re-issue” had no problems there. The trouble started when we got to Nairobi (did get to see Mount Kilimanjaro out the window on the way!) airport. The international terminal was completely destroyed and we were taken off the plane by bus and unceremoniously dumped in a parking lot with a couple of tents set up and 64 degrees with Nancy and Allison being in sandals and thin short sleeve shirts. We waited there for an hour in the cold without them telling us anything with Allison feeling worse by the minute. No water, no information, no heat. The Kenyan air staff that was there were confused about whether we were going to need to pick up our luggage or whether it would go straight to the plane. Finally we got on another bus and had a 45 minute ride through terrible traffic to a warehouse we passed through to again go outside. There was no instruction on what to do, and differing opinions when asking officials. We finally got to the right terminal, went through security after a long queue and filled out our departure cards and waited in another line for passport check. Allison was feeling very nauseous in waves at this point and was lightheaded and woozy. We got up to the passport officer and Allison pulled out the emesis bag she had brought from the airplane to throw up. I looked over at her and saw her get this glazed look and fortunately got to her before she fell down. I placed her down on her back and she was out cold for about 15-20 seconds before she “came to” with a start and asked what had happened, and actually started laughing a little. We yelled for water and several kind souls offered there supply. After a few minutes we sat her up and a very nice American young woman came through and asked if she could pray with Allison and us. Another Kenyan man stopped and stayed with Allison and Nancy as I went to look for a wheelchair. After talking to several airport officials it was obvious that the wheelchair was not coming anytime soon. I then “jerry rigged” a luggage cart by stuffing all my “throw away” journals into my macbook soft case to make a seat on the tubes of the cart and put her backpack behind her. She was really feeling lousy and didn’t think she could stand up without passing out. We managed to get through another security like this, but then were not permitted to go to the boarding area with the cart. I was beside myself at this point and asked for help from anyone who would listen. Finally a wheel chair showed up via God’s providence and we proceeded to the boarding area that turned out to be another parking lot in the cold for two hours waiting for our plane. I put my socks on Allison’s feet and we huddled together in the open air tent. Finally, at midnight, the plane was ready to board. A Kenyan airport official pushed Allison’s wheelchair the 3-4 blocks to the KLM 747 and let us go to the front of the line and I half carried her up the jetway. Hallelujah!! We were on the plane. Allison and Nancy both slept most of the 8 hour flight and Allison was feeling better once I got her fever down and she was rehydrated. She even ate a little. Right now we’re in Amsterdam awaiting our 12:40pm flight back to the U.S. (6 hour layover) then another 4 hour layover at Dulles for the final leg. Allison appears to have a stomach flu and is up and down with frequent bathroom visits. Even with our troubles over the last day, we thank God for this wonderful opportunity and for all the people along the way that saw our burden and helped to lift us up in physical and spiritual ways. Love, The Garretts

The kids loved the bubbles we brought for them!

Beautiful beach nearby at one of the luxury hotels.

Camel rides on the beach.

ARE WE THERE YET?!




Mission Trip That’s Blessed us Beyond Belief

Hello everyone, By now some of you have probably heard about the fire at Nairobi airport yesterday morning that burnt down the international terminal. All international flights have been cancelled and supposedly the airport will re-open for international flights starting tonight at midnight. Our flight has not thus far been cancelled, so we have been unable to redirect our way home tomorrow. We are praying that the flight will not be cancelled and hope that anyone who receives this email in time will pray for Godspeed. Thanks!!

Our trip is just about over and this will be our last post. Tomorrow is the last day of Ramadan and as such is a national holiday so the clinic won’t be open and we’ll have a free day to explore the coast. Plan to head out to one of the local beaches in the morning and then leave for the airport around 4:00 pm (9:00 am EDST). We’ve had a great week. Tuesday we went out on another rural eye camp. It was a 4 hour drive over very rough, bumpy roads but it was also a very beautiful drive south of Mombasa along the coast. We saw patients at a rural “hospital” (about 4 rooms) where they were also having infant exams, so it was very busy (and noisy!). We saw less patients (27) as it was very remote, but still a lot of pathology. I used the Icare tonometer (eye pressure measuring device) that was contributed by my brothers and sisters at Baylake United Methodist Church to check intra-ocular pressure during the camp. This device is one of the best gifts that they have ever received in that you are able to check eye pressure for glaucoma without putting any eyedrops in and you basically feel nothing. So it’s easy to do on an uncooperative patient (most everyone I’ve seen here) and even on young children. What a blessing! Thanks Baylake! One young woman seen at the camp (blue shirt in photo) had a long thorn (Acacia–see photo) pierce her eye two years ago and couldn’t afford to be seen, so she had been blind ever since. We brought her and 5 others to Lighthouse in the back of our Land Cruiser and found she had a tiny corneal scar, scarring between the iris and the lens and cataract. Surgically, I was able to detach the iris from the underlying scar and implant an intra-ocular lens. The original lens had been mostly absorbed by her immune system so all that remained was a scarred lens envelope (capsule). We’ll let her eye heal a bit and she’ll come back in a few weeks for a laser procedure to open up the scarred capsule and she should have a complete return of her vision!!

After the eye camp, we were able to visit Pastor Samuel’s (Lighthouse affiliated) church. He met us on the side of the road on our way up to Machanga, his being the closest Lighthouse church to where we were seeing patients. The local pastor always preaches the gospel to the patients before we start seeing them (photo), then travels back to Lighthouse Eye Center to preach and pray with the patients before their eye surgery. The hope being that they will abandon their largely Muslim faith and join the local church (which many times happens in conjunction with surgery opening their eyes (so to speak!). His mud and stick church wall had blown down by a fierce wind and that side had been replaced by a rock and cement wall and he was receiving the funds from Lighthouse to now replace the other walls (photo). We got to meet his wife and he asked if we would remember him and pray for his church to grow.

Allison worked very hard building, sanding, painting and mounting a book shelf for the kids in the Pediatric Ophthalmology Clinic. She raised about $1200 dollars to buy the materials for the shelf and to buy the books from local bookstores so they would mostly be written in the Kaswahili language. (Thanks so much to everyone who contributed!!). She also bought about 450 textbooks for a local church school for 1-4th grade as they had no books at all. She also bought workbooks for the kids so the textbooks would last longer. Nancy and Allison also visited local churches and told Bible stories to the kids, gave them art/school supplies like pencils, crayons, markers, paper, had them draw rainbows after the story of Noah, played “Simon says” and had the kids sing songs to them.

The clinical work was very busy for me as one of the Kenyan ophthalmologists has gone part time and the other was off on vacation this second week. All the surgeries went smoothly. We had a nice “going away” party at 4:00pm this afternoon, but I was late for my own party as I was still seeing patients in the clinic!! We brought a volleyball net and two balls with us and the carpenter made two poles out of old tires, concrete and wood posts. We played volleyball with the staff till it got dark. They were all having the best time!! Well starting to pack for tomorrow. As with every mission trip that’s ever been taken, this one has blessed us beyond belief. We all feel like we have another family in Kenya and I guess with God as our Father we really do! I’d really encourage everyone to consider mission work. It will change your life for the better as it helps others. Asante sana for all your prayers. See you soon!

Garrett with some of the patients at Lighthouse for Christ Eye Clinic.

Road to rural eye camp.

Allison working hard building, sanding, and painting a book shelf for the kids in the Pediatric Ophthalmology Clinic.

A picture of an acacia--a long thorn that had pierce one of the patient's eye.

Completed bookshelf and books for the children in the Pediatric Ophthalmology Clinic.

Nancy at one of the Lighthouse for Christ affiliated churches.

Allison reading to the children. She was able to raise over $1200 dollars to buy books for a local church school for 1-4th grade.

Local pastor preaching the gospel to the patients before we start seeing them.

Volleyball net and two balls we brought with us and the carpenter made two poles out of old tires, concrete and wood posts.




Kenya

This week my mom and I visited the Royal Generation Academy, a school we had visited in 2011. With the money I raised through generous donations by friends and family members I was able to buy sixteen sets of books for the children at the Academy. The kids at this school go from Kindergarten (baby class) to 4th grade but the school is expanding each year as the kids get older. The school is in a very poor area south of Mombasa and the children are fed two meals during the school day and many of the parents cannot afford to buy their kids the textbooks they need each year. I also purchased 200 exercise workbooks for the students to complete their homework and schoolwork in so that the textbooks can be reused year after year. It was so much fun to visit the school again, the older kids even recognized us! When we arrived they sang us songs and recited poems then we read them a story and taught them a song. We also brought them bubbles which they had never seen before and they went crazy! It is awesome to be able to build a relationship with the head of the school, the teachers, and the children and to be able to make a real impact on the students’ lives. I am so grateful for this opportunity and for the generous donations of my family and friends who helped to make this possible.

All of the precious children waving at the camera.

The children, pastor Samuel (the head of the school), and myself.

Today we are on safari! This morning we went for a drive in the land Rover and saw a pride of lions (5 adults and 6 cubs). The lions did not seem to be bothered by our vehicle and they were just playing and sleeping, we even had to drive off of the main safari road to find them. We were also extremely lucky to spot a leopard stalking its prey (an impala) down the road. We followed the leopard until it disappeared-it was amazing!

One of the lion cubs.

The leopard!

We are having an amazing time!

Love,

The Garretts




Treatment not Always First Priority in the Third World, but Many Patients See the Light

July 29-31

Sitting here listening to the discordant cacophony of multiple mosques all blasting their wailings.  It occurs every two hours or so and lasts for an hour or more.  It seems more constant than two years ago, both times were during Ramadan.  I’m sure you would get used to it after awhile, but right now I have Excedrin headache #57. We’ve had a busy first few days here in Mombasa.  I saw patients both in the “free” clinic and in the “private” office (by appointment only) on Monday. The first patient I saw was a 25 year old man who had been hit in the back by a bull he was caring for seven months ago and had developed intermittent eye/facial swelling and pain. The bull story had nothing to do with his problems (although interesting) but we find here that patients almost always relate their problems to an event.  His family (remarkably) was able to afford a CT scan at a private imaging center and I was able to diagnose his problem as “orbital pseudotumor” and placed him on high doses of oral steroids which should be curative.  Unfortunately, during the seven months his orbital pressure was so high that he was blind in that eye from glaucomatous damage and also appeared to have suffered a previous corneal perforation.  So sad that he didn’t come in right away, as all this could have been averted with timely care.  Another common feature in the “third world”.  That night we all went out to dinner and caught up with Tim and Toni Ghrist, the mission director and his wife.

Yesterday, Nancy, Allison and I went on a rural eye camp.  We drove with three Lighthouse staff about 21/2 hours away north towards Somalia.  The last hour of the drive was down an incredibly muddy road with much thanks to God we didn’t get stuck.  We set up in a ministerial rural clinic and ended up seeing 75 patients in about four hours!!  (photos)  Onesmus, our driver and local pastor, gave the message of salvation out on the porch.  Allison did visual acuity checks and Nancy recorded personal data on each patient.  We loaded up 8 patients in the back of our truck and took them back to the paved road :-) where we bought them a minivan drive back to the Lighthouse.  They will stay for two nights.  They will be fed, cleaned up, and have a nice place to sleep.  Today, I did a full examination on their eyes and then operated on seven of them for advanced cataracts.  The cataract surgery machine (phacoemulsifier) that I had donated about a year ago was “belly up” with a foot pedal problem, so had to use a new, but less capable machine from India, so that was interesting.  All the cases went well, so will check them out tomorrow and then they’ll be on their way back to their village (photo enclosed).

I spoke with Pastor David from Lighthouse today who had gone to this village last weekend to show the “Jesus Film”.  About 100 people attended each of the two nights using the borrowed 35mm projection system.  He reports as a result of his and our efforts, about 15 people each had already joined two of the Lighthouse affiliated churches in that area.  He thinks that the new solar digital sound & projection system we have brought will have a big impact on bringing more people to Christ in our operating area.

Oh, and Nancy’s suitcase has apparently entered a swirling vortex or worm hole.

When I was young, I always fantasized or wished that someone would come out of nowhere and help me or give me something.  I remember when I was in college at ODU, working full time and going to school full time, how I wished someone would recognize my struggles and give me some help.  I remember asking my grandfather if he could give me a loan for tuition assistance during a particularly tough time.  No one ever did.  I’m thinking about this because I’ve been thinking about givers and takers.  In some ways we’re all a little of both, but there certainly are those of us who are in a better position to give and those whose needs far outweigh their capacity to give.  But why is it then, that despite individual circumstances, we all recognize the person on one hand who has an abundance and is miserly, and the other who has next to nothing and still chooses to gives it away?  What does the Bible have to say?

“He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.”  Proverbs 28:27 “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.  Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Luke 12:33-34 “When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘You still lack one thing.  Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come follow me.’  When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.  Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!  Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’  Those who heard this asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’  Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with men is possible with God.’”

“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”  1 Corinthians 13:3

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  1 John 4:8





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